Last night, Showtime aired a making-of-the-record documentary called Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued; a film regarding the continuation of Bob Dylan’s 1975 record, Basement Tapes. In Showtime’s 106-minute documentary, music producer T Bone Burnett handpicked a band of famous names with differing musical strengths. Calling themselves The New Basement Tapes, the group make-up consists of Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens of Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes. The film takes place in the basement of Capitol Records where, together, the band of six crafted a 20-song album, Lost On The River, which is available now.
In a CBS Morning News report, producer T Bone Burnett gave wind to the project’s beginnings from a phone call he’d recently taken:
“I got a call from Bob Dylan’s publisher saying that he had found a box of lyrics from 1967 and would I be interested in doing something with ’em. And I said, ‘Yes, I would.’ Bob was playing with language in a particularly colorful way at that time.”
These uncovered lyrics were remnants from the year following Bob Dylan’s motorcycle accident; one where he remained quartered in his upstate New York house for the next year of his life. While harbored away, the year of 1967 became one of Dylan’s more voluminous times of creation, as he churned out over 100 songs – most notably “I Shall Be Released” and “This Wheel’s On Fire”. Dylan’s 1975 album was only a small chunk the collection.
In-studio footage from six of The New Basement Tape’s songs can be found below. It’s worth noting that the second video for song “Kansas City” features Johnny Depp on guitar.