Monday, May 23, 2011

Dylan Cover # 15 Porter Ridge Bluegrass Band "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune comes from the Porter Ridge Bluegrass Band and is a live cover of "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"

Thoughts on Dylan Original:
A great song, and one that sounds so simple.  It always felt to me that these are the kind of songs Dylan has seeping out of his pores, with lines like "Tailgates and Substitutes" that anywhere else would sound foolish yet here works wonders.  The musical backing from the original Band version is loose and matched fantastically with the lyrics.  I am sure it wasn't as easy going as it sounds on the final version, but what a gem of a track.  

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Haven't had the pleasure of listening to the Porter Ridge Bluegrass Band before, and this is the first time I am hearing of them, but they seem like a fun little outfit. Can't find too much about them online either, but their other videos are good listens.  Like some other times in this series it is fun to explore new artists...thank you youtube.
Thoughts on Cover:
The band probably owes more to The Byrds and their country flavored cover of this tune then they do to Bob Dylan, but since The Byrds released this song first it isn't that surprising.  The group speeds things up and motors through the tune taking some breaks to play some tasty mandolin in the process.  A quick lyrical take but nailing all the lines with some twang, and like most covers in this series shows off the versatility of the bards tunes.  All in all an average admirable bluegrass cover.

Grade: C+

Wilson's Take:

With pop-culture swirling around the brain like electronic stew, ceaselessly, it's nearly impossible to hear bluegrass without thinking of Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? - the Coen Brothers' homage to the Greek poet Homer and Deep Fried Southern Culture. 

I've never crossed paths with The Porter Ridge Bluegrass Band and yet there's no call to put stock in that. We've all had run-ins with their musical kin at late-summer county fairs and Colorado rodeos. Bluegrass, like Ragtime, is an American genre that ain't goin''s fixed, unchanged, and sounds the same today as when Jefferson Davis was still representing Mississippi as a respected senator in Washington. Unto itself, this rendition of "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" doesn't translate well on video. That's not entirely the band's fault. Bluegrass - dominated by the banjo - is one genre in which I firmly believe that to enjoy it, you have to be present and loaded. That combination is the elixer of some of life's finer moments, but for bluegrass it's essential. Yet bluegrass may just be the perfect home for a song with lyrics ranging from "Ghengis Khan could not keep, all his kings supplied with sleep" and "Tie yourself to a tree with roots, you ain't goin' nowhere" given the fact that while you have no idea what Dylan is talking about, you know exactly what he means. And that takes a very specific kind of genius...things have to get weird and punchy before they make sense, just like bluegrass.

1 comment:

  1. I thank you for your comments, and notes of constructive criticism. We are always willing (and eager) to get feedback from our listeners, in the hopes of improving our performances, and we are always striving to give the people what they want.

    First of all, let me say, we just formed earlier this year, and here is our Facebook fanpage:

    Also, before we proceed, here is another version of us performing this song. I'm not sure we did any better, , but maybe the sound quality is a tad better.

    Not sure if that link will work, but if you like, just look us up on Facebook.

    Anyway, we appreciate you recognizing us. And we appreciate the feedback. Hopefully you'll like some of the other songs we post in the future.

    Porter Ridge