Jakob Dylan – Women and Country

January 01, 1970





On his excellent second solo venture, Jakob Dylan continues
to travel down the old dirt road blazed by his famous father with a rustic and
rich collection of songs that pay homage to rural America. While many critics have
already clamored to compare Women and
to papa Bob’s legendary Basement
, the succinct clarity by which these eleven songs glisten in the calm
of the mountain lakes of one’s mind has more in common with the quieter moments
of the elder Dylan’s proper studio endeavor with The Band, 1974’s Planet Waves.


Reuniting with producer T Bone Burnett, who helmed the only
Wallflowers album worth owning (1996’s Bringing
Down the Horse
), Women finds
Jakob utilizing the skilled warmth of his producer’s expert studio band, led by
jazz guitarist Marc Ribot, fiddle player Dave Mansfield and lap-steel master
Greg Leisz, to exhibit a hushed sense of confidence and grace unmatched by
anything else he has ever done. The beauty of these songs is further enhanced
by the haunting backing vocals of alt-country queens Neko Case and Kelly Hogan,
who appear on eight of the eleven tracks. The duo’s pitch-perfect harmonies on
the quaint country ballad “We Don’t Live Here Anymore” and “Holy Rollers” prove
to be a complementary foil for Dylan’s raspy timbre.


The one song on Women
and Country
that will be sure to cut right through you, however, is a track
called “They’ve Trapped Us Boys.” It’s a stirring account of a group of miners
buried beneath the earth from an accident that scarily echoes the recent
tragedy in Montcoal, West Virginia, which took the lives of 29 men
and is considered to be the worst mining disaster since 1970. And though by
pure coincidence (the album was released the day after the tragedy on April 6),
it’s a song that actually packs enough of a topical wallop to finally cement
his place in the family craft once and for all.


“Nothing But The Whole Wide World”, “We Don’t Live Here
Anymore”, “Everybody’s Hurtin'” RON HART



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