PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Music

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

Going hand-in-hand with the ongoing museum exhibit of the same name, A New Music City does an outstanding job defining the sweeping influence of Dylan and Cash throughout the 1960s and 1970s.


Various Artists

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

Label: Legacy
US Release Date: 2015-06-16
UK Release Date: 2015-06-16
Amazon
iTunes

Nashville might be particularly known for its sinewy girth of country music origins, standing strong as the bearer of the ceremonious Grand Ole Opry concert series for the past 90 years, featuring artists from the Binkley Brothers’ Dixie Clodhoppers to Blake Shelton in its illustrious history. What the country capital is more known for in modern times, however, is the sudden attraction that artists standing beyond the traditional western line have for it, including but most certainly not limited to Jack White, Paramore, and the Black Keys; and what younger, less anointed music enthusiasts may not be privy to is the fact that this isn’t the first go-around that this trend has maintained in Music Row. The mid-1960s was met with an explosion of roots rock fronted largely by the names Dylan and Cash – a legendary friendship between two Americana icons that had sprouted a worldwide musical income centered from none other than Nashville.

The album entitled Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City sonically encapsulates what the ongoing Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum exhibition of the same name depicts visually in taking its audience back to a time when Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash ruled the Nashville scene, bringing with them a teeming influence that spread its wings over names as similarly notable and broad in musical origins as Joan Baez, Paul McCartney, and the Monkees. With a subtext exploring pop, rock, folk, and country musicians and specifically-chosen cuts that exemplify their contributions to the American music scene as it relates to the widespread influence that Dylan and Cash had maintained over the industry at the time, the two-disc record features names like Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, and the Byrds across 36 separate tracks. They’re also joined by the titular Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash themselves for a solid five, including a previously unreleased recording of the former’s “If Not For You”. Featuring a lilting steel guitar-ridden melody courtesy of Lloyd Green, this version of the track carries a countrified procession much unlike Dylan’s better-known, chimey version of the song from off of 1970’s New Morning.

The dense emotive simplicity of Nashville Skyline opener “Girl from the North Country” remains a must-listen – arguably one of Cash and Dylan’s collective bests as they exchange quiet croons against a brooding refrain, as well as the only duet between the two titular artists to be featured on the record. While a bit of a missed opportunity to afford another couple of tracks to showcase the indelible relationship between the two singer-songwriters in song, such as the Dylan-Cash Sessions’ takes on “You Are My Sunshine” or “Ring of Fire”, the other Nashville Cats more than pick up the pace for the exclusion. From Kris Kristofferson’s comedic, candid (and true!) “If You Don’t Like Hank Williams” to Eric Andersen’s beauteous “Blue River”, and from Flatt & Scrugg’s bayou-flavored rollicker “Down in the Flood” to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s defining bluegrass rendition of the Christian hymn “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”, Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City’s tag-along record does a fine job of elucidating the vast musical depth of the era as fronted by two respective legends of the art field.

The physical release of this album also includes an informational pamphlet on each of the 36 songs featured on the discs, with an introduction from Tracy Nelson regarding the broad influence of that 60s-70s Nashvillian era as a whole as seen through her eyes. In and of itself, this is one record worth picking up from off of the shelves instead of seeking the immediate rewards of our digitized age.

9

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Music

Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.

Music

Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.

Music

Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.

Music

Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.

Music

Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.

Film

The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.

Music

British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.

Film

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.

Music

​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.

Music

The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.

Music

Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.

Television

How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.

Music

Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.

Music

CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.

Music

Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.

Music

While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.