Monday, July 23, 2007

covering Dylan: Richard Shindell

A tale of religious conversion, or one of political intrigue? A comment on policy decisions or a shifting stream of images connected only in the writer’s mind? Like many of Bob Dylan’s songs, Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) has enough room in it for any dozen ideas you want to bring to it. Though he leans a bit to the political side, it might seem, Richard Shindell also leaves that door of interpretation wide open open in his recording of the song on his latest release, South of Delia.

Shindell is a writer’s writer, a man of well thought out words. Reunion Hill is one of his better known songs. He’s opened for Joan Baez and toured and recorded with Dar Williams and Lucy Kaplansky as the trio
Cry Cry Cry.

Shindell counts time in a Buddhist monastery and at Union Theological Seminary in his background, and for several years he’s been looking at American life from the perspective of living in Argentina. For South of Delia he chose to cover, and reinvent, some of his favorite songs from traditional music and by other writers. In addition to Senor, the songs include Born in the USA, Texas Rangers, and Acadian Driftwood.

The project was produced by respected acoustic guitarist Greg Anderson, who leaves plenty of space for Shindell’s visions. “These are twelve narrators,” Shindell says. “I imagine meeting them along the road now that whatever happened has happened. We stop to exchange news, to share their disbelief that the world could ever have come to this, to warn, to point the way, to provide a light, and then be off again.”

Richard Thompson, Sara Milonovich, Ben Wittman, and Eliza Gilkyson are among those who sit in.

apologies for the lack of the tilde~ it's just not, ah, translating.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


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