Any longing fan finding the wait until November for the heralded releases related to Bob Dylan’s “Basement Tapes” beyond bearable has another tidbit to make the waiting easier. A second audiovisual hors d'oeuvres has been served from the “Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes” collection, featuring Marcus Mumford, Elvis Costello, Taylor Goldsmith, and Rhiannon Giddens, among other collaborators. This one is a bouncy and bluesy homage to marriage, “Married to My Hack,” featuring Costello’s defense of the holy institution, despite temptations and memories to the contrary.
About two weeks ago, amidst the flurry surrounding the release dates for both Dylan’s “The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11” dropping November 4, and the collective work releasing the following week, the song, “Nothing to It,” put to music by Mumford, was posted on YouTube. The catchy, electrified riffs of the song set against staccato-style lyrics, promoting giving beyond a monetary matter, reminding “You don't have to turn your pockets inside out,” while not waiting for an organization to do one's part. “A guilty man has a guilty look,” the tune contends, with a sound and sentiment reminiscent of John Lennon, but with plenty of folksy feel. Stay tuned until the end to see all the players cartoon caricatured, including producer, T-Bone Burnett.
The announcement of an ambitious 31-date tour from Dylan is perhaps the most welcome component of these recording milestones. A Showtime documentary about the making of the “Lost on the River” project will air in conjunction with that release later this year. It's no coincidence that these videos mix homespun ambiance with themes of today's headlines, much like folk music itself. Whether drawn from legends like Bob Dylan, or contemporary creators of today, folk music continues to find its audience.