I have eclectic tastes and I love finding new music. But, lately the music I am listening to most is a CD of old music made new again, covered by current singers. Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International is a compilation album featuring many contemporary artists. The proceeds of the CD will go to the human rights organization Amnesty International.
It was refreshing to hear songs that I have loved for years revived. I was surprised as well as there were a couple singers I did not expect to like. I underestimated Miley Cyrus singing "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" and it quickly became one of my favorites. While looking for the clip on YouTube I also found a mini-documentary where Cyrus talks about doing the song and what it meant to her. I came away with huge respect for this young artist.
But, what was very special for me was the timeless nature of the songs written by Dylan. They are as relevant today as when he first wrote them. The most haunting beautiful for me was “God on Our Side” sung by K'naan. Also of note was Joe Perry’s version of “Man of Peace" and Flogging Molly singing "The Times They Are A-Changing.”
My absolute favorite of all of the songs was the very first song on the CD, “All Along the Watchtower” by the Dave Matthews Band. I have to apologize as I could not find a video for this live performance, but did find the audio for it. I actually bought the CD on the strength of this one song without hearing any of the others on the CD. As good as Bob Dylan was, he did not have the voice to do justice to this song in the way that Dave Matthews does. He starts out quite restrained and then unleashes with power and emotion. No song after that could really top it for me, but they are still very good.
For those of you who love the words and music of Bob Dylan, I feel this is a “must buy! “I have always respected Dylan more as a poet than as a singer. His words come to life even more for me now that they have been re-interpreted by others.
*Also posted on my blog "Other Things."