Old Crow Medicine Show: 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde

review old crow x1 cong

For fans of Bob Dylan, folk, bluegrass or country, this is going to be pretty close to a perfect record.

In the sleeve notes, Old Crow’s Ketch Secor says Bob Dylan inspired him to go into music and that Dylan is “the greatest spinner of rhyme and couplet since Shakespeare”. You can take it that he’s a fan.

When the chance came to record Blonde on Blonde as a celebration of the album’s 50th birthday, Old Crow weren’t going to say no.

This was recorded live at the CMA Theater, inside the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, in Nashville, last May (2016).

Old Crow have not just taken the Blonde on Blonde songs and recreated them. They’ve arranged them to reflect Dylan’s shifts and tricks over the five decades, too: “country, folk and rock n roll, acoustic and electric, hillbilly and hokum; Gospel-fired and Hava Nagila blues” as Secor puts it.

It’s sometimes said (by us, anyway) that the best versions of Dylan songs are the covers (Jimi Hendrix and All Along The Watchtower; The Byrds and Mr Tambourine Man, even Guns ‘n’ Roses and Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door) and Old Crow prove this, playing covers to please both Dylan fans — they keep the spirit of Dylan — and those who are less keen on Dylan but like his songs: “We had nothing but top-shelf material. This is the ripest fruit,” as Secor told an interviewer.

 

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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