by Tony Attwood
There is a list of previous covers in this series at the very foot of the page.
OK, it is getting more like being a Dylan Cover a Week, or maybe a Dylan Cover a Fortnight, but here’s another one… And in writing this little series what I have discovered is that I particularly like exploring Dylan songs that I’m not especially fond of. Not that I mean I don’t like the songs but rather that I don’t particularly choose to play them; they are not among my favourites.
“I shall be released” is one of those songs – it just doesn’t do anything much for me. Of course, that is my failing, no one else’s, but that’s just how it is.
So I was keen to find someone who could give me a new insight into the song, but really it was hard going.
One technique often used is by having an unexpected opening, but then in comes that melody and chord sequence and we are totally within the song. With an album cover like that above I had hoped for more inventiveness.
Bob Margolin certainly does have a go at changing the instrumentation, and his voice is very unusual (at least it seems so for me) so it does have me listening. Love the howling wolves on the cover.
But Bert Dockx really does deserve a mention from the off, not least for that totally unexpected note in the opening bars which if I heard it in rehearsal I’d say the guitarist had slipped, but clearly he hadn’t.
So is this “I shall be released”? Well yes it is as we find when he starts singing, and I’m giving this performance 10 out of 10, because he has done what no one else seems capable of doing – finding other heights and depths within the song which Dylan didn’t really expect when he wrote it. (Of course I don’t know that, but it’s just the feeling I get, and I am feeling quite positive this morning as finally it has stopped raining and we have blue skies in the English Midlands.)
A beautiful beautiful voice as well as a remarkable and original way of playing the accompaniment. This, for me is what it is all about – finding that person out there who has an exquisite talent, and who can take a song and transform it. Keeping some elements of the original he goes in a completely different direction and delivers a different feel.
And as for the instrumental break after 4 minutes 30 seconds… oh that had me rushing back to the computer to take the recording back and play it again. Truly remarkable. I learn more about his song through this one performance than I have ever learned about it over the years.
Bert Dockx is not a performer I’ve come across before (my failing I’m sure) but it appears he is a Belgian composer, singer and jazz guitarist who attended the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.
Wiki tells me that in 2008 he founded Flying Horseman, a band that was nominated for two Music Industry Awards (“album of the year” and “alternative”) in 2013. Dockx himself was nominated in the ‘best musician’ category in 2013 and 2014. He also won the biennial KU Leuven Culture Prize 2015-2016.
Elsewhere, very very few people have played with the chord sequence or tried to speed up the song, but here is a version that does both… I really quite like this, although that may be because I have just listened to so many people faithfully sticking to the lyrics, chords and timing. And yes I know that is the point – but only up to a point. It is not vital.
Untold Dylan was created in 2008 and is currently published twice a day – sometimes more, sometimes less. Details of some of our series are given at the top of the page and in the Recent Posts list, which appears both on the right side of the page and at the very foot of the page (helpful if you are reading on a phone). Some of our past articles which form part of a series are also included on the home page.
Articles are written by a variety of volunteers and you can read more about them here If you would like to write for Untold Dylan, do email with your idea or article to Tony@schools.co.uk. Our readership is rather large (many thanks to Rolling Stone for help in that regard). Details of some of our past articles are also included on the home page.
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- Dylan cover of the day: Number 1. The song with numbers in the title.
- Dylan cover of the day. No 2: Ain’t Talkin
- Bob Dylan cover of the day No3: All I really want to do
- Dylan cover of the day No4: Angelina
- Dylan covers of the day No 5. Apple Suckling and Are you Ready.
- Cover version of the day No 6: As I went out one morning
- Dylan cover of the day No 7: Ballad for a Friend
- Dylan Cover of the Day No 8: Ballad in Plain D
- Dylan Cover of the Day No 9: Ballad of a thin man
- Dylan cover No. 10: The stunning reworking of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
- Dylan cover of the day No 11: The ballad of Hollis Brown
- A Dylan cover a day No 12: Beyond here lies nothing
- Dylan cover of the day No 13: Blind Willie McTell
- Dylan Cover of the Day 14: Black Crow Blues (more fun than you might recall)
- Dylan Cover of the Day 15: An unexpected cover of “Black Diamond Bay”
- Dylan Cover of the Day 16: Blowin in the wind as never before
- Dylan Cover of the Day 17: Bob Dylan’s Dream
- Dylan Cover of the Day 18: You will not believe this… 115th Dream revisited
- Dylan cover of the day 19: Boots of Spanish leather
- Dylan cover of the day 20: Born in Time
- Dylan cover of the day 21: Buckets of Rain
- Dylan cover of the day: 22 Can you please crawl out your window
- Dylan cover of the day 23: Can’t wait
- Dylan Cover of the Day 24: Changing of the Guard
- Dylan Cover of the Day 25: Chimes of Freedom
- Dylan cover a day 34: Country Pie
- Dylan Cover of the Day 33: Crash on the Levee
- Dylan cover a day 35: Dark Eyes
- Dylan Cover of the Day 26: Dear Landlord
- Dylan cover of the Day 27: Desolation Row as never ever before (twice)
- Dylan cover of the Day 28: Dignity.
- Dylan Cover of the Day 29: Dirge
- Dylan Cover of the Day 30: Don’t fall apart on me tonight.
- Dylan cover a Day 31: Don’t think twice
- Dylan cover a day 32: Down along the cove
- Dylan cover – recovered 33: Drifter’s Escape
- Dylan cover a day 34: Duquesne Whistle
- Dylan cover a day 35: Farewell Angelina
- Dylan cover a day 36: Foot of Pride and Forever Young
- Dylan cover a day 37: Fourth Time Around
- Dylan cover a Day 38: From a Buick 6
- Dylan cover a Day: 39 “Gates of Eden” as never before
- Dylan cover a Day: 40 “Gotta Serve Somebody”
- Dylan Cover a Day: 41 Hard Rain’s a-gonna Fall.
- Dylan cover a day: 42 Heart of Mine
- A Dylan Cover a Day 43: High Water
- Dylan cover a day 44: Highway 61.5
- Dylan Cover a Day 45: Hurricane
- Dylan Cover a Day 46: I am a lonesome hobo
- Dylan Cover a Day 47: I believe in you
- Dylan Cover a Day 48: I contain multitudes
- Dylan Cover a Day 49: I don’t believe you.
- A Dylan Cover a Day 50: I love you too much
- A Dylan Cover a Day 51: I pity the poor immigrent.