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This review is from: John Wesley Harding (Audio CD)
It's not exactly unknown, quite the opposite in fact, for movies to be remade. It's also extremely common for one artist to cover someone else's song, though it's rare for it to be an improvement than the original. Ironically, one such cover is Jimi Hendrix's version of All Along The Watchtower which even Dylan prefers, as does everyone in the known universe. It's also one of my favourite songs and covers I own include those by The Grateful Dead and an absolute balls to the wall live version by Neil Young with guest Chrissie Hynde. It is, however, extremely rare for an artist to cover an entire album but Thea Gilmore has done it and with one of my favourite Bob Dylan albums.
Gilmore is one of those artists who can be classified as a singer/songwriter, folk, and folk/rock. Unlike, however, the album which followed this one -Don't Stop Singing (see earlier post)- where she channeled Sandy Denny, she doesn't attempt to recreate the original album, Gilmore does it her own way.
And she does it brilliantly by reinterpreting the songs in a variety of different ways, all different to the originals but always doing justice to one of Dylan's landmark albums. All Along The Watchtower is a shuffle, The Drifter's Escape rocks out. There are elements of country, folk, folk/rock, and more including echoes of Fairport Convention (the Sandy Denny-Jerry Donahue lineup) which is probably to be expected. The small band is tight as a newt's bottom, playing with precision and skill -some great guitar solos too. Gilmore's vocals are flexible and expressive -she is truly one of the best current British female vocalists in any musical genre and I've a feeling I'm probably going to end up buying all her albums.
This is great genre-transcending stuff.