Watch Roger Waters Sing ‘Goodnight, Irene’ with Lucius
Collaborating is a risk for any artist, but when the gamble pays off, the result can be a lasting bond — like the one between Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters and the members of Lucius, who've been a steady vocal presence in his shows and on his albums since they met up during the Newport Folk Festival in 2015.
When Lucius partners Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig set about recording their new acoustic Nudes compilation, they reached out to Waters and asked him to join them for a song — specifically a cover of the blues standard "Goodnight, Irene," a number that, as the duo told Rolling Stone, fits squarely in Waters' wheelhouse.
"We had done the song with our own band many times, especially on the first few tours we did," said Wolfe. "And then we got into the Roger camp, and he loves old blues tunes and late-night hangs. The acoustic guitar will come out and he'll want to sing all these blues songs and we all chime in. One of the ones that he loves to do is 'Goodnight, Irene.'"
For the recording, the trio utilized a narrow booth set up at Electric Ladyland Studios in New York, taking advantage of its unique instant vinyl pressing capabilities to capture a live performance — which you can watch above — that hearkens directly back to the tradition that inspired it. They'll reunite once Lucius wraps promotional obligations for Nudes, which arrived in stores March 2, and join Waters on the upcoming European dates of his Us + Them tour.
"He's family to us now," added Wolfe. "I'm so honored to say that we're such big fans of one another, and he treats us like his peers. He doesn't treat us any less than family. You spend a lot of time with the people that you travel with on the road, and we've built a beautiful friendship."