Category Archives: Cover versions

Video: The South covers Grateful Dead – Scarlet Begonias

The South (Tou Scene, Stavanger 2013)

She had rings on her fingers and bells on her shoes.
And I knew without askin’ she was into the blues.
She wore scarlet begonias tucked into her curls,
I knew right away she was not like other girls, other girls.

This is a very fine interpretation of The Dead’s Scarlet Begonias. We’ve seen them do it live (they work it into Allman Brothers’ Jessica, it works!) and it is a fitting honor to The Grateful Dead. They have made it a bit more “swampy”, they have made their own original take on it. Here it is live in studio.

The South – Scarlet Begonias:

Let us include the original as a bonus.

The Grateful Dead – Scarlet Begonias (New Years eve, 1978):

– Hallgeir

Bob Dylan sings two great versions of Old Man by Neil Young


Bob Dylan has written many songs that are done by a lot of artists. One of the best Dylan interpreters is Neil Young, he has done wonderful versions of Bob Dylan songs.

Today we will post two great Bob Dylan takes on Mr. Young’s classic, Old Man.

Young was probably 24 years old when he wrote the song!



About 40 years later, Bob Dylan sings the song in a rough and very fitting way, he has become an old man after all.

Bob and Neil

He makes the song “his own” as one should do when doing good cover versions.

Old Man (live, Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania 21st Nov 2002):

Old Man (live, Madison Sq. Garden, 11 Nov, 2002):

Continue reading Bob Dylan sings two great versions of Old Man by Neil Young

5 great cover versions of Blind Willie McTell by Bob Dylan

Blind-Willie-McTell cover versions

Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
To Jerusalem”
I traveled through East Texas
Where many martyrs fell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Let’s start this party by reminding ourselves what a fantastic song this is. Here are the official released Bob Dylan version from The Bootleg Series Volume 1-3:

“One of Bob Dylan’s absolute masterpieces, “Blind Willie McTell” is the jewel of The Bootleg Series and arguably one of the finest songs ever written. Recorded in 1983 for the album Infidels, it was deemed superfluous to requirements, and all that remains is one take of the song with a full band (yet to be officially released) and this haunting demo, with Dylan playing piano with accompaniment from Mark Knopfler.”
– Thomas Ward (allmusic)

And the outtake, the electric version from the Infidels sessions (audio), my favorite:

Ok, so here are those wonderful cover versions.

The magnificent Mick Taylor did this great version in Germany in 2009 (Rockpalast):

This cover version by Dream Syndicate from a free single given away with Bucketfull of Brains. No dates of the recording are listed. Apologies as it cuts just before the end of the song (audio):

“I started playing it live because I heard the Band doing it. Most likely it was a demo, probably showing the musicians how it should go. It was never developed fully, I never got around to completing it. There wouldn’t have been any other reason for leaving it off the record. It’s like taking a painting by Monet or Picasso – goin’ to his house and lookin’ at a half-finished painting and grabbing it and selling it to people who are ‘Picasso fans.'”
– Bob Dylan

Levon Helm Band “Blind Willie” Live at Pompano Beach Amphitheater, Pompano Beach, FL 11-4-2010:

I want to include a very fine interpretation in Swedish by Mikael Wiehe (Spotify):

Finally a jazz/blues instrumental, wonderfully done by Jef Lee Johnson (Audio):

– Hallgeir

Other cover versions of Bob Dylan’s songs

8 fine cover versions of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”

bob dylan, neil young and eric clapton

Neil Young with Booker T and The M.G.’s – October 16, 1992

phil lesh - grateful dead

The Grateful Dead at the Capital Centre, Landover, MD 3/15/1990

Continue reading 8 fine cover versions of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”

Today: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds released Kicking Against The Pricks in 1986


“And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks” 

– Acts 9:5

Kicking Against the Pricks is the third album released by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. First released in 1986, the album is a collection of cover versions. Like many of our favorite artists (Dylan, Springsteen), Nick Cave dove into “the great songbook from the past” and gave us an album that really stood out in 1986. It wasn’t country, and it most certainly did not fit that new-wave look of Nick Cave and The Bad Seed. They play the songs in a straightforward way, not trying to modernize or make them more rock’n roll. This album was very important in my journey back to traditional folk music and blues standards.

It still stands up very well, and is one of my favorite Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds albums.

The Singer (made famous by Johnny Cash):

My favorite song on the album is Hey Joe (together with The Singer), it is right up there with Jimi Hendrix and Willy DeVilles’ interpretations.

Hey Joe (Mick Harvey,David Sanborn,Toots Thielemans,Charlie Haden and the NIghtmusic Band):

“…often holding everything back is the key, as the creepout build of “Hey Joe” demonstrates. Even more striking is how Cave’s own vocals rebut the charges that all he ever does is overdramatize everything he sings — consider the husky, purring delivery on Johnny Cash’s “The Singer.”
Ned Ragget (allmusic)


Kicking Against The Pricks on Spotify (missing Black Betty and Running Scared):

– Hallgeir

Sources: Allmusic, Wikipedia