Review: Willie Nile does Dylan – and very well

By Ken Paulson –
I was sitting with a group of Nashville musicians last Saturday night when the conversation inexplicably led to the flurry of “new Dylans” that emerged in the ’70s, most with real musical merit.
Bruce Springsteen. Steve Forbert. Elliott Murphy. John Prine. Willie Nile.
Nile may carried those Dylan comparisons for the longest time, in part because of a vocal resemblance. It’s not something he shies away from, as evidenced by “Positively Bob – Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan,” his new covers collection.
Most of the tracks are from Dylan’s first decade as an artist, and classics abound. But the beauty of Nile’s renditions is that they free Dylan’s revered music from the wax museum. This stuff rocks.
When was the last you yelled “Turn it up” when “Blowin’ in the Wind” came on?
I’m sure there are Dylan fans who will be put off by some of this, but the album is undeniably fresh.
Highlights include full-throttle takes on “The Times They Are A-Changin’, “Rainy Day Women #12 and 35” and “I Want You.”

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