You have that friend that is into vintage clothes because they are trendy and cool, right? The same friend that talked you into buying a too-tight western-style pearl button shirt for $65. This is the album that friend prayed to God for and is constantly spinning on their vintage mid-century console record player while drinking a Moscow Mule.
Short backstory: Bob Dylan was fighting with his manager and said that he wasn’t writing songs until things got settled. In reality, he was writing songs and locking them away. Well, he forgot about them. Fast-forward 40+ years and the songs were found and given to a group of artists to record.
Those artists are Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons), Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), and Jim James (My Morning Jacket).
I was hoping that Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes would sound like an amazing collaboration between this impressive list of artists. Instead, it sounds like a collection of songs from each of these artists.
For example Liberty Street is essentially a Dawes song; Golden Tom – Silver Judas is essentially an Elvis Costello song; Kansas City is essentially a Mumford & Sons song.
It’s not a bad thing because this album is full of all kinds of sounds. Country, folk, tribal, sad piano rock, Broadway-style show tunes, acoustic indie singer-songwriter, and bluegrass all make an appearance on Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes.
From a historical standpoint, this album is excellent. From an everyday listening standpoint…….meh.
My favorite track: Duncan and Jimmy