The result is a disparate, mysterious collection of music tied together through a common set of musicians, in a similar way to the original.
The legend’s lyrics are always poignant, but it is difficult to best him. The best a performer can do is provide beautiful artistic homage. The New Basement Tapes deliver on that in spades.
How do you bring together five musicians, each with significant catalogs of their own, and put them on the same stage without a hint of raging ego or argument over who gets the spotlight?
Easy. Just throw them some vintage, unreleased Bob Dylan songs to belatedly bring to the world.
There are those moments you wish you could freeze time and snatch up every person you love in the world, transporting them to your location. Halting the cosmos just long enough that all those wonderful people that make your life feel special could dance with you in a circle celebrating vitality and kinship. The Ricardo Montalban Theatre in Los Angeles just had one of those moments, featuring what may likely be the only performance ever from a supergroup of epic proportions, the affectionately named The New Basement Tapes.
The New Basement Tapes, the band name assumed by these five songwriters, each of whom took turns composing arrangements for Dylan’s lyrics, speaks more to the notion of reviving the spirit of those storied sessions in the present than adding to their legacy by resurrecting and completing these once abandoned songs.