Saturday, November 26, 2011
"Champaign, Illinois" and "Desolation Row" (Old 97's Daytrotter Sessions)
The story goes that one day a guitar-less Rhett Miller, leader of long-running alt-country Dallas band The Old 97's, began composing new songs using familiar tunes and ended up with a keeper, "Champaign, Illinois"*, which used the tune of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row". While it's not gonna knock the original out of the rock pantheon, Miller's cheeky borrowing of a melody from one of rock n' roll's most able thieves, to make something louder, shorter, faster and altogether new may still mark one of his career highlights.
"Champaign, Illinois", finally recorded with a Dylan-sanctioned co-writing credit on the band's 2010 album The Grand Theater V. 1, also appears on the band's December 2010 Daytrotter session, alongside a a batch of cow-rockers like "State of Texas", "Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)" and "You Were Born to Be in Battle".
Let us know what you think of the Old 97's accomplishments in the COMMENTS section (which is where you'll find the Daytrotter Sessions link).
* Interestingly, this is the SECOND song Dylan has co-written with the title "Champaign, Illinois" to find out more visit this site.