Monday, September 2, 2013

Dylan Cover #102 Patti Rain and Friends "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 Patti Rain and Friends playing "Union Sundown"

Thoughts on Original:
From what has become an annual tradition here:
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 will confess to have never hearing of Patti Rain before this but with a little research she seems to be a folk singer from Chicago who has been well received, winning a few awards in her time. From the info on the comments "The Friends" are: Frank Raven-Harmonica; Fran Kondorf-Bass; Jimmy Tomasello-Acoustic Guitar, Vox; David Sims-Drums; John Mead-Lead Guitar, Vox; Joe Labozetta-Keyboards. 
Thoughts on Cover:
This is a really good, loose live cover from Patti Rain and Friends from the Elbo Room in Chicago. The recording isn't perfect but it doesn't have to be, Patti nails all the vocals while the band has a talent to run around the phrases. The Harp on this version stands out as a high point as does the second acoustic guitar. A fairly straight ahead cover, but a good one. Wish more people covered this one.
Grade: B

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