A writer, or any artist, can’t expect to be embraced by the people [but] you just keep doing your work — because you have to, because it’s your calling. ~Patti Smith
Punk rock’s poet laureate Patti Smith ranks among the most influential female rock & rollers of all time. Ambitious, unconventional, and challenging, Smith’s music was hailed as the most exciting fusion of rock and poetry since Bob Dylan’s heyday. ~Steve Huey (allmusic.com)
Let us kick off with the heartfelt touching performance from The Nobel Prize ceremony.
Neil Young is maybe the best interpreter of Bob Dylan’s songs, and it is so fitting, he is after all one of the “holy trinity” (with Dylan and Springsteen). Here are some great versions, sometimes alone and sometimes with other great artists.
Here is a fine clip from the Charlie Rose Show, Neil Young talks about Bob Dylan:
Susan Tedeschi is an American blues and soul musician known for her singing voice, guitar playing, and stage presence. A multiple Grammy Award nominee, she is a member of the Tedeschi Trucks Band (originally known as “Soul Stew Revival”), which is a conglomeration of her band, her husband Derek Trucks’s The Derek Trucks Band, and other musicians.
She was born 46 years ago today – Happy Birthday!
She has covered a few Dylan songs.
Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, and Dave Brubeck recorded this great interpretation of “Lord Protect My Child”, which was produced by Chris Brubeck and used as the theme song for the human trafficking documentary film, Not My Life.
Susan Tedeschi – Lord Protect My Child (Live, Farm Aid 2005):
Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash became friends at the 1964 Newport Folk Fest where they both performed (they had corresponded some time before this and they bumpen into each other in New York in 63 backstage at The Gaslight cafe) , Johnny Cash the seasoned country legend and Bob Dylan the new golden boy. They spent the evening picking in Joan Baez’s hotel room with June Carter Cash, Joan Baez, Jack Elliot and others. As the story goes, Johnny Cash took Dylan aside and handed him his Martin guitar as a gift, a gesture of honor among country musicians.
Their paths crossed on several occasions, and they recorded and performed together many times.
Here are the songs I could find where Cash covers Dylan:
Americana is an amalgam of roots music formed by the confluence of the shared and varied traditions that make up the American musical ethos; specifically those sounds that are merged from folk, country, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll and other external influences. Americana, as defined by the Americana Music Association (AMA), is “contemporary music that incorporates elements of various American roots music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues, resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it may draw. While acoustic instruments are often present and vital, Americana also often uses a full electric band.”
A while ago I did a post on my top 10 country versions of Bob Dylan songs (soon to be updated), since then I’ve been made aware of a lot more songs from people who read the original post. Then most of my pickings where of classic country leaning on outlaw country, in this post I will concentrate on the new generation of country/ alt. country.
Here are 13 favourite Bob Dylan songs performed by Americana artists. Lets start with a great live version:
Bobby Long & John Fullbright – It’s Not Dark Yet:
What a wonderful sound and such a great performance. These guys are just so good!