Monday, April 6, 2020

Dylan Cover #422 Honey Island Swamp Band "Gotta Serve Somebody" Live

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 Honey Island Swamp Band with Alvin Youngblood Hart playing "Gotta Serve Somebody":
This month we have a special focus on artists who will be playing the 2020 Jazzfest in New Orleans. Today we highlight The Honey Island Swamp Band who play, Thursday April 23rd.

Unfortunately due to the outbreak of Covid19, Jazzfest has been rescheduled for October (no official date as of yet). Hopefully all of the scheduled acts are healthy and will be performing then, but since we crafted these posts before the outbreak, RtBE will still post them this month and will regroup/revisit things in the fall when (hopefully) things return to semi-normal.

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
This powerful call of hell-fire and brimstone rained down from the mountaintop as Dylan proclaimed his faith proudly, and this was the first song that most of the public heard confirming the fact that Bob did indeed "Go Jesus". It is point and fact with its belief and message. You gotta serve somebody... can't be simpler then that when it comes to faith can it? The original has a driving beat and a propulsion to it that sounds urgent, but not as urgent as Bob sings, reinforcing the proclamation through his powerful lyrics and leaving no man or woman on the sidelines...he brings everyone into this spiritual battle, and whatever your beliefs it is impossible not to feel Bob is committed as he runs through the verses and chorus.


Thoughts on Cover Artist:
We've been doing Jazzfest for 11 years straight now and been going to New Orleans longer than that, but have yet to catch Honey Island Swamp Band.  Hopefully that changes this year as they are a solid band right in RtBE's wheelhouse.

Thoughts on Cover:
A funky, bluesy take on the classic/best tune from Dylan's "Gospel" era. The extra vamping while Hart gets his guitar ready adds to the hypnotic groove and then the players really dig into it. A great way to kick off the month of Dylan covers heading into Jazzfest as this one typifies the jamming spirit of New Orleans, the musicianship, the great sit-ins and the soul...all taking place on Tipitina's stage. Here's hoping we catch a few tunes just as good in just under a month in October.   

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