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Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan

2012-01-23

Amnesty International scored a big fund-raising hit a number of years ago with "Instant Karma," a disc full of John Lennon songs (dollars going to Darfur). This time, the organization has upped the ante for its 50th birthday with a sprawling, four-disc collage of Dylan songs performed by everyone from Miley Cyrus to Pete Seeger and covering most of the WYCE genres of music. One will find folk, blues, jazz, rock and worldbeat among these 76 selections (you can skip the Miley Cyrus attempt, please). The ear-catching tunes tend to be couplings of talented soul or international singers choosing interesting Dylan covers; examples are Rafael Saadiq on "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat"; Ziggy Marley's "Blowin' in the Wind"; "Lay Lady Lay" by Angelique Kidjo; K'Naan's "With God On Our Side"; "Political World" from the Carolina Chocolate Drops; and Michael Franti's version on "Subterranean Homesick Blues." But there are plenty of other intriguing takes as well. Generally speaking, I think the disasters (like young Miley) are very few so you can program with reckless abandon. Amnesty and Dylan began at about the same time in 1962, so it's a natural pairing. The only sad things here are that Amnesty still has so much work to do in this crazy world and the realization of how much we're gonna miss Bobby D. when he's gone. 01/12 Michael J.

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.