There is something happening, but you don’t know what it is, as someone once said, and they may well say it again, following this daring further adventure in the wonder of Ms. Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power. Despite a healthy and reliable back catalog of her own material. she has become quite the regular on these pages, care of her regular re-interpretations scattered liberally about her output. Sure, she has “done” Dylan before, but she has never, nor anyone else to my knowledge, taken on quite such a doughty challenge as she has on Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert.
A legendary recording, initially only available on bootleg, Bob Dylan’s “Royal Albert Hall” concert (ask your hep uncle why that’s in quotes) has passed into the annals of not only Dylan mythology, but of the whole development of 20th century music. Few would ever risk such an endeavor as recreating, let alone in a live setting, let alone in the same live setting as the original. (OK, as the original claimed to be, the Dylan program actually coming from a concert at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall. Plus, given that Manchester venue is now a Radisson hotel, it would be tricky.) But, ever the free spirit, this is what Cat Power did. And here we have the evidence.