Videos of 10 Great John Prine Cover Songs – Happy 73rd Birthday John Prine

Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mindtrips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs. I remember when Kris Kristofferson first brought him on the scene. All that stuff about Sam Stone the soldier junky daddy and Donald and Lydia, where people make love from ten miles away. Nobody but Prine could write like that. If I had to pick one song of his, it might be Lake Marie. I don’t remember what album that’s on.
-Bob Dylan (to Bill Flanagan in 2009)

John Prine (born October 10, 1946) is an American country folk singer-songwriter. He has been active as a composer, recording artist, and live performer since the early 1970s, and is known for an often humorous style of country music that has elements of protest and social commentary.

Bonnie Raitt – Angel from Montgomery

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Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and more cover Leonard Cohen (born September 21, 1934)

When things get really bad, you just raise your glass and stamp your feet and do a little jig, and that’s all you can do
– Leonard Cohen

“He (Bob Dylan) said, ‘I like this song you wrote called Hallelujah.’ In fact, he started doing it in concert. He said, ‘How long did that take you to write?’ And I said, ‘Oh, the best part of two years.’ He said, ‘Two years?’ Kinda shocked. And then we started talking about a song of his called I And I from Infidels. I said, ‘How long did you take to write that.’ He said, ‘Ohh, 15 minutes.’ I almost fell off my chair. Bob just laughed.”
~Leonard Cohen (quoted in Telegraph 41, p. 30)

Leonard Norman Cohen (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016) was a Canadian singer, songwriter, poet, and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and romantic relationships. Cohen was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was invested as a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honour.

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Our favourite bootleg 1969: The Dylan / Cash sessions

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Our favourite bootleg from 1969:  The Dylan / Cash sessions

 

And now it will be officially released with a lot of extra tracks!

The latest chapter in the highly acclaimed Bob Dylan Bootleg Series revisits Dylan’s pivotal musical journeys to Nashville, from 1967 to 1969, focusing on previously unavailable recordings made with Johnny Cash and unreleased tracks from the John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, and Self Portrait sessions.

Disc 1 finds Dylan in Columbia’s Studio A in Nashville recording alternate versions of compositions written for John Wesley Harding (October 17 and November 6, 1967) and Nashville Skyline (February 13-14, 1969) while introducing a new song “Western Road” (a Nashville Skyline outtake).

Discs 2 and 3 are centered around Dylan’s collaborations with American music icon Johnny Cash including the much sought-after Columbia Studio A sessions and on-stage performances at the Ryman Auditorium (May 1, 1969) for the recording of the premiere episode of The Johnny Cash Show (originally broadcast on ABC-TV on June 7, 1969).

Disc 3 closes with tracks recorded on May 17, 1970 with Grammy Award-winning bluegrass banjo legend Earl Scruggs for the PBS television special, “Earl Scruggs: His Family and Friends” (originally aired January 1971).

Wow!

[Bob Dylan]…the greatest writer of our times
– Johnny Cash (introducing “Wanted Man” on the album “At San Quentin”)

“I was deeply into folk music in the early 1960s, both the authentic songs from various periods and areas of American life and the new ‘folk revival’ songs of the time, so I took note of Bob Dylan as soon as the Bob Dylan album came out in early ’62 and listened almost constantly to The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan in ’63. I had a portable record player I’d take along on the road, and I’d put on Freewheelin’ backstage, then go out and do my show, then listen again as soon as I came off.”
– Johnny Cash (Cash, autobiography)

..Johnny was and is the North Star; you could guide your ship by him – the greatest of the greats then and now. I first met him in ‘62 or ‘63 and saw him a lot in those years. Not so much recently, but in some kind of way he was with me more than people I see every day.
– Bob Dylan (Statement on Johnny Cash – Sept 2003)

“Of course, I knew of him before he ever heard of me, In ’55 or ’56. ‘I Walk the Line’ played all summer on the radio, and it was different than anything else you had ever heard. The record sounded like a voice from the middle of the Earth. It was so powerful and moving.”
– Bob Dylan

They recorded together at the CBS studios, Nashville, TN   February 17-18, 1969, and it resulted in our favourite Bob Dylan (and Johnny Cash bootleg from 1969), The Dylan / Cash Sessions. It was released in 1994 and re-released in 2004.

dylan cash versjon 2
2004 re-release

 

The background story goes something like this:

Johnny Cash wrote the young Bob Dylan a letter, and they began writing back and forth. They met at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival and Cash gave Bob Dylan his guitar (This is a Country Music Tradition and is seen as a gesture of great respect and admiration).

When Bob Dylan was in Nashville recording his ninth studio album, Nashville Skyline, Johnny Cash was recording in the next door studio. Cash joined Dylan at the end of the sessions. On February 17 and 18, 1969, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan laid down 15 tracks (that we know of). Only one, Girl From the North Country, was included on Nashville Skyline.

This is a bootleg of historic significance and a great recording. It is a document of two giants recording together, and even if it’s a bit loose and “hit and miss”, it is a joy to listen to. It’s a must have.

 

Other entries in this series:
My Favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 1962: The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Outtakes
My Favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 2011: Funen Village, Odense, Denmark June 27
My Favourite Bob Dylan bootleg from 2012: The Day of Wine and Roses, Barolo, Italy July 16

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October 17: Johnny Cash – American III: Solitary Man was released in 2000

In the liner notes, Johnny Cash writes:

“The song is the thing that matters. Before I can record, I have to hear it, sing it, and know that I can make it feel like my own, or it won’t work. I worked on these songs until I felt like they were my own.”

Released October 17, 2000
Genre Country, americana
Length 42:15
Label American Recordings
Producer John Carter Cash, Rick Rubin

American III: Solitary Man is the third album in the American series by Johnny Cash released in 2000 (and his 85th overall album). The album was notable for being Cash’s highest charting (#11 Country) solo studio LP since his 1976 One Piece at a Time, an album that reached No. 2 Country based on the title cut. To the present day, Cash’s studio albums for American have continued to sell & chart extremely well, as evidenced by the platinum #22 POP, #2 C&W American IV: The Man Comes Around (released one year before his death) and the gold, #1 on both charts, American V: A Hundred Highways.

I see a darkness (with guest Will Oldham, the composer of the song):

Between Unchained and Solitary Man, Cash’s health declined due to various ailments, and he was even hospitalized for pneumonia. His illness forced Cash to curtail his touring. The album American III: Solitary Man contained Cash’s response to his illness, typified by a version of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”, as well as a version of U2’s “One”.

One (so much better than any other versions!):

American III: Solitary Man, just like Cash’s two previous albums produced by Rick Rubin, was a Grammy winner, taking home the award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for Cash’s version of the Neil Diamond classic “Solitary Man”. Cash continued to receive critical appreciation for his American series of albums—on aggregate review site Metacritic.com the third album in Cash’s American series received a score of 80 (despite middling reviews from publications such as L.A. Weekly and Rolling Stone magazine) (from Wikipedia)

Track listing:

  1. I Wont Back Down
  2. Solitary Man
  3. That Lucky Old Sun
  4. One
  5. Nobody
  6. I See A Darkness
  7. The Mercy Seat
  8. Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone)
  9. Field Of Diamonds
  10. Before My Time
  11. Country Trash
  12. Mary Of The Wild Moor
  13. I’m Leavin’ Now
  14. Wayfaring Stranger

“You can stand me up at the gates of hell/ But I won’t back down”

Pitchfork:

Ryan Kearney

But American III‘s high point is its two-song centerpiece. The first is Will Oldham’s “I See a Darkness”, on which it becomes clear that, perhaps because of his neurological disorder, Cash’s voice isn’t as sure and strong as it once was. When he quavers, with Oldham singing backup, “Is there hope that somehow you can save me from this darkness?” the effect is absolutely devastating. You won’t listen to the song the same after this. The shivers will eventually leave your spine, but the residue remains.

The Mercy Seat:

That song’s transcendent power also stems from its production, which, although still sparse, is relatively lush. The organ and piano that rise to match the guitar remain in use for Nick Cave’s “The Mercy Seat”. Chronicling the first-person thoughts of a man being executed, this song, more than any other on the album, was written for Cash. Building to a rumbling crescendo, he belts out, “And the mercy seat is smokin’/ And I think my head is meltin’.” This would’ve brought even Gary Gilmore to tears.

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July 30: Johnny Cash recorded “Folsom Prison Blues” in 1955

Folsom Prison looms large in Johnny Cash’s legacy, providing the setting for perhaps his definitive song and the location for his definitive album, At Folsom Prison. The ideal blend of mythmaking and gritty reality, At Folsom Prison is the moment when Cash turned into the towering Man in Black, a haunted troubadour singing songs of crime, conflicted conscience, and jail.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

Wikipedia:

Single by Johnny Cash
B-side So Doggone Lonesome
Released December 15, 1955
April 1968 (re-recording)
Format 7″ single
Recorded July 30, 1955Sun StudioMemphis, Tennessee
Genre Rockabilly, country blues, rock and roll
Length 2:50
Label Sun
Songwriter Johnny Cash
Producer Sam Phillips

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1964: 20 Songs Released in 1964 You Must Hear





The Year 1964 world events

  • Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa (June 11).
  • Congress approves Gulf of Tonkin Resolution after North Vietnamese torpedo boats allegedly attack US destroyers (Aug. 7).
  • Khrushchev is deposed; Kosygin becomes premier and Brezhnev becomes first secretary of the Communist Party (October).
  • China detonates its first atomic bomb.
  • Three civil rights workers—Schwerner, Goodman, and Cheney—murdered in Mississippi (June).
  • President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy issues Warren Report concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed
  • Restricted to only 20 songs

  • The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll – Bob Dylan

    Bob Dylan_The times they are a changin
    A topical song written by the American musician Bob Dylan. Recorded on October 23, 1963, the song was released on Dylan’s 1964 album, The Times They Are a-Changin’ and gives a generally factual account of the killing of a 51-year-old barmaid, Hattie Carroll, by William Devereux “Billy” Zantzinger.

    William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll
    With a cane that he twirled around his diamond ring finger
    At a Baltimore hotel society gath’rin’
    And the cops were called in and his weapon took from him
    As they rode him in custody down to the station
    And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree murder
    But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
    Take the rag away from your face
    Now ain’t the time for your tears


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