The Hi, How Are You Project — the mental health nonprofit inspired by the life and legacy of Daniel Johnston — has shared a previously unreleased clip of Johnston and Jeff Tweedy performing “Walking the Cow.”
The footage comes from the Chicago stop on Johnston’s 2017 farewell tour. At each concert during that run, Johnston was backed by a different group that he had inspired: In New Orleans, it was the Preservation All-Stars, in Portland and Vancouver it was Built to Spill, and at the Vic Theatre in Chicago it was Jeff Tweedy and the Jeff Tweedy Band.
Fan-shot footage of Johnston and the Tweedy Band’s performance of “Walking the Cow” has been floating around YouTube since 2017, but the new video marks the first official release. In it, Tweedy and Co. transform the original’s propulsive lo-fi chug into a steady alt-country stomp, while Johnston delivers a powerful vocal performance, pushing his voice to its upper limits without missing a note as he sings, “I really don’t know what I have to fear/I really don’t know what I have to care/Oh, oh, oh/I am walking the cow.”
Back in May, Tweedy, Sharon Van Etten, Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Ben Kweller and others pledged their support to the Hi, How Are You Project’s latest initiative, which asked people help raise awareness about mental health issues by simply asking each other, “Hi, how are you?”