Song: The Times They Are A-Changin’
Album: Peace… Back By Popular Demand
Performer: Keb’ Mo’
Writer: Bob Dylan
I’m ending my Bob Dylan tribute with one of his most well known songs. It was originally recorded in 1964, a month before President Kennedy was assassinated. The very next day, Dylan began his concert with this song. It is an intentionally anthemic song which was written in response to the political and social tumult of the early 1960’s. It is a song that people come back to in uncertain times.
The signature Bob Dylan sound in the early 1960’s was extremely minimal. It was just his Travis style picking on the acoustic guitar and his voice. Keb’ Mo’s recording of this song is also minimal but a little different. This one is piano and voice. In my opinion, this is the most beautiful and heartfelt recording I have heard of this song.
Keb’s piano accompaniment uses a lot of open chord voicings and quotes the melody in the intro and in interludes. His vocal interpretation is earnest and sounds like it comes from a place of personal experience with the lyric. His phrasing is speech like while maintaining the melody.
I feel that this is a masterful imagining of a historic Dylan classic.