DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

KIM AKASS

MONIQUE NAZARETH

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
LOST SONGS: THE BASEMENT TAPES CONTINUED
November 21, 2014  | By David Bianculli

Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET

 
This is a fascinating special, and a glimpse at watching true creativity in action – and, at times, creativity inaction as well. Writer-director Sam Jones has cameras running during the two-week period in which legendary music producer T Bone Burnett invites a hand-picked gaggle of musicians to create an entire album, and suite of songs, out of a mother lode of rare lyrical artifacts: unpublished lyrics written by Bob Dylan during his Big Pink “Basement Tapes” year in 1967. The collected group, confusingly called The New Basement Tapes (as is the resultant CD, subtitled Lost on the River), includes Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, Rhiannon Giddens, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James and a few scattered friends. The recreated “home-movie footage,” with actors standing in for Dylan and what would become The Band, isn’t necessary – but the sequences showing artists as talented as Mumford (pictured) and Giddens getting all anxious about writing music up to the task, those are inspiring. And the music, paired with and building upon Dylan’s early, formerly unreleased lyrics? Some of it’s great. Start with Mumford’s performance on “When I Get My Hands on You,” a song credited to Dylan, Mumford and Goldsmith, and prepare to be dazzled. Oh, and I almost forgot the best part: new recordings by Bob Dylan himself. They’re only of his voice, in an audio interview recorded especially for this film, But still…
 
 
 
 
 
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