Monday, April 1, 2013

Dylan Cover #81 Aaron Neville "I Shall Be Released"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. This month we have a special focus on Artists who will be playing this years Jazzfest in New Orleans.  Today's artist: Aaron Neville covering "I Shall Be Released"  
(Neville plays on 5/5 closing out the festival on the Gentilly Stage)

Thoughts on Original:
Another one of the classic Dylan songs we surprisingly have missed (or our search feature is busted) "I Shall Be Released" has been covered by too many artists to count and with reason; it is a masterpiece.  A simple song that will forever be etched in Rock Legend as it ended perhaps the best concert in recent pop music The Last Waltz. The Band are always connected to the tune as Dylan wrote it during those amazing days playing with the group up at Big Pink in the Catskills and the group released it on their first album. Gospel in nature the song is about salvation that can be certain, and each listener (and performer) can add their own personal feelings into the sketch, perfect for covering, especially live.    

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Aaron Neville is royalty in New Orleans and the last few years The Neville Brothers have closed the festival on a positive, spiritual note. This year he is going it solo (well with backing musicians) as he focuses on his newest Doo-Wop release, My True Story. If we are being truthful I have never really loved his falsetto voice on things.  Sure it is pretty but those high tones don't always do it for me. It's gotta be also stated he is a weird looking bird...with that face tattoo, mole and jerri curl, he has always uhhh...stood out.  
Thoughts on Cover:
Appearance issues aside, the man nails this cover. The gospel tones play right into Arron's wheelhouse and he knocks it out of the park. The relaxed tone and combo of piano and organ adds a simple, understated backing. this one could easily be an A+ but that falsetto free form in the middle just gets me riled up, I don't know why, this one is just personal, still a great cover though.
Grade: A

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