Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bonnie Does Bob

Over at Star Maker Machine, a music blog to which I´m a proud contributor, the theme of the week is Dylan covers. Now we all know nobody sings Dylan like Dylan, as the old slogan from his record label famously proclaimed, but that sure doesn´t mean all Dylan covers are superfluous. Jimi´s All Along The Watchtower is the most fitting example of this theory of course, but let´s not forget the Byrds, Fairport Convention or all the indie acts who contributed to last year´s impressive She´s Not There soundtrack.

Dylan´s influence on the music of Bonnie Prince Billy has always seemed obvious to me, but so far he only covered His Bobness two times in the studio, both for last years Lay & Love single. Somehow I´ve got the feeling that these were originally recorded for the soundtrack of the aforementioned She´s Not There movie, but then again I haven´t got a clue why they weren´t used eventually, as they´re both top notch.

Señor (the original is found on the underrated Street Legal album from ´78) gets a very serious, intimate treatment, which fits the song very well. Dark, stark and way different from Dylan´s own gospelly version, which is exactly what I like in a good cover. Going To Acapulco (from The Basement Tapes) is a way over the top interpretation of what is a rather wacky song in the first place. Featuring trombone, tuba, sax and clarinet, no less. ´Well it´s a wicked life but what the hell... everybody´s got to eat and I´m just the same oh! as everybody else, when it´s comes to scratching for my meal.´ Great fun.

I also checked the database over at the ubercool BPB Royal Stable fansite and found that the Louisville bard played a grand total of three Dylan songs in concert so far: Minstrel Boy, Is Your Love In Vain? and New Pony. Haven´t got the first ones alas, but I can provide a fittingly ramshackle version of the bluesy New Pony (also from Street Legal incidentally, Oldham must love that album), recorded live on September 2, ´94 in Het Patronaat in Haarlem, Holland. A show I was lucky enough to see btw. ´I got a new pony, she knows how to foxtrot, lope and pace...´ Oh yes. Good memories.

Bonnie Prince Billy - Señor MP3
Bonnie Prince Billy - Going To Acapulco MP3
Palace Brothers - New Pony (live in Haarlem ´94) MP3

Stop press: thanks to reader Marius writing in, we now have a fine live version of Will doing Is Your Love In Vain? The original can also be found on Street Legal. The completist in me is wide awake now: has anyone got a version of Minstrel Boy?

Will Oldham - Is Your Love In Vain? (live unknown location ´00) MP3


bob said...

thank you

marius h said...


I uploaded 'Is Your Love in Vain?' for you. Don't know where it's from, or even when, but the sound is good and it's a really moving performance :)

marius h said...

PS: hope you don't mind doing it like this, I couldn't find another way of contacting you.

Ramone666 said...

Marius, thanks a mil, but the link don´t work. Please email me at forthesakeofthesong(at)gmail(dot)com.

Ramone666 said...

Got it Marius, and it´s a good one...