Wednesday, April 25, 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: Yanni returns to ‘Acropolis’ for a passionate night at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Review: Yanni returns to ‘Acropolis’ for a passionate night at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

I have to confess: I was not prepared to see Yanni walk on stage Tuesday night at Ruth Eckerd Hall.I mean, of course I knew he would be there. It was a Yanni concert, after all. Can't throw a Yanni concert without Yanni.But if you've seen photos of Y...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Hernando Symphony Orchestra ends season with ‘Kaleidoscope’ concert

Hernando Symphony Orchestra ends season with ‘Kaleidoscope’ concert

BROOKSVILLE — Some are full of bluster and bravado, while others are sentimental and romantic.And when the Hernando Symphony Orchestra closes out its season this weekend with its Kaleidoscope concert, audiences will witness the wide range of talents ...
Published: 04/24/18
SoundBytes: Tracy Morgan, Nipsey Hussle, Jimmie Vaughan and more

SoundBytes: Tracy Morgan, Nipsey Hussle, Jimmie Vaughan and more

— Tracy Morgan is coming to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. He'll perform there on Nov. 2. Tickets are $49.50 and up. Click here.— Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley is returning to the Capitol Theatre on Nov. 9. Tickets are $35 and up....
Published: 04/23/18
Janelle Monae coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Janelle Monae coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Janelle Monae's Dirty Computer, which drops this Friday, is one of most music watchers' most anticipated albums of 2018.Looks like the R&B star will follow it with one of the year's most anticipated tours.Monae's Dirty Computer Tour will take her to ...
Published: 04/23/18
J Balvin coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

J Balvin coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

J Balvin just had himself a mighty fine Coachella.On Saturday, he popped out on stage with Beyonce to perform their hit single Mi Gente. And on Sunday, he showed up for Cardi B's set to perform I Like It with Bad Bunny.Pretty soon, Tampa can get a ta...
Published: 04/23/18
Janet Jackson coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Janet Jackson coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

A mere three years after her last trip to Tampa, Janet Jackson is on her way back.The pop icon announced a new slate of tour dates for her State of the World Tour, which has been dormant since December, and Tampa's one two Florida cities (the other i...
Published: 04/23/18
Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks addiction, ditching the band’s ‘Christian’ label, moving back to St. Pete and more

Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks addiction, ditching the band’s ‘Christian’ label, moving back to St. Pete and more

HGTV fanatic that he is, Spencer Chamberlain sees a metaphor for his band in the ever-evolving St. Petersburg skyline."When you go downtown and you look at the ONE, that used to be a dirt parking lot," said the singer, referring to a 41-story condo t...
Published: 04/23/18
Review: Kenny Chesney goes big all night in Trip Around the Sun Tour opener at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

Review: Kenny Chesney goes big all night in Trip Around the Sun Tour opener at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium

You could drop all kinds of stats trying to size up Kenny Chesney's Trip Around the Sun Tour, which launched its 2018 run at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium Saturday night.There's the end zone-swallowing stage, 180 tons thick and half a skyscraper high...
Published: 04/22/18
Updated: 04/23/18
Record Store Day 2018: Vinyl lovers flock to indie record shops across Tampa Bay

Record Store Day 2018: Vinyl lovers flock to indie record shops across Tampa Bay

Record Store Day returned Saturday, and with it hundreds of early-rising vinyl lovers hoping to score exclusive records by Prince, Neil Young, Arcade Fire, Run the Jewels, the National and many others.At spots like Bananas and Daddy Kool in St. Peter...
Published: 04/21/18
Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

Underoath’s Spencer Chamberlain talks breakup, reunion, getting sober and returning to St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — HGTV fanatic that he is, Spencer Chamberlain sees a metaphor for his band in the ever-evolving St. Petersburg skyline."When you go downtown and you look at the ONE, that used to be a dirt parking lot," said the singer, referring to a...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/23/18