If you don’t know already, Thea Gilmore–who has a voice like an angel–has covered Bob Dylan’s brilliant album, John Wesley Harding, in its entirety. That’s the one with St. Augustine, Dear Landlord, I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight and, yes, Watchtower.
Thea’s voice can occasionally sound like Margo Timmins from The Cowboy Junkies (which is far from a bad thing), but she’s got a sincerity and depth that is unmatched an incomparable. So hearing her take on Bob is a treat. Every song sounds different. Particularly the afore-mentioned Watchtower, which is performed acoustically here as a bouncy blues rock tune. The guitar work–finger picking!–on Dear Landlord is (gasp!) better than the original, and St. Augustine is maybe the most arresting cover I’ve heard this year. Gilmore’s take on Dylan is faithful to the originals, adding only her rich characterization–she is a true vocalist, not just a singer. And by that I mean she lets the song itself come to life, and serves as its voice, rather than hogging the spotlight (like everyone on American Idol and modern Top 40 radio).
If you love music, this is for you: This is a truly musical album.
I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight-Thea Gilmore
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Thea Gilmore I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight