River Whyless “It Ain’t Me Babe” – Listen

River Whyless are a folk-rock outfit from Asheville, North Carolina – and they’ve discovered a talented new writer in the Folk Tradition, one Bob Dylan.  We jest, of course – but River Whyless  have put together a beautiful new rendition of the song – crafted in a new-old folk style that would sit alongside the Milk Carton Kids, for example.

They put together this multi-layered harmonies version of the song whilst out on tour.  It grew as the dates wracked up.  River Whyless have explained  the process as “a verse would materialize in the green room before a show, the chorus murmured idly as we loaded the van. Our finished rendition seemed to happen organically, almost unintentionally, which is how we wish all songs could enter our repertoire — as a deceptively effortless aspect of our ongoing self-discovery.”  Dylan may sing the song at times wistfully, sometimes in disappointment, and sometimes with savage intensity – but for River Whyless it taps into a quieter feeling “in all stages, and even before we started singing it, the song maintained its relation to us; beautiful, brilliant, sad. It has always served as a kind of consolation in our struggle to be the lovers, children and companions we aspire, but sometimes fail to be.

Photo: Pura Soul

Author: Jonathan Aird

Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?

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