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!
“To anyone who thinks Bob Dylan can’t sing……………..listen to ‘Corrina Corrina’…….
………….and PS-you’re a dickhead.”
– Kasey Chambers
Kasey Chambers (born 4 June 1976) is an Australian country singer-songwriter. She is the daughter of singer and musician Bill Chambers, and the sister of musician and producer Nash Chambers.
Chambers was born in Mount Gambier, South Australia. She has an older brother, Nash Chambers. She grew up on the Nullarbor Plain and the tiny fishing village in Beachport, South Australia. Her family owned the local Fish and Chip shop for a time and were playing and touring with her family band, “The Dead Ringer Band” which included her father Billy Chambers a Golden Guitar Award songwriter and Nash Chambers, now a well known music producer and performer. “The Dead Ringer Band” continued to tour locally and interstate gaining support and popularity along the way. Continue reading June 4: Kasey Chambers sings Bob Dylan – Happy 40th Birthday Kasey!→
A new acquaintance in the night You mean no more to her than all the others she’s held tight But I know she’s convinced you it was love at first sight But she’s never met a man she didn’t like
Coat of Many Colors is the eighth solo studio album by Dolly Parton, released in 1971 by RCA Records. The title song, which Parton has described as her favourite of all the songs she’s ever written, deals with the poverty of her childhood. It reached #4 on the U.S. country singles charts.
Dolly Parton – Coat of Many Colors (acoustic):
Over the years, Parton would re-record a number of the songs from the album. She redid “Traveling Man” (not to be confused with the Ricky Nelson song of the same name), a song that involved an unusual love triangle between a travelling salesman, a woman, and her mother, for inclusion on her 1973 album Bubbling Over. She would also re-record her composition “My Blue Tears”, an “old-timey” folk-influenced song, with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt in the mid-1970s, for an ill-fated Trio album project. (The recording would eventually surface on Ronstadt’s 1982 album Get Closer). Parton cut the song for a third time in 2001, including it on her Little Sparrow album. “Early Morning Breeze” later appeared on her 1974 Jolene album.
September 10: Randy Newman released Good Old Boys in 1974
“To me, someone who writes really good songs is Randy Newman. There’s a lot of people who write good songs. As songs. Now Randy might not go out on stage and knock you out, or knock your socks off. And he’s not going to get people thrilled in the front row. He ain’t gonna do that. But he’s gonna write a better song than most people who can do it.
You know, he’s got that down to an art. Now Randy knows music. He knows music But it doesn’t get any better than “Louisiana” or “Cross Charleston Bay” [“Sail Away”]. It doesn’t get any better than that. It’s like a classically heroic anthem theme. He did it. There’s quite a few people who did it. Not that many people in Randy’s class.”
– Bob Dylan (1991)
Good Old Boys is the fifth album by Randy Newman, released 10 September 1974 on Reprise Records. It peaked at #36 on the Billboard 200, Newman’s first album to obtain major commercial success. The premiere live performance of the album took place on October 5, 1974, at the Symphony Hall in Atlanta, Georgia, with guest Ry Cooder and Newman conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
This is one of the best records about “The South” that has ever been made. Randy Newman is cruel but, oh, so witty.
Mark Demming (Allmusic.com): “ The album’s scabrous opening cut, “Rednecks,” is guaranteed to offend practically anyone with its tale of a slow-witted, willfully (and proudly) ignorant Southerner obsessed with “keeping the n—–s down.” “A Wedding in Cherokee County” is more polite but hardly less mean-spirited, in which an impotent hick marries a circus freak; if the song’s melody and arrangement weren’t so skillful, it would be hard to imagine anyone bothering with this musical geek show. … Good Old Boys is one of Newman’s finest albums; it’s also one of his most provocative and infuriating, and that’s probably just the way he wanted it. “