Dylan cover a day: On the road again

By Tony Attwood

Now I have to admit that I’d hardly given a thought to this song over the years until Jochen came along with his four-part review of the piece which ended with a range of cover versions.  At the top of that article there are links to the earlier parts of the series, so you pick up on the whole review from that point to get the full background.

And of course Jochen picked out the best of the covers including Julie Doiron, whose voice and the notion of her singing it with herself but without any harmonies is really spooky, it really seems to bring across the whole notion of being “really weird” or put it another way, spaced out.

But for me Jochen’s biggest and best find (in the sense that I had never come across the recording before, or if I have I have forgotten it) was Ben Sidran.   Jochen noted, “American jazz phenomenon Ben Sidran delivers an attractive, neurotic cover on his wonderful tribute project Dylan Different (2009) – the performance on Dylan Different Live In Paris At the New Morning (2010) is a degree more neurotic and two degrees more attractive.”

But I would also include Pat Guadagno and Tired Horses as being worthy of a listen.  It has a relaxed approach to the piece which after all these years of knowing it I rather like.

For me indeed it is the old question of, does this cover add anything to a song that I know forwards, backwards and inside out?  And yes this version does.  Most particularly the band don’t just play the instrumental break as a way of using up time – they add an extra insight – or at least an extra thought.

It’s not a profound thought, but it still made me smile.

And I will finally give a mention to The Deversons doing something different, early on in the history of the song – this was released in February 1966.   The instrumental break is a disappointment but the sung verses gave me a smile.

But then I’ve always had a weird sense of humour.

The Deverons were from Winnipeg and featured Burton Cummings who left to join The Guess Who in 1965 – they then recorded Undun which was said to have evolved after Cummings heard Ballad in Plain D.  It’s an interesting thought and indeed an interesting piece and I shall divert for a moment to offer it in case you are interested.

But that is not my theme today, so here is their “On the road again”

I think it is possible to go further with this song, and my first inclination would be to slow it right down.   Ah, if only I was still in a band, I’d have a go at that.   “Tony Attwood and the Septegenarians do Dylan Different” – there’s a snappy title for the album.

The Dylan Cover a Day series

  1. The song with numbers in the title.
  2. Ain’t Talkin
  3. All I really want to do
  4.  Angelina
  5.  Apple Suckling and Are you Ready.
  6. As I went out one morning
  7.  Ballad for a Friend
  8. Ballad in Plain D
  9. Ballad of a thin man
  10.  Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
  11. The ballad of Hollis Brown
  12. Beyond here lies nothing
  13. Blind Willie McTell
  14.  Black Crow Blues (more fun than you might recall)
  15. An unexpected cover of “Black Diamond Bay”
  16. Blowin in the wind as never before
  17. Bob Dylan’s Dream
  18. You will not believe this… 115th Dream revisited
  19. Boots of Spanish leather
  20. Born in Time
  21. Buckets of Rain
  22. Can you please crawl out your window
  23. Can’t wait
  24. Changing of the Guard
  25. Chimes of Freedom
  26. Country Pie
  27.  Crash on the Levee
  28. Dark Eyes
  29. Dear Landlord
  30. Desolation Row as never ever before (twice)
  31. Dignity.
  32. Dirge
  33. Don’t fall apart on me tonight.
  34. Don’t think twice
  35.  Down along the cove
  36. Drifter’s Escape
  37. Duquesne Whistle
  38. Farewell Angelina
  39. Foot of Pride and Forever Young
  40. Fourth Time Around
  41. From a Buick 6
  42. Gates of Eden
  43. Gotta Serve Somebody
  44. Hard Rain’s a-gonna Fall.
  45. Heart of Mine
  46. High Water
  47. Highway 61
  48. Hurricane
  49. I am a lonesome hobo
  50. I believe in you
  51. I contain multitudes
  52. I don’t believe you.
  53. I love you too much
  54. I pity the poor immigrant. 
  55. I shall be released
  56. I threw it all away
  57. I want you
  58. I was young when I left home
  59. I’ll remember you
  60. Idiot Wind and  More idiot wind
  61. If not for you, and a rant against prosody
  62. If you Gotta Go, please go and do something different
  63. If you see her say hello
  64. Dylan cover a day: I’ll be your baby tonight
  65. I’m not there.
  66. In the Summertime, Is your love and an amazing Isis
  67. It ain’t me babe
  68. It takes a lot to laugh
  69. It’s all over now Baby Blue
  70. It’s all right ma
  71. Just Like a Woman
  72. Knocking on Heaven’s Door
  73. Lay down your weary tune
  74. Lay Lady Lay
  75. Lenny Bruce
  76. That brand new leopard skin pill box hat
  77. Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
  78. License to kill
  79. Like a Rolling Stone
  80. Love is just a four letter word
  81. Love Sick
  82. Maggies Farm!
  83. Make you feel my love; a performance that made me cry.
  84. Mama you’ve been on my mind
  85. Man in a long black coat.
  86. Masters of War
  87. Meet me in the morning
  88. Million Miles. Listen, and marvel.
  89. Mississippi. Listen, and marvel (again)
  90. Most likely you go your way
  91. Most of the time and a rhythmic thing
  92. Motorpsycho Nitemare
  93. Mozambique
  94. Mr Tambourine Man
  95. My back pages, with a real treat at the end
  96. New Morning
  97. New Pony. Listen where and when appropriate
  98. Nobody Cept You
  99. North Country Blues
  100. No time to think
  101. Obviously Five Believers
  102. A Dylan Cover a Day: Oh Sister

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