Nashville Band Covers Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde In Complete Order



Any list of best Bob Dylan albums ought to have Blonde On Blonde near the top if not at the very top. Most Bob Dylan fans have it 1-2 in either order with Blood On The Tracks, but I think Blonde On Blonde gets the nod as the more important record. By the time it came out in 1966, Dylan had already established his chops playing ballads, rock & roll and the blues, but Blonde On Blonde swung the gates wide open.

Not only did Dylan bring psychedelic and country flavors into the mix, but he also reimagined the Pop/Rock song, adapting pop constructions and melodies very successfully in songs like “I Want You” and “Just Like A Woman”. He taught the world that you could be deep and profound in a pop song, but as so many have discovered ever since, it ain’t easy.

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One way or another Blonde On Blonde is deeply embedded in many strains of contemporary music. At this point it almost seems like public domain, like “Happy Birthday” or “Auld Lang Syne”. That’s why the Nashville band Old Crow Medicine Show felt comfortable with their latest project: a live performance of Blonde On Blonde, in its complete track order, that was recorded and will be released as 50 Years Of Blonde On Blonde on April 28.

Old Crow has been covering old-time blues, folk and bluegrass for over 20 years, but you don’t need to be a bluegrass fan to appreciate this album because it is all about the brilliant songs. As Old Crow singer Ketch Secor told Rolling Stone recently, “they’re all fucking masterpieces. We had nothing but top-shelf material here. This is the ripest fruit. It’s so sweet.”

To keep the concert momentum going, the band had to change the tempo and the feel of a few of the numbers, which is a good thing. God knows Dylan himself completely changed so many songs in concert. Old Crow guitarist Chris Fuqua said “I think we found out pretty quick that only Bob can do it the way he recorded it. If we did it like Bob, it would be boring.”

You can hear the band attack the Dylan songs with energy and love, and thankfully not the kind of stilted reverence these kinds of things sometimes produce. It’s a fun and fitting tribute to one of the most important albums ever made.

 

 

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