Track Premiere: Cave People – “I Shall Believe” Sheryl Crow Cover

Posted: by The Editor

Philly based DIY group, Cave People, are set to self-release their newest EP on September 7 in light of their upcoming tour with Tigers Jaw. Salt will feature one new track, one cover, and three re-envisioned versions of past songs. We are pleased to premiere their exciting cover of the iconic Sheryl Crow hit, “I Shall Believe”.

Recorded by Joe Michelini at Berlin Studios in New Jersey, the EP is also a benefit for Juntos. All proceeds will be donated to the nonprofit organization as a means to help fund, fight for, and promote immigrant rights. The cassette is now available for pre-order on bandcamp.

Take a listen to the group’s stripped down cover of “I Shall Believe” as you read our interview with frontperson, Dave Tomaine, below.

What made you want to cover Sheryl Crow?

Dave Tomaine: I love Sheryl Crow, she’s such an incredible songwriter, and I think “I Shall Believe” is an especially powerful song. It really kicked my ass the first time I heard it. I remember circling my block listening to it over and over again. I think staying hopeful in a world that can be absolutely monstrous is really difficult, and I think SC does it in a way that feels so earned and sincere. Plus the musical arrangement behind it so beautiful, and she closes her first album with it! Damn, Sheryl rocks. I like our version, but hers is on a different level.

What’s so unique about these pop crossover artists like Sheryl Crow that you think gravitates listeners to their music?

I think Sheryl Crow writes songs that are accessible but also really interesting. Like, you can listen to “If It Makes You Happy” and not think much of it, but in another instance find yourself struck by questions like, “Is this about me? Is this song both lyrically and musically perfect? How do I exist in the world when I’m not listening to this song?”

You just released an EP in April, what gives you inspiration/motivation to keep creating?

I’m very lucky to be surrounded by many incredibly talented and driven people who support and encourage me. I couldn’t do anything if it weren’t for the community I’m in. Cave People also typically takes a long time to get releases out. I’m not the most organized. I think we got masters for Sinning Tree nearly a year before it was actually released? So being bad at getting music out gives me a lot of time to work on new songs, perhaps giving the illusion that I am a prolific and talented songwriter. Mostly I like to write songs and I like to record them with my friends. Salt is coming out soon, but I have a full length just about written now, so we’ll work on recording that sometime after tour.

You’ve worked with popular artists within the scene like Ben Walsh and Ian Farmer. It seems as though bands based in Philadelphia especially have more of this communal bond than in other cities. Do you think your career would be a bit different if you didn’t have this rich community at your fingertips?

If you think that’s something you should see all the unpopular artists I work with! I kid, but also maybe not, and I say this as an unpopular artist myself. Every time we release anything I’m always so humbled by the amount of people who help us out with it, all of whom are working on creative projects of their own. Robyn Campbell (Blowdryer, Preen, Permanent Body) helped us with press/bio stuff, Matt Schimelfenig (Cherry, Three Man Cannon, Gladie) has recorded everything we’ve ever done, besides Salt, which was recorded by Joe Michelini (American Trappist). Russell Edling (Cherry) has put out all the Cave People releases on his label, as well as playing on Sinning Tree and Kingfisher. I could go on and but that seems annoying, basically just saying that the Philly music scene has absolutely shaped Cave People, and I’m positive Cave People wouldn’t exist without the friends who made it possible. Philly is filled with incredible bands that may not get as much attention as Mobo or Tigers Jaw (both great bands!) but totally deserve it and work so hard at what they do. Go listen to them!

What made you want to work with them as opposed to other musicians/producers?

I’ve been friends with Ben for years, so when I started Cave People he was one of the first people to offer to help. Ben is so great, and can pretty much play anything, I never would have been able to put out Older or Sinning Tree without him. Plus I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time regarding music or life, and Ben is always there to help out. Once he picked me up from a doctor’s appointment where I had to list what my relationship was with the person picking me up on my discharge form. I wrote “a fine pal” and if he was to pick me up at the doctor’s today, I would write it again.

Ian on the other hand? I hate that guy! I kid again, Ian is such a talent and when I heard he was doing mastering I thought it’d be cool to ask him to do Kingfisher. He killed it! What a fine chap.

Why did you decide to have the proceeds for your upcoming cassette to go to Juntos?

I wanted to try to give something back to the community that I take up space in. Juntos is a great Philly based organization that fights for human rights regardless of immigration status, and they need funds now more than ever given the atrocities being committed by the current presidential administration. I think it’s easy to feel helpless in the face of everything, and there are certainly people working much harder than I am to help, but I wanted to try to do something positive with this release. If you can give, that rocks, and if you don’t care for Cave People and just want to donate directly that is totally cool! You can donate here:

What do you expect to come out of your upcoming tour with Tigers Jaw? What are you most looking forward to?

I’m not sure what to expect! The last Cave People show was in a basement and I think six people were there? It was a lot of fun! It’ll be weird playing to a lot of people, but I think it’ll be cool. I’m mostly excited to hang with everyone. The Tigers Jaw crew are long time friends and The Sidekicks are best band on earth, so I’m just psyched to spend some time with them.

Any road trip jams you have queued away for tour?

Oh dang I haven’t even thought of it yet. Probably “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman. Now that’s a song. I also love this podcast called “Jay & Miles X-Plain The X-Men” and I MIGHT try to force everyone to listen at least one episode if I’m feeling bold and confident.

What are your go-to tour foods and activities of choice?

Once when coming home with Cherry from a show, I begged them to take me to The Olive Garden. I was drunk and hungry. It was very late at night, every Olive Garden across the US was long closed, but that didn’t matter to me, the dream was more important than the reality that it was impossible. Now, months later and sober, I don’t want to go to The Olive Garden that much, but maybe we’ll end up there at one point. A little trip to Italy, I like to call it.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Just once more about the donation, if you can give, that’s awesome, and if there’s an organization closer to you that’d you’d rather give to that’s great. If donating money isn’t an option don’t worry, there are a lot of ways to get involved!


Emily Kitchin| @deathnap4cutie

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