Michael Burrows repurposes Bob Dylan’s ‘If Not For You’ for the COVID era

Almost all facets of life were turned on their heads when COVID-19 took hold a few months ago. For Michael Burrows and his band (a group almost entirely made up of fathers), the virus affected both their fatherhood and their musicianship. As has been the case with most artists, new releases were put on ice, and as fathers, they had to watch their children adapt to a new life indoors.

One group of frontline workers, however, were instrumental in getting the kids’ lives back to normal. I refer, of course, to teachers.

As an ode to our nation’s school teachers, Melbourne-based artist Michael Burrows has laid down an epic cover of Bob Dylan’s If Not For You.

We’ve been fans of Michael Burrows for some time now. The Melbourne-based singer-songwriter has spent the past number of years carving out a sound for himself that’s raw captivating; a rich blend of folk, rock, and Americana. Now, with the release of his new cover of Bob Dylan cover, If Not For You, he continues to build on his endearing sonic universe.

Recorded across various locations during the COVID-19 isolation period, the new cover repurposes a Dylan classic for our current situation. “If not for you, our teachers,” Burrows says, “our children wouldn’t know where to start and finish each day.”

If that’s not the nicest thing you’ve heard this week, I’ll be damned.

The song itself is infectiously warm and rhythmic. Flaunting air-tight instrumentation and Burrows’ signature southern vocal tones, this version of If Not For You is an undeniable earworm.

This is the latest in a string of consistently great releases from Michael Burrows, and judging by the quality of everything we’ve heard so far, I think we can safely expect plenty more great stuff in the future.

In the meantime, watch the new video for If Not For You above.