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's new version of Dylan's classic sounds more poignant and insistent than ever before. “I’ve been a fan of Bob Dylan’s since I was a teenager, living in California,” says NGDB founding member and lead singer Jeff Hanna. “I was fortunate enough to see him sing “The Times They Are A-Changing” in concert the year the song was released: 1964.” Today, JamBase shared NGDB’s star-studded version of Dylan’s classic. Beginning today, “The Times They Are A-Changin’” is available for “name your price” purchase on the band’s Bandcamp page with all proceeds going to Feeding America. On February 8th, the song will become available on digital service providers with those proceeds also going towards Feeding America’s cause. More information can be found at nittygritty.com.
Amidst the compounding, pleading verses of Scottish ballad by way of Greenwich Village, the Dirt Band's distinguished musical guests—Jason Isbell, Rosanne Cash, The War And Treaty, and Steve Earle, all of whom are no strangers to writing and singing their beliefs on record, each step to the microphone to contribute a verse with Isbell also adding slide guitar—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,” Hanna notes. “The lyrics are as relevant today as they were when Dylan wrote it. Maybe even more so.”
Produced by Ray Kennedy, “The Time’s They Are A-Changin;” was 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. Rounding out the already outstanding cast of characters on this track are all of the current members of NGDB—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—and Jeff Hanna’s better half—Matraca Berg on harmonica and harmony vocals. “We’ve got great admiration for all of these folks, not only as artists, but more importantly, as people,” says Hanna.