And but for the sky there are no fences facing
Okay, so I know there have been a million and one covers of Mr. Tambourine Man, and most of them aren’t all that good, not to mention imaginative. Add to that the five hundred versions out there of Dylan singing the song (did he sing this song at every concert he ever recorded, or does it just seem like that?), and I know we’re all at the point where we’re really a little bit sick of the song, especially since it perfectly fits the nostalgia we all feel for the sixties, whether we lived through them or (as in my case) not. What I’m saying is that, at this point, it takes a lot to really make you listen to this song.
Enter The Abrams Brothers, two kids from Kingston, Ontario who play traditional bluegrass and gospel music and debuted on the Grand Ole Opry when they were 15 and 12. I don’t know why they thought it would be a good idea to cover this song, or what they know about anything in this song, but this version of the song just kills me.
The kicker? James, who sings lead on this song, is 14.
By the way, the entire record, which is a tribute to Arlo Guthrie and Bob Dylan (interesting connection, considering that Arlo introduced Dylan to his dad Woody) is actually pretty excellent. Among other things, it’s forced me to reconsider my dismissal of Arlo Guthrie as a mediocre songwriter relying on the notoriety of his last name and a couple hit singles, most of which were written by other people. “Last Train” is a legitimately great song, as is “Last to Leave.” The album, Blue on Brown, hasn’t officially been released yet, but if you’re able to catch one of their shows, you can pick it up there.
I’ve been torn about whether I should do this, but I’ve decided that the world will be a better place if more people hear this (plus it’s not like anyone reads this blog anyway), so here goes: