Monday, November 7, 2011

Dylan Cover #30 James Raymond Smith "To Be Alone With You"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a live cover by James Raymond Smith of "To Be Alone With You"

Thoughts on Dylan Original:
One of the standout tracks, and the first one he recorded for the crooning Nashville Skyline, "To Be Alone With You" is a simple tune but one that can constantly sound fresh.  Dylan waited until 1989 to play this live, the first time was in Upper Darby, PA and I wonder if it was because of the voice he used on the original recording worked so well and he wasn't repeating that one.  Or maybe he just forgot about it...either way it is a winner and one that fits easily into his current 12 bar blues shuffle sound.    


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
I have no real thoughts on James Raymond Smith, having not heard of him until I checked out this cover.  Some minimal online research doesn't reveal much as his bio on youtube lets me know that he loops his own bass lines then does a raw live cut of the track he is playing on guitar and vocals.  His songs seem to have a blues bent and his gear/setup is very sweet.  I checked out a few of his other covers, like his JJ Cale and you should probably too...

Thoughts on Cover:
I like these kind of covers that twist up the genre or style of the original into something fresh and new.  James Raymond Smith, puts a flourish of jukejoint blues into Dylan's original sweet tale and adds a spice that accentuates the original in a tasty new way.  Like a few others in this series it is fun and surprising to find unknown of (to RtBE at least) and give them a spin.  When he gets to his outro guitar solo your head will probably be bopping along like mine was; a great cover.

Grade: A-

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