On November 4th, Bob Dylan will release The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 on Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings. It will contain unreleased material from his 1967 sessions with the musicians who would become The Band. You can listen to a track from the collection, "900 Miles From My Home," above.
The song is a re-working of "900 Miles," a the traditional folk tune about working on the rails. Dylan and The Band stay true to the song's Americana roots, while adding new lyrics and their own spin on the track. Bob Dylan's vocals are rough, weary, and have an emotional edge to them. The Band add in harmonies to the chorus that resemble a call and response you might hear the railroad workers singing.
The song is described in the liner notes:
Down in the basement, with no access to songbooks or records and certainly way before the internet, if you wanted to sing a traditional song, the melody and lyrics depended on your memory. And that’s the way folk songs were played and sung for centuries before the advent of recording in the 1920s, oft-times mutating into entirely new songs in the process. This steady rolling version of "900 Miles" has never been circulated before and is a charming example of how a faulty memory can create something new.
You can listen to his cover of "Tupelo" by John Lee Hooker off the box set right here on Zumic. The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 is currently available for pre-order on Amazon and iTunes.
For more music from Bob Dylan, along with news and upcoming tour dates, head over to his Zumic artist page.