T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Pretty self-explanatory
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And No Coffee Table
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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby And No Coffee Table » Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:43 pm

An updated edition of Million Dollar Bash, Sid Griffin's book about the (original) Basement Tapes, is said to include details of "all forty songs from T-Bone Burnett’s Lost On The River series of newly recorded Basement Tapes tracks."

http://www.sidgriffin.com/2014/11/07/mi ... apes-2014/

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby sweetest punch » Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:49 am

Lost On The River is already available on Itunes in Belgium (and Europe?): https://itunes.apple.com/be/album/lost- ... 73170?l=nl
(You can hear audioclips there).
The Elvis songs do not disappoint!
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

cwr
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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby cwr » Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:09 pm

One of the things I like about this is that even though we are only getting 4 Costello-led songs on this first release, I think by the time they are done putting out all the material they wrote and recorded, we'll essentially have the equivalent of a full Costello/Dylan album.

But because of the collective power of this whole group involved in this, it's not going to be as easily forgotten or dismissed. I feel like after the poor showing of National Ransom, Costello correctly got the sense that if he was going to keep making records, they were going to need a "hook" to get noticed (and, sadly, a double album's worth of terrific songs wasn't enough. I'm still floored that that record seemed to make almost no critics' year-end "best of" lists...)

Another thing that's interesting to me about LOTR is that it's yet another Costello project that-- amazingly-- doesn't have a real precedent in his back catalog. At some point, Costello was going to HAVE to become part of a "supergroup", right?

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby johnfoyle » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:18 pm

Rhiannon Giddens posted to facebook yesterday -

Practice with The New Basement Tapes! This is seriously fun!

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby bronxapostle » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:48 am

Eugene wrote:Image



got stand-by ticket #23...probably will not get in. BUT, wish me well. ba

FAVEHOUR
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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby FAVEHOUR » Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:12 pm

Good luck!

Dave

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby The Gentleman » Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:18 pm

We are all rooting for you, here!

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby The Gentleman » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:15 pm

The full album is terrific. So much so that even if I came into it as foremost as a Costello fan, many of my personal highlights are non-EC tracks like "Diamond Ring" and "Florida Key."

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby The Gentleman » Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:24 pm

Not sure if I would have guessed "Golden Tom-Silver Judas" was a Dylan lyric if I didn't know beforehand.

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby bronxapostle » Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:04 pm

FAVEHOUR wrote:Good luck!

Dave


The Gentleman wrote:We are all rooting for you, here!


thanks guys, but like a wise man once said...."NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO" (actually 3 MORE TIMES totaling 32 NO's!!!) sadly, i did NOT get in!!! oh well, when it comes to gambling and MUCH more sadly, sometimes in REAL LIFE itself, this same wise man (MEEEEE!!! :lol: :lol: ) also says: "WIN SOME. LOSE MOST!" however, i can NOT ever complain in regard to the Elvis live i have seen including premiere performances AND one-off live appearances in general. but, today was a bust. by 4 p.m. after only a short 20 minutes on the stand by line, the Fallon staff announced that NO STAND-BYS would be admitted today. audience was at capacity. i took it like a man and headed home, i'll be watching on television tonight to see what i missed, just like everyone else and thanking God for another great day the same as if i did get in! enjoy all. peace, benny

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby And No Coffee Table » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:22 pm

Spotify has an 18-minute track-by-track commentary by T Bone.

This link may or may not work:
https://open.spotify.com/user/newbaseme ... 7mYlIGChMg

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby johnfoyle » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:59 am

Uncut Dec. 14

Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes

A forgotten box of Dylan's lyrics from 1967, set to music by Elvis Costello, Jim James and more.
By Graeme Thomson

In 2011, Bob Dylan's Egyptian Records imprint released a record on which Jack White, Tom Petty, Lucinda Williams and Dylan himself set 12 previously unpublished lyrics by Hank Williams to new music.

Instigating the Lost Notebooks Of Hank Williams project may have jogged Dylan's memory regarding the whereabouts of some of his own back pages. Shortly after the album was released, T Bone Burnett, the ubiquitous enabler of American roots music, received a call from Dylan's publishers revealing the discovery of an entire box of words, dating from 1967, which Dylan had apparently forgotten even existed. Would Burnett, a friend since the days of Rolling Thunder in the mid-'70s, care to do something with them?

Because the lyrics were contemporaneous with The Basement Tapes, Burnett duly assembled a modern-day approximation of The Band in the form of Elvis Costello, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Marcus Mumford, Taylor Goldsmith from Dawes and Rhiannon Giddens from Carolina Chocolate Drops. The group of all-singing multi-instrumentalists convened for two weeks to transform lost scraps into living songs, working as an ensemble and taking lead vocals on three tracks each.

The unveiling of these 15 "new" Basement-era songs (20 on the deluxe version) coincides with the release of The Basement Tapes Complete, an exhaustive six-disc excavation of the wild, woolly treasure trove of originals, covers, standards, country, blues and folk songs recorded by Dylan and The Band in the basement of Big Pink in 1967 (see feature page 34). It's entirely typical of Dylan that, even as one hand is flourishing what is being billed as the royal flush of unexpurgated Basement recordings, the other is shuffling yet more mystery and intrigue into the deck.

In truth, the shared DNA between Lost On The River and the original Basement Tapes can appear negligible; the departure points for these songs are often inauspicious. It's not hard to divine, for instance, why Dylan might have quickly lost interest in the generic love lyric of "When I Get My Hands On You," which Mumford turns into a creeping soul number with a staccato violin pulse, or the lovelorn whimsy of "Florida Key." Even the most routine songs, however, convey some glimmer of an extraordinary imagination at work. "I want a Tombstone pearl-handled revolver," runs a line in the otherwise unremarkable "Stranger." "I want to meet a pale man with a halo in his hair."

Other songs, such as "Spanish Lady," clearly arrived more fully formed. Set to a brooding minor-key melody not a million miles from the traditional "Blackjack Davey," recorded by Dylan on Good As I Been To You, the words toy with the tropes of countless old folk narratives, with three sailors pondering an existential riddle: "Beggar man, tell me no lie / Is it a mystery to live, or is it a mystery to die?" Musically, it's an outstanding collective performance, dominated by Giddens' ominous minstrel banjo and powerful vocal. It aches to be performed by Dylan himself.

Elsewhere, it's diverting to hear wildly different styles applied to the same words. Written by James but sung with quavering conviction by Costello, "Lost On The River #12" is a moving if slightly ponderous country-soul ballad which wouldn't have sounded out of place on Costello's The Delivery Man. A later variation on the same lyric, "Lost On The River #20," turns the song into the sombre reflection of someone who escaped the madness of being Bob Dylan in 1965 and 1966 and can scarcely believe he's survived to tell the tale. "The waves they rolled and tumbled over me / I spied dry land and a tall, veiled tree / I knew that soon that's where I'd like to be." Sung by Giddens, it's an eerily beautiful meditation.

Water, women and — oddly — Kansas feature heavily. "Kansas City" is melancholic country-folk with a rousing chorus which finds Dylan, not for the first time, in thrall to a "gypsy woman", though Mumford's racked vocals over-egg the sense of unvarnished emotional vulnerability in lines like "You invited me into your house / Then you say, 'You've gotta pay forwhat you break.'" The same town hosts Goldsmith's "Liberty Street", which sounds like a Richard Manuel ballad sung by Jackson Browne. Costello's take on the same words, retitled "Six Months In Kansas City (Liberty Street)", is a time-shifting racket which honours the rough-hewn spontaneity of the original Basement Tapes by remaining apparently half-finished.

Such attempts to locate the loose-limbed spirit of adventure that permeated Big Pink in 1967 can't help but feel a trifle contrived, yet the album largely succeeds in avoiding the pitfall of treating these words with stifling reverence. The hugely enjoyable "Nothing To It" rides a hollering, funky backyard groove all the way from The Band to Hall & Oates, slipping in a deceptively personal lyric as it does so, while "Duncan And Jimmy" and "Card Shark" are light-hearted character songs, the music played high on fiddle, banjo, mandolin and ukulele.

Elsewhere, there are intriguing echoes of other Dylans. Opener "Down On The Bottom" revisits the heartsick prowl of Time Out Of Mind, a slow, swampy evocation of dread — "No place to go but up / Always been in trouble, nearly all my life" — sung superbly by James. Giddens' scatted backing vocals on the lurching "Married To My Hack" recall New Morning oddity "If Dogs Run Free", although the song's boozily unbuttoned demeanour — "Got 15 women and all of them swimming," roars Costello — is recognisably Big Pink in tone. Best of all is "Hidee Hidee Ho #11", a joyously slinky thing sung by James with a mischievous leer while Giddens coos in the background. A slow stroll in the moonlight, it recalls the riverboat shuffles of Love And Theft.

What does it all add up to? Lost On The River is an album of good, sometimes excellent songs with a unique creation story which, in the end, adds little of substance to the narrative of perhaps the most mythologised recordings in musical history. As footnotes go, however, it's an entertaining, energised and often fascinating one.

Q & A

Producer T Bone Burnett on collaborating with "a 26-year-old Dylan with 50 years of hindsight..."
by Graeme Thomson



How did this project get off the ground?


Bob Dylan's publishers called up and said that they had found a box of lyrics from 1967 and would I be interested in doing something with them? The idea of collaborating with a 26-year-old Dylan with 5o years of hindsight was intriguing. It was Bob's idea, it was clear that he wanted this to happen.

What kind of state were the words in?

Mostly handwritten, some typed, there were drawings on some pages. They weren't all written out strictly as finished songs. Some had three or four verses, a chorus and a B section, and some were just three blues verses, or notes. They were all different. I didn't pore into the lyrics incredibly deeply, I wanted it to happen more in the studio rather than preconceive something, but the first read-through was pretty humbling. You know, how many beautiful lines he'd written and left behind. Over the past 5o years, who knows how much stuff he's got lying in boxes? Terrifying!

Did part of you think, 'Hang on, these are your words — finish the job yourself!'?

[Laughs] Well, he famously said, "Don't look back." I think he knows that I've done lots of period films and I understand different eras of music, and my guess is he was intrigued by what people could do with these words now.

How did you choose the musicians?


I was looking for people who could all sing and play multiple instruments in their own right, as well as being band leaders. People who I knew to be collaborative. It wouldn't have done anyone any good for someone to come in and try to own it. The idea was not to try and take it in any direction, but let it find its own course.

How did the practicalities work?

[Dylan] had identified 16 songs initially, which I sent to each artist. Some people decided to write things and some people decided to wait until they got to the studio and collaborate. I didn't give anybody instructions, it was a bit of a free for all. Then just as we were starting in the studio the publishers sent eight additional songs. "Nothing To It" was one of those, "Six Months In Kansas City," too. Almost all of it was hammered out in the studio, very quickly. Most of them are one or two takes, with everybody playing on each other's songs, sometimes on their second or third instrument, to keep that devil-may-care attitude alive. I think the fact that Bob was so generous with the lyrics encouraged everyone else to do that.

Are all the words we hear written by Dylan?

I would say more than 90 percent of what you hear are Bob's lyrics, but it was an archaeological dig. Someone might find an arm bone over here and put it with a shoulder bone over here; I think Elvis wrote two or three lines on "Lost On The River." We took liberties, but I don't think we did violence to anything. We stayed true to what was going down in the first place.

How would you define the relationship between this record and The Basement Tapes?

The relationship is between the intellect that began both of them, and his way of looking at life and the world. I'm not a scholar of this stuff. Bob is a friend of mine, a man who I love, and I feel I understand him in ways that not many people do — I feel Bob, if you know what I'm saying! But I'm not a Dylanologist. I've never listened to the complete Basement Tapes, for instance. We're not trying to replicate the sound of The Band and Bob in 1967, but we tried to stay true to the spirit of it, which was not to overwork the thing.

Will there be more?

Hopefully there will be a second volume, because there was some 40-odd songs recorded. We have several versions of all of these songs — four or five versions of some. There's another album that could be finished quickly, and it's equally as good and interesting and different. It turned into a wonderful band, so it would be exciting to take it out on the road. It could be a wild show.

Did Dylan take an active interest?

He just left us to it. He was mixing his own record in the next room at the same time, so he was there as a presence for us, but he didn't intrude at all. I think he was happy to let us have our way with this stuff. I've had feedback since it's been finished, and it's been positive.

Any gossip about his new album?

Maybe I'm not supposed to say anything, but I've heard it and it's stunningly beautiful. He does these old standards, and it's gonna flip people's wigs when they hear him do these songs. It's like Debussy or something. It's not like Woody Guthrie, but it's not lush either. It's just high, high, high.






Mojo, December 2014

His back pages

Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford et at bring 'lost' Bob Dylan lyrics to life: much more than a swish heritage experiment, says Victoria Segal.


Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes

For all the hushed reverence that surrounds The Basement Tapes and their almost mythical creation underneath a big pink house in West Saugerties long ago, the one thing they aren't is tasteful. Robbie Robertson recalled some of the sessions in that summer of 1967 as "reefer run amok," and despite the high seriousness of "This Wheel's On Fire" or "Too Much Of Nothing," the recordings are also marked by an antic merriment.

So the concept of a "super-group" writing music to accompany a box of recently discovered Bob Dylan lyrics that date from that same legendary period could seem at odds with the ramshackle spontaneity and unfettered creativity that characterised those first sessions.

On the one hand, there's a beautiful burnt-out rock star. He's recovering from on-the-road mania and a motorcycle crash ("motorcycle crash" for conspiracy theorists), rebalancing himself through an intensely creative purge of words and music, running free away from prying eyes and devouring masses. On the other, there's Elvis Costello and Marcus Mumford being followed by a film crew in Capitol Studios for a forthcoming Showtime documentary about the recording of The New Basement Tapes. No secrets, no hand-to-hand bootlegs, no mystery: just, in the doomiest worst case scenario, a plush-covered, air-conditioned heritage exercise.
It's a relief to find, then, that Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes isn't squashed flat by the weight of history, rock star legs sticking out from underneath Big Pink and a tonne of rusty tape canisters. It has a slight airlessness at times, but that feels like an inevitable consequence of the artificial, high-stakes origins of the project.
The recording was initiated with the discovery of a box of lyrics that dated from the same period as the Basement Tapes sessions. Dylan passed them on to his trusted long-time collaborator T Bone Burnett and, in turn, Burnett rounded up a group of musicians to lift the words off the paper: Costello, Mumford, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Rhiannon Giddens of The Carolina Chocolate Drops and Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes. Writing individually but also working and playing across each other's songs, this core collective recorded the two-dozen songs in multiple versions during two weeks in Los Angeles, all overseen by the stalwart Burnett.
While the project's website suggests this is a "music event 47 years in the making," the musicians "in collaboration with the 26-year old Bob Dylan," the truth is a bit less Dr Who.
The lyrics, with their gypsies and sailors, rambling men and disconcerting women, are Dylan's and it is certainly possible to hear aspects of his persona coming through in different performers. Giddens' antique shanty: to accompany "Spanish Mary" harks back to a seductive `trail arr' past, asking "is it a mystery to live or is it a mystery to die?"; Costello's "Married To My Hack," a punkish blast of wordplay, is a telling mix of the lustful and the uxorious. Goldsmith, meanwhile, plays the elegant country troubadour on the punchy cautionary tale of Card Shark and the wistful lost souls parade that is Liberty Street.


It would be a push, though, to say Dylan felt like a concrete presence on this record: it feels, mostly, like a group of accomplished songwriters plying their trade. And they are very accomplished. Jim James particularly has a great strike rate, coolly at home with both extremes of Basement-era emotion, the dark and the light. Opening track "Down On The Bottom" — "No place to go but up" — is a song of desperation, the sound of somebody pulling themselves from the rushy tangled depths. "Nothing To It," meanwhile, might have "just contemplated killing a man" but it has an easy, brassy roll, knowing loucheness and jaunty baritone vocals — "You don't have to turn your pockets inside out / I'm sure you can give me something." On the jazzy slide of "Hidee Hidee Ho #11," James oozes lascivious laziness, just-controlled laughter straining his voice as he sings. Giddens, meanwhile, repeatedly chants "making love wherever we go" in the background, as if he might just have tripped and fallen awkwardly.


James is not alone in revelling in the rowdier spirit of these songs: Mumford does a fine job with the innuendo of "Stranger" — "All of my intentions are exposed / Not hidden in my clothes" — a wild western song that cheerily mixes sex and death (there's also a "tombstone pearl-handled revolver" and a pale man "with a halo in his hair"). "Kansas City," meanwhile, is one they "threw the kitchen sink at", according to Mumford. With Johnny Depp on guitar and Haim on backing vocals, it's blurring of fame-fatigue ("just how long must I keep singing the same old song?") and romantic betrayal rising over the showbiz clutter.


It's far from a reckless or irreverent record — James and Costello's serious, soulful version of the redemptive title track bears emphatic witness to that — but neither is it a work of deferential scholarship and meticulous archaeology. "The New Basement Tapes" is a misnomer: it's song-setting, rather than scene-stealing. Yet there is undoubted fascination in finding the tracks and traces of Dylan: a line that catches with spite, tumbles into a dream, or hoots with bawdy glee. Nobody on this record fails to acquit themselves gracefully, but these words can only really offer a faint radioactive crackle, the drifting fall-out of that distant West Saugerties Big Bang. It's natural to wonder what Dylan might have made of them. Once again, though, he's not there.

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby Azmuda » Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:19 am

Image

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby Azmuda » Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:51 am

Tonight Show video (after a ~20-second ad)

http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/segments/28596
Last edited by Azmuda on Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby FAVEHOUR » Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:44 am

Nice performance. I was pleasantly surprised that EC got to take the lead on TV, wasn't sure if he would.

Guess they didn't do another song for the web this time?

But what's the deal with EC's hair? It looks like he has shaved his head again.


Dave

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby docinwestchester » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:41 am

FAVEHOUR wrote:Nice performance. I was pleasantly surprised that EC got to take the lead on TV, wasn't sure if he would.

Guess they didn't do another song for the web this time?

But what's the deal with EC's hair? It looks like he has shaved his head again.


Dave


Senior member takes the lead?

I too am surprised there is no web exclusive. They have lots of material to showcase here.

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby And No Coffee Table » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:22 pm

The Roots played "How To Be Dumb" to introduce first guest Jeff Daniels (promoting a Dumb and Dumber sequel).

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby And No Coffee Table » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:22 pm

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wir ... n-26836552

'New Basement Tapes' Band Takes on Dylan
NEW YORK — Nov 11, 2014, 12:25 PM ET
By DAVID BAUDER AP Television Writer

Image

This Nov. 9, 2014 photo shows, from left, Jim James, Rhiannon Giddens, Marcus Mumford, Taylor Goldsmith and Elvis Costello posing in in New York in promotion of "Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes," an album produced by T Bone Burnett and created by the musicians using lyrics written by Bob Dylan for the legendary "basement tapes" recordings. (Photo by Drew Gurian/Invision/AP)

The unexpected package from Bob Dylan's song publisher promised an adventure for music producer T Bone Burnett.

It was a collection of typed lyrics written — and forgotten — by Dylan during his fertile "Basement Tapes" period in the late 1960s. The instructions were minimal: do with this what you will. This week, everyone can hear what Burnett did.

He booked a studio for two weeks and invited an insta-band of talented friends to transform the words into music. Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons), Jim James (My Morning Jacket) and Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops) answered the call and, at Mumford's suggestion, Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes) was invited, too.

Nobody involved — even Burnett, an old friend — has spoken to Dylan about what they've done with his songs.

"We aren't looking for any kind of blessing," Mumford said. "It would be cool if he likes it, but in a way, he's like everybody else now. He'll hear it in the same light as everyone else."

Burnett purposely gave the participants about as much instruction as he'd gotten, sending them the lyrics and a start date. Most arrived with several written arrangements, with the exception of Mumford, who thought collaborating would be done on the spot.

It was an intimidating assignment. Giddens, for one, wondered if she'd pull her weight with more famous colleagues.

"You'd be a fool or an arrogant person if you don't say initially, of course it's daunting," Costello said. "But then were you daunted in the sense that you were frozen? No. How did we cut 44 songs in 12 days? In order to do that, you need the skill to prepare and the ability to recognize the moment."

Burnett sought to keep people comfortable. In a film about the project that debuts on Showtime at 9 p.m. EST Nov. 21, he's depicted as a kindly coach, offering quiet advice and a smile. He kept everyone moving: one or two takes, and it was time to try something new.

Chosen in part for their versatility, the musicians shuffled from instrument to instrument. Drumsticks for one song, guitar for another. Lead vocal on the music they composed, backup on others. Who has time to learn an arrangement? Just keep going.

"I'd never felt more creative," Goldsmith said, "and I've never felt less comfortable."

The musicians tried to be inspired by the spirit of the original Basement Tapes, when Dylan woodshedded in upstate New York with The Band, making music with no expectations people would hear it. A five-disc box of those old sessions is on sale this fall.

The big difference is they knew, this time, that many fans would be keenly interested in what they were doing.

"We were trying to make a great noise together," Mumford said. "We weren't worried about how people would respond to it, how people would like it. There were enough of us in the room and we trusted each others' tastes enough to know, well, if we all like it, somebody else in the world is going to like it."

The sessions were, as Giddens put it, a master class in songwriting and illustration of the malleability of songs. The group recorded four different versions of "Hidee Hidee Ho" and the title cut, "Lost on the River." Two of each are on the 20-song disc released Tuesday.

"What is a song?" James said. "Why does one person's brain see one set of lyrics and it's a bashing rocker, and another person sees the same lyrics and it's calm and tranquil?"

It's not like no one has ever tried to replicate the atmosphere of the Basement Tapes. The veteran Costello knows that it doesn't always work, and credits Burnett for fostering a sense that the musicians couldn't fail if they let themselves go.

They're already anticipating another project.

"I like Jim's idea," Costello joked. "Write new music for 'Blowin' in the Wind' and songs like that."




http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/199 ... ent-tapes/

Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes
Harvest / Electromagnetic; 2014
By Douglas Wolk; November 11, 2014
6.1

It's a little wearying that Bob Dylan's burst of creativity in the spring and summer of 1967 is still getting tapped; it would be nice if, for instance, a single artist had had a moment within the past couple of decades that was both as musically fertile and as exhaustively catalogued, mythologized and picked over. But there The Basement Tapes are—an ever-brighter star in the Boomer firmament—and here we are, as their glow increases from a distance of 47 years.

The six-disc Basement Tapes Complete set that Dylan released last week isn't even the whole story. At some point in the past couple of years, Dylan found a stash or two of lyrics from the Basement Tapes period that he apparently didn't get around to setting to music at the time (or, if he did, apparently didn't bother to play with the Band at Big Pink). Producer T-Bone Burnett was appointed to do something with them, and assembled a kind of new Traveling Wilburys to write and perform music for them: Elvis Costello, Jim James, Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes.

This isn't the first time somebody else has written music for Dylan's words—the first example may have been Ben Carruthers and the Deep's 1965 single "Jack o' Diamonds"—and two of the original Basement Tapes' highlights, "This Wheel's on Fire" and "Tears of Rage", were completed by members of the Band. Dylan himself participated in a similar project three years ago, completing Hank Williams' unfinished lyric to "The Love That Faded" for The Lost Notebooks. Williams, though, didn't live to finish that album's songs. Dylan's just not so much the guy who wrote the lyrics on Lost on the River any more. (He's moved on: the set list on his current tour includes only four of his pre-1997 songs, not counting a Frank Sinatra cover.)

These Dylan texts are, literally, throwaways, but they come from a period when he was writing spectacular throwaways. The baffled breakup songs "Golden Tom - Silver Judas" and "Kansas City" would both be as perpetually quoted as, say, "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" if they'd appeared on record in the '60s. (The latter features some perfect Dylanoid backhands a la "Positively 4th Street": "You invite me into your house/ And then you say you gotta pay for what you break!") And, as always, Bob's a magpie: the title of "Duncan and Jimmy" riffs on the folk tune "Duncan and Brady", and "Hidee Hidee Ho" owes its hook to Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher".

A project like this is a treacherous one for its artists, though. To try to sound like Dylan is to come up short of the mark, and to try to not sound like Dylan can betray the material. So the New Basement Tapes hedged their bets, each writing music for the old lyrics on their own, which is why the 20 tracks here (on the "deluxe" edition, released at the same time as an impoverished 15-track version) include a few lyrics that show up twice in radically different settings. Most of the songwriters err on the side of avoiding Dylanish cadences—Goldsmith's settings, in particular, are bland adult-contemporary stuff, and his lack of puckishness means that when he gets to a phrase like "I have paid that awful price," it lands with a dull clunk.

It also seems like a mistake to take these songs as seriously as the NBT's sometimes do. "Spanish Mary", for instance, is a chain of stock phrases from old ballads, shuffled until sense falls away from them ("in Kingston town of high degree"?), but Giddens sings it as if it's a meaningfully dramatic narrative. (To be fair, the funereal Giddens/Mumford setting of "Lost on the River" that closes the album is one of its high points.)

The MVP of this group turns out to be Elvis Costello, who treats Bob as a band member who didn't happen to show up to the jam that day. Costello's already started playing a few of his collaborations with 26-year-old Dylan live, including "Matthew Met Mary", which isn't even on this album. His two-minute take on "Married to My Hack", whose lyric is basically just Dylan flexing his rhyme chops, is a rapid-fire monotone rant in the vein of "Subterranean Homesick Blues"; he bellows and snarls his way through "Six Months in Kansas City" as if it was one of his own minor rockers.

Nearly every track on Lost on the River has a couple of memorable moments: a marvelous turn of phrase, a brief Jim James guitar meltdown, an instant of the band members discovering how their voices can harmonize. But what it lacks is the casual joy of Dylan's Basement Tapes—music that was made almost literally in a woodshed, with no thought at the time to releasing it. Dylan and the Band had the luxury of freedom from expectations and the luxury of being allowed to make something trivial. For all its power and commitment, Burnett's supergroup doesn't.

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby jardine » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:34 am

ok, well, i know i'm just imagining this, but look at the attached photo and then look at the cover of the new basement tapes...the kid right above the word 'river, with the hat

really enjoying this, btw
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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby migdd » Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:40 am

I'm not so sure you're imagining this as I noticed the same thing when I first saw the cover. If you look at some of the other kid's faces on the cover, it appears that some photoshopping may be at work.

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby jardine » Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:29 pm

so the kid on the right is t-bone? I'm still ancient enough to forget about photoshopping
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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby And No Coffee Table » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:03 pm

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/en ... /18906887/

Interview with Jim James includes:

Each musician was sent 16 to 18 sets of lyrics in advance, and were free to write as many songs as they wished. James came up with eight, Goldsmith 18. Costello, James joked, "wrote like 850 versions of every song." When they convened in L.A., they shared what they had written.

James said it was fascinating to hear how people interpreted the same sets of lyrics.

"It kind of challenged the whole notion of what is a song," he said. "One person would think a set of lyrics was real fast and bashing and another would think the same lyrics were real sad and slow and beautiful. It was pretty funny."

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby verbal gymnastics » Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:32 pm

johnfoyle wrote:Rhiannon Giddens posted to facebook yesterday -

Practice with The New Basement Tapes! This is seriously fun!

Image


Elvis on bass!
international laughing stock...

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:24 pm

Sam Jones talks about "Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skMdBaIKEO0
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.

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Re: T-Bone / Dylan project: Lost On The River

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:37 pm

http://consequenceofsound.net/2014/11/a ... es-deluxe/

The New Basement Tapes – Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes [Deluxe]

Sonic Highways’ surefire reign as the most ambitious and intriguing major record of the year arguably ended before it even began. So, what did it take to dethrone Dave Grohl and his Foo Fighters’ innovative, eight-city recording and documentary project? Nothing short of Bob Dylan, the “poet laureate of rock and roll,” bequeathing recently discovered lyrics from The Basement Tapes era, the most mythologized recording sessions in rock history, to legendary producer T Bone Burnett and an all-star band comprised of Elvis Costello, Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), and Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops). Entire empires have been toppled by far less momentous developments than all these distinct moons aligning.

The New Basement Tapes, the band name assumed by these five songwriters, each of whom took turns composing arrangements for Dylan’s lyrics, speaks more to the notion of reviving the spirit of those storied sessions in the present than adding to their legacy by resurrecting and completing these once abandoned songs. Sure, upon first listen, James’ delivery on opener “Down on the Bottom” may sound vaguely reminiscent of Nashville Skyline-era Dylan. The band swap vocals and instruments throughout the record. And harmonies layer, texture, or flesh out nearly every song. But Lost on the River never allows us to forget that these are five seasoned musicians holing up in their own basement (or, in this case, Capitol Studios). They’re far more engrossed in creating their own unforgettable sessions than merely trying to ape or piggyback off Dylan and The Band. And while no album rollout (even one with a Showtime documentary and late-night appearances) can manufacture the type of curiosity created by years of bootlegging and word of mouth, here the spirit, if not the mystique, of The Basement Tapes sessions lives on.

Like the original Basement Tapes, Lost on the River plays more like a sampler than a carefully sequenced, cohesive album. While this leads to an uneven listen, it also accentuates the group’s range of abilities. On the rallying, guitar-driven “Kansas City”, a weary, lovelorn Mumford sings himself to tears (“And I love you, dear/ But just how long can I keep singing the same old song?”) as the album segues into the almost mystical “Spanish Mary”, on which Giddens’ ethereal, storyteller voice hovers over clopping percussion and her minstrel banjo. Later on, the two finally co-mingle on melancholy train song “The Whistle Is Blowing”, Giddens’ voice descending to waft behind Mumford’s earthy tone before the two rise alongside each other like the pressure building in a locomotive’s steam whistle. Likewise, Costello’s huskier delivery on the glistening, titular guitar ballad only makes Goldsmith’s gliding voice and longing go down all the smoother on the mandolin-accented “Florida Key”.

The New Basement Tapes further distinguish themselves from Dylan and The Band on a handful of tracks that you could never imagine emerging from “Big Pink.” James’ “Nothing to It” swings with a mock horn section and a splash of Motown in the soulful choruses and backing vocals, while his smoky, old-school “Quick Like a Flash” (only found on the deluxe edition) is ready to soundtrack a Tarantino opening credit sequence in the near future. The record’s final emotional pitch comes on the penultimate “Six Months in Kansas City (Liberty Street)”. One of Costello’s cacophonous vocal experiments, the song bashes against itself until it finally breaks out into a belted chorus of the track’s title on repeat, Costello and the female backing vocalists creating a clanging refrain while his bandmates take turns throwing their voices into the melee (an overall cathartic release of near-Joe Cocker proportions).

Burnett and the band have been quick to thank Dylan for his “extraordinary trust, generosity, and support” during their two-week endeavor to transform his recovered lyrics into a finished record. After listening to Lost on the River – the gold, the silver, and even the occasional dirt clod — you get the sense that Dylan’s greatest gift to the band may not have been his lyrics. The real gift may have been giving Burnett and these five musicians an excuse to go and chase down their own Basement Tapes.

Essential Tracks: “Kansas City”, “Florida Key”, and “Six Months in Kansas City (Liberty Street)”
Since you put me down, it seems i've been very gloomy. You may laugh but pretty girls look right through me.


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