Monday, February 9, 2015

T Bone Burnett's Americana: Part II

Last Monday, I wrote about T Bone Burnett's influence on the music industry and his ability to bring together very talented and divergent musicians in various projects. Today, I would like to continue in that same vein as I've had the pleasure to experience two wonderful documentaries presented by Showtime in 2014. First, Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of 'Inside Llewyn Davis which I wrote about last week and featured Marcus Mumford and now, Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued (next airing, Feb. 14th, 2pm).

Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes (Deluxe Edition)
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This new project is Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes produced by T Bone Burnett. It uncovers new lyrics that were written in 1967 by Bob Dylan that were never released and not part of the original, The Basement Tapes (The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete). These sessions were home-recorded reel to reel tapes made with members of The Band at their "Big Pink" house basement in Woodstock, New York, 1967. 

Mr. Burnett's vision with The New Basement tapes was to capture the open spirit and collaboration of the original recordings with a new group of musicians including: Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James and Marcus Mumford. Watching the documentary of the creative process of Burnett with this group of people was very inspiring to me. I think this would be a great activity for any organization to view; how a group of people can come together and create something completely new from a set of existing materials, in this case, Bob Dylan's handwritten lyrics and drawings.

The song, Lost on the River was recorded in several different versions with different members of the band taking lead- adding new lyrics, orchestrating the arrangement and lead vocals. One arrangement, just blew me away as Rhiannon Giddens goes through her journey with her mates on this song. I hope you appreciate her work here, because if you have not heard of Rhiannon Giddens, you will after this, and know that a star is born in our Americana consciousness.

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