Tucson chanteuse Marianne Dissard on Friday, June 5, will release her cover of Janis Ian’s tale of teen angst anthem “At Seventeen.”
Dissard, the French-born singer who has called Tucson home off and on since the 1990s, is actually releasing two versions of the song: One from “his” point of view, the other from “hers.”
Dissard and English producer Raphael Mann teamed up for the project, which presents a world-weary male view and an irreverent female view of being 17.
The remake reimagines Ian’s Bossa-Nova rhythm as a post-World War II French chanson-styled vocal interpretation that puts the focus more on the lyrics than the melody.
Dissard tapped Tucson bassist Thoger Lund and guitarist Gabriel Naïm Amor as well as Mexico City cellist Belén Ruiz and English saxophonist Terry Edwards, all of whom recorded their parts from their respective homes during the recent COVID-19 lockdown.
The song will be available for download at Bandcamp for the platform’s monthly no-fee Friday, and you also can get a free bonus track of Dissard’s first-ever cover, a 2006 recording with Calexico’s Joey Burns of folk singer Kath Bloom’s 1982 song “It’s So Hard to Come Home.”
“At Seventeen” is the second cover Dissard has released since she recorded a cover of Phil Och’s 1968 protest song “The Scorpion Departs but Never Returns” in April in reaction to the firing of USS Theodore Roosevelt Captain Brett. E. Crozier. Crozier had spoken out against the military’s response to several of his sailors becoming infected with the coronavirus.
Dissard, who left Tucson in 2013, has been back since late last year, when she returned to do some work on her home here. She intended to stay a couple months, but has remained put because of the coronavirus pandemic.