Grammy and Emmy-nominated pianist-vocalist Michael Feinstein has shared another preview of his upcoming Gershwin Country album of collaborations. The new track is his duet with Amy Grant of “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”
Feinstein announced the imminent release of the album last month and premiered its lead track, a rendition of “Someone to Watch Over Me,” featuring 27-time Grammy-winner Alison Krauss. The album was recorded in Nashville and showcases interpretations from the George and Ira Gershwin songbook through the lens of country music, in duets with some of the genre’s biggest stars.
The evergreen “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” was originally written for the 1937 Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film Shall We Dance. Astaire released it with the Johnny Green Orchestra that year, and there were soon rival versions by Billie Holiday, Jimmy Dorsey and others. In the ensuing decades, it’s been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, and hundreds of others. In more recent years the song has been interpreted by Gloria Estefan, Rod Stewart, and Brian Wilson.
“As a person who became besotted with [George] Gershwin long ago, I cannot be objective of his work, nor of his brother Ira’s, for it all goes too deep into my soul,” says Feinstein. “From the time I first heard them decades ago, the songs have felt personal, and as I have sung them through the years, they have become multifaceted diamonds revealing new angles of truth and depth with every exploration.”
Indeed, as a young man of 20, Feinstein had six years working with Ira Gershwin as as his assistant and archivist, among other roles. It was a time that helped to inform his entire musical career, from his 1987 debut Pure Gershwin onwards.
Pre-order Gershwin Country, which is released on March 11.