Taking a few days off from his three-year-long world tour, celebrated solo guitarist Mike Dawes has revealed his new cover of "Scarlet" by progressive metal titans Periphery.
Besides the video, which you can check out below, fans can get the song as a "pay what you want"—or free—download directly from Dawes' bandcamp page. All the proceeds will go directly to Unicef to aid in Europe’s refugee crisis, and to FAB Projects (food, aid and building) in Kenya.
“Mike is an extraordinary talent," says Periphery guitarist Mark Holcomb. "He's got a style that is completely unmistakable, and I can't really compare him to anyone else in his genre.
"The first time I heard his cover of 'Scarlet,' I was floored at how unique of a spin he put on the song. It's moody and sombre, which is such a different feel from the Periphery version. But in my opinion, the best kinds of cover songs are the ones that give you a completely different perspective on what was written. Mike has accomplished just that.”
Dawes' previous covers have included viral versions of Gotye’s "Somebody That I Used to Know" (4 million YouTube views) and David Guetta’s "Titanium" (2 million views).
“As a lifelong metal fan—my first concert was Iron Maiden at age 13—I really wanted my next arrangement to highlight the wonderful melodies and textures of a great metal track, arranged for an audience that may initially be put off by the volume and intensity of the original," Dawes says. “In covering 'Scarlet,' I'm really trying to express the core ingredients of the track, melody and harmony, as with any genre, and that once an individual can get over and accept the intensity of a metal arrangement you can find some of the most beautiful tunes out there.
"'Scarlet' is a brilliant example of this. If just one acoustic guitar fan discovers the original, discovers Periphery or discovers metal through this cover, then the arrangement will have been a success.”
Dawes is out on a 35-date U.S. and Canadian tour alongside Lulo Reinhardt (great-nephew of Django Reinhardt), German acoustic virtuoso Andre Krengel and IGN founder Brian Gore. He also has announced further U.S. and European dates for 2016. All his current dates can be seen at mikedawes.co.uk.