New Basement Tapes | Jim James, Elvis Costello & More

Bob Dylan has given his approval and lyrics for two dozen unfinished songs he wrote during the famed Basement Tapes era around 1967 to producer T-Bone Burnett for a new project titled Lost On the River: The New Basement Tapes. Burnett has put together an all-star team of Jim James, Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, Rhiannon Giddens and Taylor Goldsmith to record the songs for an album and Showtime special which are due later this year. A website for the project can be viewed here.

“These are not B-level Dylan lyrics, they’re lyrics he just never got around to finishing,” Burnett told the L.A. Times. Both Burnett and Costello are keen on honoring the freewheeling spirit of the original Basement Tapes sessions, which took place at houses in and around Woodstock featuring Bob Dylan and The Band. This time around Burnett and his performers are utilizing a very different atmosphere - Capitol Records Studio A. "This is the exact opposite of ‘The Basement Tapes’: We’re in the best recording studio in the world, and we’re not in a basement,’" Costello remarked to the L.A. Times.

Filmmaker Sam Jones (I Am Trying To Break Your Heart) has been tapped to document the project for Showtime's Sho: Close Up documentary Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued. Each of the performers were given the opportunity to create music for each set of Dylan's lyrics, which has led to multiple versions of some songs. Burnett shared with the Times that the performers laid down 48 tracks during the project's first week including “Florida Key,” “Card Shark” and “Hi-De-Ho.” The Times notes that both the album and television special are due this fall.

[via L.A. Times]

[Published on: 3/25/14]

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