Hear the New Basement Tapes' Bob Dylan-Penned 'Spanish Mary' - Rolling Stone
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Hear the New Basement Tapes’ Bob Dylan-Penned ‘Spanish Mary’

Chocolate Carolina Drops’ Rhiannon Giddens takes the lead on latest track culled from unrecorded Dylan lyrics

The New Basement Tapes is a supergroup featuring Elvis Costello, My Morning Jacket‘s Jim James and Mumford & Sons‘ Marcus Mumford that took recently discovered and unrecorded Bob Dylan lyrics from The Basement Tapes era and put the words to music. We’ve already heard the cuts “Nothing to It,” “Married to My Hack” and “When I Get My Hands on You,” and now the band has shared an animated lyric video for “Spanish Mary,” featuring music and vocals by fellow member Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. The video boasts Dylan’s own handwritten “Spanish Mary” lyrics.

“Out of all the lyrics I looked through for the New Basement Tapes project, the one for ‘Spanish Mary’ attracted me first – here was a ballad, and I know ballads,” Giddens said in a statement. “It’s also set in the Caribbean, so I felt the deep African sound of the minstrel style banjo (circa 1856) was appropriate. It was an absolute thrill to get to set music to Dylan’s lyrics, what an opportunity! This project is marked with utter generosity from everyone involved.” The song itself evokes Desire-era Dylan with a fuzzier guitar sound.

Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith and even Johnny Depp contributed to the band’s T-Bone Burnett-produced album Lost On the River: The New Basement Tapes, which is out on November 10th. The LP will be accompanied by a Showtime documentary called Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued that premieres on November 21st. One week before the New Basement Tapes is released, Dylan himself will devote the next installment of his Bootleg Series to his famed 1967 recordings with the Band. The six-disc, 138-track The Basement Tapes Complete will contain 30 unreleased recordings.


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