Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Teams Up With Jason Isbell, Rosanne Cash, Steve Earle for Bob Dylan Cover

by Joe Rutland
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The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band joins up with a few country music artists to record a cover version of Bob Dylan‘s “The Times They Are A-Changin’.”

Now the band managed to get Rosanne Cash, Steve Earle, Jason Isbell, and The War And Treaty (Tanya Blount and Michael Trotter Jr.) on board for this version of the Dylan classic.

Dirt Band members gathered together in March 2020 to record their part. Those involved include singer/guitarist Jeff Hanna, drummer Jimmie Fadden, accordion player Bob Carpenter, bassist Jim Photoglo, guitarist Jaime Hanna, and fiddler/mandolinist Ross Holmes.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band member Jeff Hanna Is Dylan Fan

“I’ve been a fan of Bob Dylan’s since I was a teenager, living in California,” Jeff Hanna said in an interview. “I was fortunate enough to see him sing ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ in concert the year the song was released, 1964. It moved me deeply then and that hasn’t changed. The lyrics are as relevant today as they were when Dylan wrote it. Maybe even more so.”

Proceeds from song purchases go to Feeding America, an organization dedicated to helping fight hunger in the United States.

You can find the song on Bandcamp through Feb. 8. After that date, it will be released to other digital streaming platforms. The cost for purchasing the song download is $1 or more, which all goes to Feeding America.

“We were proud and honored to be joined on this song by Rosanne Cash, Steve Earle, Jason Isbell, and The War And Treaty,” Jeff Hanna added. “We’ve got great admiration for all of these folks, not only as artists, but more importantly, as people.”

Story Behind ‘Fishin’ in the Dark’ by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Obviously, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is pleased with “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” but the band has hit songs.

“Fishin’ in the Dark” is written by Jim Photoglo and Wendy Waldman.

It happens to be the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s third No. 1 hit, showing up on the 1987 album “Hold On.”

What makes the song still popular for their fans and even surprises the songwriters?

“Well, for me, just the fact that people are still listening to it after all these years,” Photoglo said in an interview. “The stories I hear from the (Nitty Gritty) Dirt Band are how their audience react, and it’s like that. It’s a lot of foot-stomping.”

Songwriters Turned Their Attention To Fishing At Night

Photoglo lived in Los Angeles and returned there from a trip to Nashville. Upon getting back to L.A., he met up with Waldman.

Now she had just finished listening to National Public Radio’s big Saturday night hit “A Prairie Home Companion” with host Garrison Keillor. She turned to him and said, “Let’s write a song about fishing.”

His initial reaction was to run away because he had worked up a song already. He didn’t want to change course.

“But she said, ‘No, fishing in the dark,’” Photoglo said. “We started messing around with it, and it just happened, you know? We did it for fun.”

H/T: Jambase

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