Monday, September 24, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

The 20 best Bob Dylan cover songs

Trying to make a definitive list of the greatest Bob Dylan cover songs is a hair-pulling task; it's also a good way to get yourself disinvited from the annual music critics' potluck dinner. After all, Dylan is the most covered solo act ever. What to leave out? But we're all about Bob this week, so why not throw caution to that blowin' wind. (And yes, we really did include Miley Cyrus.)

RELATED: Americanarama Festival brings Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket

20. Dixie Chicks, Mississippi: Dylan originally gave this drifter's escape to his pal Sheryl Crow (who did a nice, if pop-slick, job). But the Chicks' hollerin' Natalie Maines made things personal: "My clothes are wet, tight on my skin / Not as tight as the corner that I painted myself in."

19. Neil Young, Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues: Just for the way Neil whines that hilariously dramatic, but so-cool, opening line: "When you're lost in the rain in Juarez / And it's Easter time too."

18. Miley Cyrus, You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go: First, go find it on YouTube. At least be informed before you bash. Now: I bet you big money Bob himself loves this version, an unfettered, deeply felt outpouring of what, to a young earnest woman, feels like the worst hurt of her life. The pain goes away, but she doesn't know that yet.

17. Johnny Cash & the Avett Brothers, One Too Many Mornings: Considering the duet partners — guys who know a thing or two about feeling low — this breakup lament is surprisingly upbeat compared to the original.

16. Cat Power, Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again: One of several life-affirming cuts on our Top 20 list from the all-world soundtrack to I'm Not There, director Todd Haynes' weirdo 2007 Dylan flick. This one is a rolling road-trip special.

15. Ron Wood, Seven Days: Not officially a Stones cover, but thanks to Mick & Keith's cohort, it sure riffs 'n' rocks like one.

14. Rage Against the Machine, Maggie's Farm: A protest song about protest songs — and a declaration of independence that Rage unloads like buckshot.

13. Counting Crows, You Ain't Goin' Nowhere: Adam Duritz wanted to be the Dylan of his generation. It didn't happen. But this "basement tape" probably still felt pretty darn good to sing.

12. Darius Rucker, Wagon Wheel: A Dylan "demo" fleshed out by Old Crow Medicine Show, this galloping narrative is a current No. 1 hit for two good reasons: It's innately catchy and it's performed by the most soulful voice in modern country music.

11. Edie Brickell, A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall: Such a sweet, childlike voice singing such harsh, grownup images. From the Oliver Stone-Tom Cruise flick Born on the Fourth of July.

10. Norah Jones, Forever Young: She performed this weeper at Steve Jobs' memorial service. It's on YouTube. Prepare to sob.

9. Nina Simone, I Shall Be Released: Soul and sex and gospel all in one — hot and holy.

8. Guns N' Roses, Knockin' on Heaven's Door: Axl Rose is a complete loon, but his fatalistic approach to songcraft paid off in swaggering ways for this dirge.

7. Karen O & the Million Dollar Bashers, Highway 61 Revisited: An absolutely bonkers rendition of an absolutely bonkers song. Is that a kazoo?!

6. Eddie Vedder, Masters of War: No offense to Pearl Jam's epic catalog, but this was the song Vedder was born to sing. A withering, unflinching antiwar statement.

5. The White Stripes, One More Cup of Coffee: Jack and Meg ratchet up the high-plains-drifter vibe. She plods away on drums while he, with his worried vocal and moody guitar, rides through town looking for trouble.

4. The Byrds, Mr. Tambourine Man: Oh, that tasty '60s jangle.

3. Jimi Hendrix, All Along the Watchtower: Sacrilege at No. 3? Maybe. My email address is below, kids.

2. Jim James & Calexico, Goin' to Acapulco: Definitely not a Dylan "hit," this cover was nevertheless used as the emotional kicker to Haynes' I'm Not There. My Morning Jacket's Jim James provides the bittersweet, unforgettable vocal, all parts syrup and impenetrable loneliness: "It's a wicked life but what the hell / The stars ain't falling down."

1. Garth Brooks, To Make You Feel My Love: Billy Joel, Adele and Kelly Clarkson have all done exceptional takes on this straightforward ballad from 1997's Time Out of Mind, the Grammy winner for Album of the Year. But Bob himself complimented Garth's spare, twilight reading as one of his favorite interpretations of one of his songs. High praise for a sublime vocal.

Sean Daly can be reached at [email protected] Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.

Comments
Review: Niall Horan, Maren Morris shine in unequal spotlights at Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Review: Niall Horan, Maren Morris shine in unequal spotlights at Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

It was a big ol' pop show Saturday night in Tampa, as a Grammy-winning singer behind one of the year's most unkillable singles got the whole MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre singing.Oh, and Niall Horan was there, too.The Grammy winner, ...
Published: 09/23/18
SoundBytes: The Midnight Hour, Dead Prez, Derez De’Shon, nothing,nowhere. and more

SoundBytes: The Midnight Hour, Dead Prez, Derez De’Shon, nothing,nowhere. and more

— Rising emo-rap artist nothing,nowhere., who opened for Fall Out Boy last fall at Amalie Arena, will headline the Orpheum on Nov. 24, alongside Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, Smrtdeath and St. Panther. Tickets are $18 and up. Click here.— ...
Published: 09/21/18
Lucero’s Ben Nichols talks about the band’s 20th anniversary, Michael Shannon’s intensity and more

Lucero’s Ben Nichols talks about the band’s 20th anniversary, Michael Shannon’s intensity and more

Ben Nichols is friendly with Michael Shannon. His brother, director Jeff Nichols, has cast Shannon in all five of his films. And the Oscar-nominated actor stars in a video — a short film, really — for Long Way Back Home, the new single by Nichols’ ro...
Published: 09/20/18
Lucero’s Ben Nichols talks Michael Shannon’s intensity, the band’s chances at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and more

Lucero’s Ben Nichols talks Michael Shannon’s intensity, the band’s chances at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and more

This is the 20th year of Lucero, the crusty, punk- and alt-country-accented Memphis rockers who've made many an enjoyable sojourn to Tampa Bay over the years. But don't go thinking it's made Ben Nichols newly nostalgic for his early work."It's funny,...
Published: 09/20/18
Rae Sremmurd to headline USF Homecoming concert at Yuengling Center in Tampa

Rae Sremmurd to headline USF Homecoming concert at Yuengling Center in Tampa

The University of South Florida's homecoming week is just around the corner, and the school has just booked a nice headliner for its annual centerpiece concert.Chart-topping hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd will headline the annual USF Homecoming concert on ...
Published: 09/20/18
Dickey Betts in critical condition, facing brain surgery after ‘freak accident’ near Sarasota; upcoming concerts canceled

Dickey Betts in critical condition, facing brain surgery after ‘freak accident’ near Sarasota; upcoming concerts canceled

Months after returning to the stage after years of retirement, legendary Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts is "critical but stable" after a "freak accident" at his home in Sarasota County, according to his website.The site says Betts was ou...
Published: 09/19/18
Maroon 5 to Headline Super Bowl Halftime Show

Maroon 5 to Headline Super Bowl Halftime Show

A band will once again take the stage at the Super Bowl halftime show.The pop group Maroon 5 is scheduled to headline the annual 13-minute extravaganza this February at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, according to two sources familiar with the plan...
Published: 09/19/18
Ticket window: Carol Burnett, John Mellencamp and Sarah Brightman on sale this week

Ticket window: Carol Burnett, John Mellencamp and Sarah Brightman on sale this week

Tickets for the following events go on sale this week:• Carol Burnett, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, $72.50-$257.50, on Sale at noon Friday at the box office, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, or by calling (727) 791-7400.• Shawn Colvin,...
Published: 09/19/18
Country Music on the Bay festival bringing Scotty McCreery, Wynonna, Jerrod Niemann to St. Petersburg

Country Music on the Bay festival bringing Scotty McCreery, Wynonna, Jerrod Niemann to St. Petersburg

An all-new country music festival is coming to St. Petersburg.Country Music on the Bay will hit Vinoy Park on Oct. 13, with a lineup that includes American Idol alum Scotty McCreery, Jerrod Niemann (Drink to That All Night), Wynonna and the Big Noise...
Published: 09/19/18
Weekend concert picks: Niall Horan, Maren Morris, Lucero and more

Weekend concert picks: Niall Horan, Maren Morris, Lucero and more

UPWARD DIRECTION: Niall Horan, Maren MorrisHarry Styles is the biggest star, rakish as always and selling out arenas. Zayn and Liam Payne have the best pop hits (Pillowtalk, Strip That Down, Get Low). Louis Tomlinson is biding his time while anxious ...
Published: 09/19/18