In the fifty-seven years since Bob Dylan released his career-altering folksong, “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” the times he sang of did seem to change.
But now, in another period of national unrest, a President refusing to concede defeat or peacefully transfer power, and a renewed fire for justice in the long-fought battle for civil rights, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band has a new version of Dylan’s classic sounds more poignant and insistent than ever before.
Amidst the compounding, pleading verses of Scottish ballad by way of Greenwich Village, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, with distinguished musical guests—Jason Isbell, Rosanne Cash, The War And Treaty, and Steve Earle—each step to the microphone to contribute a verse, with Isbell also adding slide guitar.
They carry the same tone and energy in their voices as the song’s writer did almost six decades ago; an unfortunate but earnest reaction to the all too evident parallels between now and then.
“It moved me deeply then and that hasn’t changed,” Nitty Gritty Dirt Band founding member and lead singer Jeff Hanna notes. “The lyrics are as relevant today as they were when Dylan wrote it. Maybe even more so.”
The track features NGDB members Jeff Hanna (lead vocals and acoustic guitar), Jimmie Fadden (drums), Bob Carpenter (accordion), Jim Photoglo (electric bass), Jaime Hanna (electric guitar), and Ross Holmes (fiddle and mandolin)—as well as Fred Eltringham (Sheryl Crow, The Wallflowers) on additional drums, and Nashville songwriting legend Matraca Berg on harmonica and harmony vocals.
“The Time’s They Are A-Changin’” was produced by Ray Kennedy and collectively recorded up and down the east coast.
John Leventhal recorded his wife, Rosanne Cash’s vocals in their New York City home studio and Steve Earle contributed his verse via the world famous Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village. In Nashville, NGDB and guests joined Kennedy in his Room & Board Studio.The Times They Are A-Changin’ by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Rosanne Cash, Steve Earle, Jason Isbell, The War and Treaty