Monday, May 23, 2016

Dylan Cover #235 Patti Smith "Wicked Messenger"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Patti Smith of "The Wicked Messenger"

Thoughts on Dylan Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this song:
A breezy musical number (only 2 minutes long) with some biblical lyrics that actually would foreshadow Dylan's religious musical phase that would arrive in the late 70's/early 80's "The Wicked Messenger" has a cool bass line to match the acoustic guitar. Like most of John Wesley Harding there is a mellow mood that tends to play down the lyrics and even masks the fire and brimstone a bit. The song has seemed to pop up every few tours and can usually be found towards the ends of sets, playing the roll of up-tempo-get-down track. Live versions certainly have improved the tracks standing in my mind from the original.
Cover Tune:

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
A few years ago, if I picked this cover, I would say right here that Patti Smith does nothing for me. After seeing her a few times live over the last couple of years though I realized how mistaken I was. Totally blown away, she, Lenny Kaye and the whole band are fantastic. Most importantly she is a real artist, rock star and a poet one of the best out there still.
Thoughts on Cover:
The off kilter rocking and vocals ramble around and being amplified helps immensely. This isn't my favorite cover in the series but it isn't horrible, an aggressive way to start this spring week.  

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