Monday, September 3, 2012

Dylan Cover #56 UTB "Union Sundown"

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 UTB -Under The Bridge Band playing "Union Sundown"

Thoughts on Original:
Wanted to pick this one for Labor Day as it is Dylan's take on the lack of US manufacturing jobs as well as the increasing flux of capitalism in society and the death of unions.  The idea of greed taking over is nothing new, but this song seems to come from an impulsive Dylan (a lot do) and shows up on Infidel's of which Dylan has commented something along the lines of "Those songs stuck around too long".  Ideas seem to be a bit jumbled on this disk, but not on this tune, his lament at no good paying job for American workers is clear, but he isn't passing the buck.  It is all of HIS products that are foreign made, this isn't a plea for change as a younger Dylan might have done; it is a simple statement of fact...and a sad one at that.  Having grown up in a extremely pro-Labor house hold I just wanted to point this tune out and the fact that Dylan wrote it almost 30 years ago, and things have only gotten worse... Happy Labor Day....    

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
I have never heard of UTB-Under The Bridge Band but according to the youtube channel this song is on it seems they are: a West Linn, Oregon, garage band (& living room band), that meets every Sunday in Ed & Debbie Lohman's living room. Band members include Chris Leebrick, vocals & harp, Ed Lohman, guitar & vocals, Jon Miller, bass, Mike Quisling, guitar & keyboards, & Peter Oberdorf, drums.  There are a few videos on this channel here so you can check out their covers of "Sunday Morning Coming Down", "Ain't That I Don't Love You" and a few others.  
Thoughts on Cover:
Not everyone's first choice when it comes to covering Dylan, so the UTB get bonus points for even trying.  The rollicking guitar tone motors things along with the bass and drums and really is the backbone.  Well that and the lyrical content which is the focus, all verses are sung another plus and the laid back vocals are reminiscent of the original.  A solid cover, if not particularly adventurous.      
Grade: C+

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