In honor of this month’s Bandcamp Friday, Dawn Landes has released a stripped-down duet with the late Justin Townes Earle. Recorded roughly a decade ago, it’s a plainspoken, finger-picked version of Dolly Parton’s “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind.”
Earle and Landes recorded the song at Landes’ Brooklyn studio while the two singer-songwriters were on tour circa 2010-2011. Proceeds for the song will go to Earle’s family, wife Jenn Marie and daughter Etta St. James Earle. The song was originally released as a free download 10 years ago, and the duo frequently covered the Parton ballad while on tour. “We recorded this song just for the fuck of it,” Earle said onstage in 2010.
Written in the Seventies, Parton first released the song as a double A-side with “I Will Always Love You” in 1982. Though not nearly as well known as her biggest hits, the “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind,” which was initially recorded by Chet Atkins, has more recently been covered by Laura Marling, Joan Osborne, and Ashley Campbell.
Earle died last August at the age of 38. “A lot of famous people who are charismatic and handsome and stylish and talented, they struggle with mental illness, too,” Jenn Marie Earle told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “I wish people knew how much he did struggle with what they couldn’t see, and what he didn’t write about.”