Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hank & Bob & Jack

I never knew there was a pile of unfinished Hank Williams lyrics floating around, but it´s true apparently, and that´s great news. But wait, it gets even better. None other than Bob Dylan will head an undertaking to set the country legend´s words to music. "He came upon, somehow, 20 to 25 unfinished songs by Hank Williams: just the lyrics, no music," the White Stripes' Jack White recently told MTV News. Dylan has enlisted the help of various contemporary roots musicians, including White, for this project. "I think it might come out this year," White said. "It's a cool record." White recorded a song called You Know That I Know at the Blackbird Studios in Nashville. Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams and Alan Jackson have also been invited by Dylan. 

I wouldn´t know anyone better suited for this job than Dylan. Known for his impeccable musical taste, the former Voice Of A Generation has been an admirer of Ole Hank since his youth. To quote Dylan´s recent autobiography Chronicles Volume One: "The sound of Hank Williams's voice went through me like an electric rod and I managed to get a hold of a few of his 78s... I played them endlessly... When I hear Hank sing, all movement ceases. The slightest whisper seems sacrilege." 

Dylan played quite a few Williams covers over the years. He already did a version of (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle (as Lonesome Whistle Blues) on the obscure so-called First McKenzie tape way back in ´61. The sound quality´s not exactly great, but it´s fun to hear young Bobby enjoying himself so much. The same song was also recorded later during the sessions for The Freewheelin´ Bob Dylan (´63), but didn´t make the album. Honky Tonk Blues is a live version from Grand Rapids, 15-2-´99, featuring support act Brian Setzer on guitar. I Can´t Get You Off Of My Mind was recorded for the excellent Hank tribute Timeless (Lost Highway ´01). And last but not least Dylan often used Wait For The Light To Shine as a concert opener in ´01 and ´02; this version is from Sacramento 10 October ´01. 

I don´t have any recordings of the White Stripes doing Hank, so we´ll have to make do with a Dylan cover for now. One More Cup Of Coffee comes from the selftitled Stripes debut on XL records (´99). 

Hank Williams - (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle MP3
Bob Dylan - Long Time Man Feel Bad / Lonesome Whistle Blues MP3
Bob Dylan - (I Heard That) Lonesome Whistle) MP3
Hank Williams - Honky Tonk Blues MP3
Bob Dylan - Honky Tonk Blues (live) MP3
Hank Williams - I Can´t Get You Off Of My Mind MP3
Bob Dylan - I Can´t Get You Off Of My Mind MP3
Hank Williams - Waiting For The Light To Shine MP3
Bob Dylan - Wait For The Light To Shine (live) MP3
The White Stripes - One More Cup Of Coffee MP3


Paul said...

Great post. One of my favorites covering another. Too bad we could never hear Hank sing a Dylan song...

stewART said...

Yes, this new album should be very interesting - here's some more Dylan covers of songs associated with Hank !

Last year I did a 3 CD compilation called "The Honky Tonk Blues" of Dylan and some other artists like Willie Nelson which I can upload again. I had them all as lossless torrents at Hunger City (now deleted) but could do an mp3 version of anyone's interested -

I'll Fly Away (Albert E.Brumley) - Carolyn Hester & Bob Dylan - Columbia Studios, New York City 30 09 61

Lost Highway (Leon Payne) - Bob Dylan & Joan Baez - Savoy Hotel, London, England May 1965

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams) - Bob Dylan (vocal & piano) & Johnny Cash (vocal) - backstage, Cardiff, Wales - 11 05 1966

Cool Water (Bob Nolan) - Bob Dylan & The Band - West Saugerties, NY 1967

Be Careful of Stones That You Throw (Bonnie Dodd) - Bob Dylan & The Band - West Saugerties, NY 1967

You Win Again (Hank Williams)- Bob Dylan & The Band - West Saugerties, NY 1967 and vatious live more recently (Bonnaroo 2004 is one of the best !)

Weary Blues From Waitin' (Hank Williams) - Bob Dylan & The Rolling Thunder Revue - Lakeland, FL 18 04 76

Thank God (Fred Rose) - Bob Dylan with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA 05 08 86

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams) - Bob Dylan & The Grateful Dead - Rehearsals, San Rafael, CA- June 1987

A House of Gold (Hank Williams) - Madrid 15 06 89

When Did You Leave Heaven ? (W.Bullock / R.Whiting) - Bob Dylan - Saratoga Springs, NY 26 07 89 / Brussels, Belgium -11 06 89 / Santa Barbara, CA 05 09 1989

Lonesome Whistle (Hank Williams / Jimmy Davies) - Toads Place, New Haven, CT 12 01 90

Searching For A Soldier's Grave (Johnnie Wright / Jim & Jack Anglin) - Madison Square Garden, New York City 19 11 01

Milk Cow Blues (Sleepy John Estes) - Bob Dylan & Willie Nelson - Aberdeen MD 12 08 04

Fred@Dreamtime said...

You might be interested in my post over at the Dreamtime blog and podcast:

That Fateful Day: The Lost Songs of Hank Williams where I explore the history (to date) of the project.

Like your blog, btw.



stewART said...

The Honky Tonk Blues Vol. 1 - Bob Dylan & Willie Nelson
Compilation by stewART 2006 - (1 CD : 79m.38s)

Torrent now at -

Ramone666 said...

Thanks all, great stuff.