Cat Power covers Bob Dylan and sings about him


I’m going to my first Cat Power/Chan Marshall show this Tuesday, I’m really looking forward to it. I have listened a lot to her music lately and she has some great interpretations of songs by Bob Dylan.

Charlyn Marie Marshall (born January 21, 1972), also known as Chan Marshall or by her stage name Cat Power, is an American singer-songwriter, musician, occasional actress and model. Cat Power was originally the name of Marshall’s first band, but has come to refer to her musical projects with various backing bands.

Marshall was discovered opening for Liz Phair in 1994 by Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth and Tim Foljahn of Two Dollar Guitar, with whom she recorded her first two albums, Dear Sir (1995) and Myra Lee (1996), on the same day in 1994. In 1996 she signed with Matador Records, and released a third album of new material with Shelley and Foljahn, What Would the Community Think. Following this she released the critically acclaimed Moon Pix (1998), recorded with members of the Dirty Three, and The Covers Record (2000), a collection of sparsely recorded cover songs. After a brief hiatus she reemerged in 2003 with You Are Free, featuring guest musicians Dave Grohl and Eddie Vedder, followed by the soul-influenced The Greatest (2006), recorded with numerous Memphis studio musicians, and a second covers album, Jukebox (2008). In 2012 she released the self-produced Sun, which opened at number 10 on the Billboard 200, the highest charting album of her career to date.

Here are the Dylan covers done by Cat Power that I managed to dig up, enjoy!

Cat Power aka Chan Marshall – Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again one of the best tracks on the I’m Not There soundtrack (audio):

The next song was recorded for a live radio show in Munich 23/11/1998, Chan croons and strums this heartbreaking cover and begins sobbing shortly after beginning the song. Magnificent!

Cat Power – He Was a friend of mine (audio):

Cat Power – I Believe In You (audio):

Cat Power – Oh Sister / Knocking On Heavens Door (LIVE @ BBC 1 London 2000 (Audio)):

Cat Power – Paths of Victory (audio):

Let us include Moonshiner, I know it isn’t a Dylan composition, but his was the first I heard and Chan does a tremendous version.
Cat Power’s version of the traditional folk tune is my personal favorite version, Uncle Tupelo’s being a very close second (Dylan’s version is also good, yeah):

I also want to include Chan Marshall’s heartfelt and incredibly good answer to Bob Dylan’s Song To Woody. A Great tribute to Bob Dylan.

I love this song, she’s such a “fangirl”, and the way she mimics his singing style is so fitting for this song.  She did her contribution to the soundtrack of I’m Not There, Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again, in the same “Dylan-style” (included above).

The title references Bob Dylan’s “Song to Woody” where Dylan sings about/to his hero, as Marshall is doing in her song.

Song to Bobby tells us about her transition from fan to a mature artist whom deserves the attention of Dylan himself. She tells about how she reacted when Bob Dylan calls her record company asking to meet her, and how devastated she is to be stuck out-of-town. It is a really sweet story of how an artist of considerably stature is still humbled by her own hero.

Cat Power – Song to Bobby (live) at Canal + :

“It’s worth noting that Jukebox’s best moment comes not with a cover, but with a Cat Power original– and fitting, too, that it’s a mash note to Dylan. On the epistolary “Song for Bobby” she recounts in conversational lyrics her youthful infatuation with Dylan and how her professional love for him blurred into something like romantic affection. The song is funny, endearing, and even revealing.”

…and another fine version

Cat Power – Song to Bobby (KCRW, 29.02.2008):

– Hallgeir

2 thoughts on “Cat Power covers Bob Dylan and sings about him”

  1. I’ve seen Cat Power on every tour since The Covers Record. At that time she was pretty schizoid on stage, suddenly leaving the stage mid-song, etc. She did two Dylan songs on that tour, but has only done one since, on the Jukebox tour. She tends to only do songs from her latest album on tour, so expect a lot of Sun songs. The last time, after the lights went down and everybody was expecting her, one of Dylan’s songs from Blood On The Tracks was played, in it’s entirety, over the loudspeakers, I think “Shelter From The Storm.” She is a wonderful vocalist, and would be entertaining singing the phone book, so even if she doesn’t do any of your favorite songs you’ll probably still love it.

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