Nightly Song
Musings on Songs that Strike a Chord Tonight

Archive for the ‘Jason and the Scorchers’ Category

Absolutely Sweet Marie by Jason and the Scorchers

May 31, 2010

Absolutely Sweet Marie

Performed by Jason and The Scorchers and written by Bob Dylan.

To live outside the law, you must be honest

A great version of a great song, Jason and the Scorchers demonstrate how to do a cover song. I want to talk about this song first, then riff for a bit on cover songs and list some great covers.

Jason and the Scorchers burn through this song with a frenzy that completely remakes the Dylan original. They do what great cover versions require: They make the song their own with no regard to the original. They re-envision the song so we see it anew again, see it in ways not imaginable before, yet obvious once we hear the new version. Where Dylan’s version played coy and danced around the swirl of images, Jason and the Scorchers roar through the verses, turning gentle references into dangerous shards and making clear the sexual longing and thwarted lust. Whipping guitar, pounding drums and bass and Jason’s snarl remove any doubt about the meaning of the song.