Dylan cover a day: North Country Blues

By Tony Attwood

I am restricting myself to just two covers of this song, because these two cover versions are so utterly sublime, that I really don’t want to go on and listen to any other versions.  And indeed I’m not sure I could take it – not least because once I have written this I am off to see my youngest grandchild for the first time.

This is a song of desperation, and such songs need to be handled with enormous care by the performers as otherwise the emotion can get too overplayed and starts to sound like exploitation rather than a description – and in this case a description played out with sensitivity is really all that is needed.

Also, a significant level of talent both as a guitarist and a singer is needed to carry the song through – both because we know it so well, and because one false step could make the whole thing sound mawkish.

These two artists take the song in different ways, including of course the way the guitar part is performed.  But both are stunningly effective.   People of a sensitive disposition (a bit like me) might want to go and do something else in between playing each version.  Fortunately for me, I can now go and see the youngest member of my family.

The Dylan Cover a Day series

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