Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes / Various artists
On the original Basement Tapes, Bob Dylan and the Band reinvented themselves via repurposed Americana. With a sheaf of unused lyrics from those sessions — sly, delightful, if not revelatory — this supergroup sparks brightest when it does the same. Elvis Costello and Jim James deliver; they're known-quantity changelings. More surprising is Marcus Mumford's conked soul ("When I Get My Hands on You") and the showstopper, Carolina Chocolate Drops' Rhiannon Giddens, evoking antebellum blues with a magnificent voice that interrogates the myths stirred up at Big Pink. T Bone Burnett's production violates the Tapes' low-fi legacy but adds color and abstractions. When Giddens and Co. punch through the headphones on "Duncan and Jimmy" amid electric-guitar clouds, extended tradition trumps mimicry.