Jessica Rhaye & The Ramshackle Parade “Ring Them Bells” for Bob Dylan’s Birthday
Saint John, NB — May 24, 2019 — Award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Jessica Rhaye and The Ramshackle Parade toast Bob Dylan’s birthday today with their gospel-folk-rock spin on “Ring Them Bells” — the first single off their forthcoming release, Just Like A Woman – Songs of Bob Dylan.
Think psychedelic undertones and folkie ballads. A conversation between rockabilly and swing. Engaging, inventive interpretations of the Master’s works, no click tracks and very few overdubs.
The result is an endearingly authentic and rollickingly fun folk-rock interpretation of both Dylan’s classics and hidden gems, quickly transcending the confines of a traditional tribute piece.
“There is something about Bob Dylan’s songs we connect with,” says Rhaye. “The melodies and his simple ease of delivery… We feel like there’s an invitation, like it’s ok to feel they can be our songs.”
And ‘make them theirs,’ they do.
“Dale (Murray) was at the helm, and it was a free flow,” she recalls. “We loved watching Chris (Braydon) prep and play the guitar break on this track…. An eel’s nest of cables and pedals to create the dual guitar lead sounds like a waterfall, and the result is a great take with a fun, loose feel.
“The intro is a short guitar piece from Dylan’s “Duquesne Whistle” from Tempest… It was played by Bill (Preeper) and distorted by Chris. All band members brought ideas to the floor, and imagined working in the style of Dylan in Woodstock, the days of the Basement Tapes and Big Pink, in the wake of the motorcycle crash.
“Our version of ‘Ring Them Bells’ — off Dylan’s 26th studio album, 1989’s Oh Mercy — takes on a gospel rock groove,” she adds. “When Dale played the piano and organ parts, he followed the approach of “organist” Al Kooper on “Like A Rolling Stone”… Kooper wasn’t an organ player but wanted very much to be on the record, didn’t know how to play the song, and played late on all the chord changes. It created a signature sound.”
“So I didn’t learn the chords,” says Murray. “I just kinda played along. That was my approach on the organ and piano on everything here.”
“Dylan always approached production with a minimalist hand,” Rhaye continues. “The real people, the noises of the shirt buttons, chairs scraping the floor — mistakes being made — these were allowed to stay in the final tracks rather than cut out on the editing floor. These features always made his work accessible. You could always tell three were real people somewhere in a room playing these tunes together.
“That’s what we hope listeners take away from this record.”
Jessica Rhaye is an East Coast Canadian fixture; her dynamic 20 year career has garnered critical acclaim, awards from Music New Brunswick, and nominations from Canadian Folk Music Award and East Coast Music Award.
Just Like A Woman – Songs of Bob Dylan is Rhaye’s sixth full-length release, her first foray into production, and the first with the backing of The Ramshackle Parade. “The music from this band flows naturally but is also derelict, delicate, and pure,” says Rhaye of the ensemble that includes a bevy of award-winning and highly accomplished artists in their own right: Chris Braydon, Sandy MacKay, Clinton Charlton, Bill Preeper, and Dale Murray. The name is “borrowed and bent from a tune on Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros’ Streetcore album.
“It felt like a good fit for the sound we came up with while making this record.”
Just Like A Woman – Songs of Bob Dylan Track Listing:
- Ring Them Bells
- Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands
- As I Went Out One Morning
- I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine
- It’s All Over Now Baby Blue
- One More Cup of Coffee
- I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
- Blowin’ In The Wind
- Lay Down Your Weary Tune
“Ring Them Bells” is available now.
Just Like A Woman – Songs of Bob Dylan is set for release September 20, 2019.
We would like to thank Eric Alper for the media release.