The Times index
If you buy only one album with the phrase "Basement Tapes" in the title this year, make it The Basement Tapes Complete, the six-CD collection drawn from Bob Dylan's illustrious 1967 sessions, reviewed here last week. But why put such an unkind limit on yourself? Why not allow yourself two Basement Tapes albums this year? That way, you could hear what happened when Dylan's publisher sent T Bone Burnett a batch of lyrics that Dylan wrote during those sessions, but never recorded, and asked: "Would you like to do something with these?" The something he did was to pull together an all-star cast of songwriters — Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Rhiannon Giddens, from Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Dawes's Taylor Goldsmith — and ask them to set the lyrics to music. Occasionally,they are too tentative, trying so hard not to be Dylanesque that they never really own the song. But when they throw themselves recklessly into the endeavour, fabulous results include James's Down on the Bottom, Costello's Six Months in Kansas City and Giddens's take on the title track.
The Sunday Times, November 9, 2014
Mark Edwards reviews Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes.