Though Bob Dylan moved away from his role as a ‘protest singer’ long ago — we saw Another Side by his fourth album — his name will forever be associated with social activism. The international human rights organization Amnesty International rose out of the same turbulent era as Dylan, forming in 1961, the year Dylan recorded his first album. Fitting, then, that in celebration of their 50th birthday, Amnesty would call on artists to contribute their Dylan covers to the massive four disc set Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International. Continue reading »

Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International doesn’t come out for another month, but the massive four-disc tribute is available to stream below. We’re just making our way through it ourselves, but the Gaslight Anthem’s “Changing of the Guards” and Queens of the Stone Age‘s “Outlaw Blues” are early highlights. On the flip side, Ke$ha‘s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” is truly atrocious (though Miley Cyrus‘ “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” isn’t bad at all). For whatever reason, you can stream 60-second excerpts of the first two discs and the full songs for the second two. At 2+ hours of music, though, we think you’ll survive. Stream the album below, then tell us what the best/worst songs are in the comments. (via Facebook) Continue reading »

Can you ever have ever too much Bob Dylan? With the release of an astounding line-up of artists for the latest Dylan tribute, the answer is a resounding – never! Last month we brought you more info on the upcoming Bob Dylan tribute album, Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International (including Ke$ha’s unfortunate quote comparing her music to that of the legend), but the full tracklist gets us even more excited. Elvis Costello! The Gaslight Anthem! Pete Townshend! Flogging Molly! Kronos Quartet! Continue reading »

As a benefit for Calling All Crows, a non-profit organization dedicated to humanitarianism and service projects around the world, Dispatch/State Radio frontman Chad “Chadwick Stokes” Urmston organized a weekend of Boston-area concerts in 2009 featuring himself playing an acoustic set along with appearances from former Dispatch bandmate Pete Heimbold, (then) RX Bandits frontman Matt Embree, Stephen Kellogg, vocal heavyweight and his childhood friend Darren Buck, and folk journeyman Jake Smith, better known as The White Buffalo. Those evenings produced many fantastic covers, including group efforts on two classic songs written by The Band, a showstopping “Bring It On Home To Me” from Matt Embree and this amazing version of Bob Dylan‘s “Girl From North Country” by Stokes and The White Buffalo. Two years later, a set of recordings from the show is set for release, including these covers and solo acoustic versions of some State Radio classics like Keepsake and Gang of Thieves. Continue reading »

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