Monday, July 23, 2018

Dylan Cover #334 Old Crow Medicine Show "Absolutely Sweet Marie" Live

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's artists, Old Crow Medicine Show doing a live cover of "Absolutely Sweet Marie" 
Certain months RtBE has a special focus during our Dylan Covers series. Sometimes it is harder, sometimes it is softer. Sometimes it is jazzy and then each April we get ready for the upcoming Jazzfest, which isn't always jazzy
This month it's the Old Crow Medicine Show's live celebration, 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde.

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune (it is one of the most popular in this whole series):
Color me shocked that we are 36 covers into this series and just now we are getting to someone covering "Absolutely Sweet Marie". The original was one of the most complete songs Dylan has written even if you are never quite sure what he is addressing.  He likes the song but surprisingly never played it live until 1988, I find that kinda odd. Tight taught and still somehow allusive, pretty cool and totally Dylan at his finest and a real Blonde on Blonde jam.
The closest I ever got to the sound I hear in my mind was on individual bands in the Blonde on Blonde album. It's that thin, that wild mercury sound. It's metallic and bright gold, with whatever that conjures up.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
We have actually tackled Old Crow Medicine Show before in this Monday Dylan Cover series. Here is what we had to say about them then and it still stands:
Old Crow Medicine Show have always been a fun folkise root rock ride when we have heard them, but also that hasn't been too often.

Regarding this album:
50 Years of Blonde on Blonde was recorded live at the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame, in Nashville, Tennessee, in May 2016. The concert coincided with a Hall of Fame exhibit exploring Dylan's time in Nashville.In an interview, band members Ketch Secor and Critter Fuqua described how they had bonded over Dylan's songs as teenagers, and that the 50 Years... project was a natural extension of that collaboration. While the new recording follows the sequence of Dylan's original track-for-track, Old Crow took considerable liberties with the arrangement of individual tracks. The recording was released as an album on April 28, 2017. It was the band's first release on their new label, Columbia Records, which had released Dylan's original album in 1966.

Thoughts on Cover:
Last week we could not get into the groups take on "Visions of Johanna". This week however the stars align and it makes sense as the upbeat exuberant number is much more in the bands wheelhouse. The real great steel guitar runs, the constant drumming, the party time vocals all work and even withe the sometimes odd lyrics the band hits the mark here.

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