Various Artists

Duluth Does Dylan

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The bands of Duluth, MN, have a slightly more legitimate claim than most to cover the songs of Bob Dylan -- the legend was born in the sleepy Northern town. Of course, in a city as small as Duluth (population 85,000) just about every band around will be needed to fill up a compilation like this, and apparently that's just what comprises Duluth Does Dylan. The project is clearly a homespun affair, and that's its strength -- the disc has the requisite reverence and irreverence due the freewheelin' one. Inevitably, drawing from such a small pool produces the good, the bad, and the ugly; the only band on this compilation known outside Duluth is slowcore pioneer Low, which delivers a pretty a cappella rendition of "Blowin' in the Wind. Other notable renditions include Father Hennepin's quaint reading of "Girl of the North Country" and Black Eyed Snakes' (a rollicking Low side project) version of "Tombstone Blues." Overall, the project takes an admirable stab at the impossible: improving Dylan songs.

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