Bob Dylan has given his approval and lyrics for two dozen unfinished songs he wrote during
Basement Tapes era around 1967 to producer T-Bone Burnett for a new project
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.
[Published on: 3/25/14]