Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City

4 out of 5

$15.04

SKU: B00VBES6Q4 Category:

Description

Bob Dylan bucked executives at his record label and surprised his fans when he came to Nashville in 1966 to record his classic album Blonde on Blonde. Working with the city s unmatched session musicians, Dylan produced a rock & roll masterpiece and went on to record two more albums there. Dylan s…

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3 reviews for Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City

4 out of 5
  1. DJ Joe Sixpack

    This is an ambitious and mostly fulfilling compilation. Having visited the exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame that this collection commemorates, I was most anxious to secure it on release day. Even though you may have some or several of the songs, the set is assembled with care and attention to the many side musicians that supported artists from folk and rock music genres who came to Nashville to record in the 60s and 70s. Heck, even three of the four Beatles ventured to Music City to make music in the 70s! Tracks like “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” with its stellar performers will send you back to the original LP/CD by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to hear the song in its context there. The unreleased Dylan track, “If Not For You”, contains pedal steel and violin that add another layer of longing to the song. You may be moved to locate the original complete albums from which these tracks are taken; I, for one, will be looking for “I Saw the Light With Some Help From My Friends”, a 1972 offering from Earl Scruggs Review with Linda Ronstadt.Lastly, if you get to Nashville the exhibit at the CMHF is well worth time spent there.

  2. Delmar

    This is an ambitious and mostly fulfilling compilation. Having visited the exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame that this collection commemorates, I was most anxious to secure it on release day. Even though you may have some or several of the songs, the set is assembled with care and attention to the many side musicians that supported artists from folk and rock music genres who came to Nashville to record in the 60s and 70s. Heck, even three of the four Beatles ventured to Music City to make music in the 70s! Tracks like “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” with its stellar performers will send you back to the original LP/CD by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to hear the song in its context there. The unreleased Dylan track, “If Not For You”, contains pedal steel and violin that add another layer of longing to the song. You may be moved to locate the original complete albums from which these tracks are taken; I, for one, will be looking for “I Saw the Light With Some Help From My Friends”, a 1972 offering from Earl Scruggs Review with Linda Ronstadt.Lastly, if you get to Nashville the exhibit at the CMHF is well worth time spent there.

  3. Nicholas Simpson

    Various Artists”DYLAN, CASH AND THE NASHVILLE CATS”(Sony Legacy, 2015). . . . .This is an odd release. Even though it’s packed with great music from the Columbia vaults, the concept is a little hard to figure out at first… It’s pitched as sort of a Bob Dylan-meets-Johnny Cash-in-Nashville, rock-meets-country collection, but it’s the “Nashville cats” part of the title that’s key.What this compilation album is really meant to illustrate is the dynamic power and musical flexibility of Music City’s “usual suspects” studio musicians, guys like Mac Gayden, Buddy and Bobby Emmons, Charlie McCoy, Weldon Myrick, Hargus Robbins and others who were the A-list “wrecking crew” of Nashville, sometimes refered to simply as the Nashville Cats. These unstoppable go-to studio pros played on countless sessions for all kinds of artists, from the biggest stars to the hopeful nobodies who flocked to Tennessee to try and make it big.One of the most notable outsiders to come to Nashville was, of course, folk-rock icon Bob Dylan, who recorded several albums there, starting with the classic “Blonde On Blonde,” raising eyebrows up North, where rock-oriented hipsters mostly thought country music was super uncool. Dylan had cracked the code though, and realized that many of these studio cats were pretty hip themselves — many had learned their chops in rock and rhythm bands they’d formed as teens, and they still played blues and R&B for fun… There was a strong connection to the Memphis blues and Muscle Shoals soul scenes, and really, no matter what kind of music you wanted them to play, they could blow the roof off the joint if they felt like it. The Johnny Cash connection is that Cash was one of Dylan’s first and most ardent supporters within the world of country music, recording several of his songs in the late ’60s and singing with Dylan on “rock” albums like “Nashville Skyline,” even though many of the Nashville elite hated the hippie culture that Dylan stood for.But again, this collection doesn’t stick to the Dylan-Cash narrative, but rather explores the more widespread phenomenon of the many pop and rock artists who came to Nashville after Dylan broke the ice. The set list roams across the late ’60s soundscape, embracing everyone from Dylan and the Byrds to the Neil Young, JJ Cale, Simon & Garfunkel, solo stuff by George Harrison and Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. There are a couple of tracks highlighting recordings by the Nashville Cats themselves — a rockin’ early single by harmonica player Charlie McCoy and one tune by Mac Gayden’s session-player supergroup, Area Code 615, as well as country rock gems by the Beau Brummels (who “went country” for one album) and the ever-lovin’ Monkees. All in all, even though most music fans will have to have the concept explained to them first, this is a fun collection of tunes, and a nice tribute to the Tennessee superpickers who helped shape the sounds of the ‘Sixties and ‘Seventies. Definitely worth checking out. (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Guide To Country Music)

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