Perhaps the most tantalizing period in Bob Dylan’s fabled history is his self-imposed exile while recovering from a motorcycle accident in late 1966. For nearly a year, the folk-rock icon holed up in the cellar of a large pink house in West Saugerties, New York (later immortalized as “Big Pink”) with future members of The Band to write and record music that scholars among his best. Unfortunately for fans, it would go largely unheard for decades. After years of bootlegging, the first fruits of this quietly prolific time saw light of day on The Basement Tapes in 1975— but’s only a fraction of the story. More music from those sessions have since been released, culminating with this year’s The Complete Basement Tapes, which has lead many to believe that the well had finally run dry. Until now.
Hand written lyrics from this era of Dylan’s unbridled creativity have been rediscovered and are getting new life thanks to a star-packed group of music pros including Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens of Carolina Chocolate Drops, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, and Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons. Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued, premiering on Showtime tonight at 9 p.m. ET, is a thrilling new documentary that follows these artists as they make a a new album with Dylan’s long lost words. Academy Award-winning record producer T Bone Burnett offers his guidance as the group breathes life and music into these lyrics, creating the new disc Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes.
Showtime already debuted four original songs from the documentary — “Kansas City,” “Down On The Bottom,” “Diamond Ring,” and “Hidee Hidee Ho #16” — on YouTube. Listen to “Kansas City,” sung by Marcus Mumford, below. Don’t forget to tune in tonight (November 21st) at 9 PM on Showtime, and for a special encore performance on Tuesday, November 25th at 10 p.m!