So as gleeful and grateful as I am about the release of The Basement Tapes Complete, there’s been even more fabulous music from this time released.
Someone (I don’t remember the story exactly, but I think it gets recounted in the documentary) discovered a box of incomplete songs Bob Dylan wrote during the 1967-68 period when the Basement Tapes were being recorded. Dylan granted permission for them to be completed and recorded by other artists, and the great T-Bone Burnett got an eclectic group of musicians together to do just that.
I watched the documentary about the making of Lost on the River by The New Basement Tapes on Showtime a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been enchanted ever since. Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), and Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops) plowed through these lyrics and fragments to create something truly special. The big discovery for me was the supernatural voice of Giddens. That woman blew my mind.
The whole album is great. I think there’s one or two tracks that probably could’ve been left off, but most of the songs knock it out of the park. I spent money I knew I didn’t have on this CD (hard copy, not just a download) because it’s that freakin’ awesome. Stream it, buy it, download it, whatever–just get your hands on a copy of it as soon as you can.