Thursday, August 24, 2006

Heart of Mine: Love Songs of Bob Dylan

In the mid-Seventies, Maria Muldaur had a fluke top 40 hit with the charming novelty song Midnight at the Oasis”; as far as I can remember she never hit the top 40 again. But during the ensuing years she has made a good number of wonderful albums...including great discs celebrating the blues, the music of Louisiana, and the immortal Miss Peggy Lee...combining the blues, folk, soul, gospel, and rock & roll into a tasty musical gumbo all her own.

This notion of combining Muldaur’s smoky… sweet, husky, and downright sexy….pipes with Bob Dylan’s poignant, poetic, heartfelt love songs was an inspired one (her record label’s president suggested a collection of Dylan songs after seeing a documentary on the man and Maria came up with the idea of doing Dylan love songs) and it pays off grandly on this delightful little collection.

With the able backing of a crack band, Muldaur puts a bluesy spin on Dylan tunes from different eras…some (a softly-sassy reading of “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”, a sultry “Lay Lady Lay” [recast here as “Lay Baby Lay”], a soulful twist on the oft-covered “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go”) perhaps a bit more familiar than others (“Golden Loom”, “To Be Alone with You”)…and makes them smolder, sizzle, lope, swing, and soar with masterful aplomb.

When the celebratory “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”…with Muldaur playing some tasty fiddle…ends you’re surprised at how quickly 49 minutes have passed. Heart of Mine is a very worthy addition to the expansive body of Bob Dylan covers that have been recorded over the years.


Very Anonymous Mike said...

Thanks for the links. I'm going to check them out, now.

gideon said...

very nice little write up. it is a great album. I am looking for some info on each song, like a list of which Dylan album each song is from, I'll keep looking, haven't looked at your links yet actually. Thanks.

Michael K. Willis said...

"Buckets of Rain" was originally on Dylan's Blood on the Tracks

"Lay Lady Lay": Nashville Skyline

"To Be Alone with You": Nashville Skyline

"Heart of Mine": Shot of Love

"Make You Feel My Love": Time Out of Mind

"Moonlight": Love and Theft

"You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go": Blood on the Tracks

"Golden Loom": Bootleg Series, Volume 1-3

"On a Night Like This": Planet Waves

"I'll Be Your Baby Tonight": John Wesley Harding

"Wedding Song": Planet Waves

"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere": The Basement Tapes