Newcomer indie band does a wistful version of Dylan classic for Amnesty International collection

Indie lead singer Eric Anderson of We Are Augustines is reading the lyrics for Bob Dylan’s off-handed anti-love song from Another Side of Bob Dylan. What? Can’t the guy memorize the lyrics?

Then as Anderson dreamily sings his way through this standard of Dylan’s ex-lover Joan Baez it dawns on you. His eyes are closed. Neat trick to play by someone who breathes new life into a 60s chestnut, one of the Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan

Mama You’ve Been On My Mind

Guitarist Bill McCarthy is off in a trance, perhaps counting the beats, in his perfect 1960s folkie finger picking to which he adds just enough modern treatment to freshen it up. Who can listen to the dreary 60s folk music one more time, and I like it.

Bob Dylan’s paean to the 60s sexual revolution and song of seduction yearns for a simpler time when we didn’t “care who you’re waking with tomorrow.”  However, the song overcomes simplistic sex-with-no-strings in the poetry that winds through the song.

Perhaps it’s the color of the sun cut flat
An’ cov’rin’ the crossroads I’m standing at
Or maybe it’s the weather or something like that
But mama, you been on my mind

“The color of the sun cut flat” – that is so powerful, original and quixotic it has become one of those Bob Dylan enigmatic quotes. Dylan definitely had poetry in mind describing the crossroads in his relationship.

The more mundane fan will know he was juggling girlfriends Suze Rotolo, Joan Baez, and other unnamed women. Was he speaking about Suze who was carrying his child in the spring of 1963, or no one in particular? The Another Side of Bob Dylan sessions, during which the song was recorded but never released, was strongly influenced by the waning relationship with Rotolo.

All of that is dumpster diving compared with the beauty of the song.

You know I won’t be next to you, you know I won’t be near
I’d just be curious to know if you can see yourself as clear
As someone who has had you on his mind (words and music copyright Bob Dylan)

Dylan didn’t release the song until 1991 as a part of The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3 : Rare And Unreleased, 1961-1991.

Joan Baez made it a staple of her repertoire including the famous day she sang it with Dylan to Bob Dylan’s mother in Fort Collings, Colorado at the last performance of Bob Dylan Live 1975 (The Bootleg Series Volume 5).

We Are Augustines

We Are Augustines are a Brooklyn New York indie band. After a tragic beginning swirling in the death of band-mate James McCarthy, brother of guitarist Billy McCarthy, the band reformed.

In 2011 they released Rise Ye Sunken Ships with the help of producer Dave Newfield. Newfield has a long association with the indie band Broken Social Scene and Feist. He did not, however, produce the hit “1234”.

The most popular song from that CD is Song of James.

Chapel Song is worth watch as well

Chimes of Freedom The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International

Most of the talent and engineering on the 73 song, 4-CD set was donated and the profits will go to the worthy work of Amnesty International.

Again, this is the beauty of Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan – we get to hear artists who have not hit the mainstream yet. Some of them are quite good like We Are Augustines.

Some like Miley Cyrus transcend their former selves to emerge in an entirely new light.

Some artists like Taj Mahal show again how good artists get with age in his best-of-the-breed performance of Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream.

I finally counted the exact number of songs on this CD – there are 73. 72 of them are covers and Bob Dylan sings Chimes of Freedom. The Amnesty International website says 76 songs “All profits from Chimes of Freedom, a 4-CD album featuring 76 newly recorded Bob Dylan songs, benefit Amnesty International’s human rights work.” Of course 76 gets repeated slavishly by the media who don’t listen to music but who can cut and paste press releases.

In any event, it’s 72 artists covering Dylan like We Are Augustines.

Just the Facts

“Four CD collection containing music from Patty Smith, Rise Against, Pete Townshend, Diana Krall, My Morning Jacket, Sting, Lenny Kravitz, Jackson Browne, Sugarland, Joan Baez, Flogging Molly, Joe Perry, Bad Religion and many others. Two iconic forces that have impacted the past 50 years — the life-saving human rights activism of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Amnesty International and the incomparable artistry of Bob Dylan — are being saluted by musicians who contributed new or previously unreleased recordings to Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International. Almost 30 tracks on the album were mixed gratis by famed engineer Bob Clearmountain. Bob Ludwig and Adam Ayan of Gateway Mastering donated their mastering services. The album cover illustration is by Grammy Award winning artist Mick Haggerty.” Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan (Amazon.com)

Set List

CD1
Raphael Saadiq ‘Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat’
Patti Smith ‘Drifter’s ‘Escape’
Rise Against ‘Ballad of Hollis Brown’
Tom Morello ‘The Nightwatchman ‘Blind Willie McTell’
Pete Townshend ‘Corrina, Corrina’
Bettye LaVette ‘Most of the Time’
Charlie Winston ‘This Wheel’s On Fire’
Diana Krall ‘Simple Twist of Fate’
Brett Dennen ‘You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere’
Mariachi El Bronx ‘Love Sick’
Ziggy Marley ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’
The Gaslight Anthem ‘Changing of the Guards’
Silversun Pickups ‘Not Dark Yet’
My Morning Jacket ‘You’re A Big Girl Now’
The Airborne Toxic Event ‘Boots of Spanish Leather’
Sting ‘Girl from the North Country’
Mark Knopfler ‘Restless Farewell’

CD2
Queens Of The Stone Age ‘Outlaw Blues’
Lenny Kravitz ‘Rainy Day Woman # 12 & 35’
Steve Earle & Lucia Micarelli ‘One More Cup of Coffee’ (Valley Below)
Blake Mills ‘Heart Of Mine’
Miley Cyrus ‘You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go’
Billy Bragg ‘Lay Down Your Weary Tune’
Elvis Costello ‘License to Kill’
Angelique Kidjo ‘Lay, Lady, Lay’
Natasha Bedingfield ‘Ring Them Bells’
Jackson Browne ‘Love Minus Zero/No Limit’
Joan Baez ‘Seven Curses’ (Live)
The Belle Brigade ‘No Time To Think’
Sugarland ‘Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You’ (Live)
Jack’s Mannequin ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’
Oren Lavie ‘4th Time Around’
Sussan Deyhim ‘All I Really Want To Do’
Adele ‘Make You Feel My Love’ (Recorded Live at WXPN)

CD3
K’NAAN ‘With God On Our Side’
Ximena Sariñana ‘I Want You’
Neil Finn with Pajama Club ‘She Belongs to Me’
Bryan Ferry ‘Bob Dylan’s Dream’
Zee Avi ‘Tomorrow Is A Long Time’
Carly Simon ‘Just Like a Woman’
Flogging Molly ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’
Fistful Of Mercy ‘Buckets Of Rain’
Joe Perry ‘Man Of Peace’
Bad Religion ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’
My Chemical Romance ‘Desolation Row’ (Live)
RedOne featuring Nabil Khayat ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’
Paul Rodgers & Nils Lofgren ‘Abandoned Love’
Darren Criss featuring Chuck Criss and Freelance Whales ‘New Morning’
Cage the Elephant ‘The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll’
Band of Skulls ‘It Ain’t Me, Babe’
Sinéad O’Connor ‘Property of Jesus’
Ed Roland and The Sweet Tea Project ‘Shelter From The Storm’
Ke$ha ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’
Kronos Quartet ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’

CD4
Maroon 5 ‘I Shall Be Released’
Carolina Chocolate Drops ‘Political World’
Seal & Jeff Beck ‘Like A Rolling Stone’
Taj Mahal ‘Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream’
Dierks Bentley ‘Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)’ (Live)
Mick Hucknall ‘One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)’
Thea Gilmore ‘I’ll Remember You’
State Radio ‘John Brown’
Dave Matthews Band ‘All Along the Watchtower’ (Live)
Michael Franti ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’
We Are Augustines ‘Mama, You Been On My Mind’
Lucinda Williams ‘Tryin’ To Get To Heaven’
Kris Kristofferson ‘Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)’
Eric Burdon ‘Gotta Serve Somebody’
Evan Rachel Wood ‘I’d Have You Anytime’
Marianne Faithfull ‘Baby Let Me Follow You Down’ (Live)
Pete Seeger ‘Forever Young’
Bob Dylan ‘Chimes Of Freedom’

Related stories

Flogging Molly – The Times They Are A Changin’
Miley Cyrus video Bob Dylan You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go
Chimes of Freedom all Bob Dylan all the time
Rise Against Ballad of Hollis Brown video

Where to purchase

iTunes
Amnesty International for CD and MP3 downloads