We’re all acquainted with childhood nostalgia, that longing for a time unburdened by responsibility, a feeling memorably captured in the 2007 song “Kids” by the indie rock band MGMT. Two Southern rock acts—the Vegabonds and Daniel Womack (“Womz”) of Futurebirds—have metamorphosed that Grammy-nominated hit into their own high-energy mashup of electric sound, folky twang, and hard rock, a song G&G is proud to premiere below. Anchored by the raw, dynamic voices of Womack and Daniel Allen and crescendoing into an impressive riff by guitarist Richard Forehand and bassist Paul Bruens, the collaboration channels the bands’ own nostalgia for the early days of their careers, when they were both known to cover the track.
In the late aughts, before the Nashville-based Vegabonds performed at music festivals and international tours alongside the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackberry Smoke, Kid Rock, Gregg Allman, and Mike and the Moonpies, they honed their take on the song at college-town gigs. “It was a staple song in our set list the first few years as we rocked through the Southeastern Conference college circuit, playing every frat and tailgate known to man,” Allen says. “Our crowds seemed to love our spin on the song because we essentially turned it into a hard-driving Southern rock banger.”
Womz’s Bluegrass-esque band, an early formation of Futurebirds, began at the University of Georgia, where they performed a version of “Kids” as well. “We’ve always loved the song, so I was stoked when [the Vegabonds] asked me to be a part of their cover,” Womz says. He calls the collaboration a “no-brainer”; the two bands have been close as friends and musicians, but it wasn’t until Womz hopped on the road with the Vegabonds to promote his solo material that they really got to know each other.
“He has such great energy and spirit, and we felt like a collaboration on ‘Kids’ would turn out great because it captures both of our creative vibes so well,” Allen says. The musicians convened at the West End Sound Studio in Atlanta to record the song, which came to life organically, he says. “We couldn’t be happier with the way it sounds…it’s familiar yet unique.”