‘A New Music City’ is the ideal companion piece for Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit

Nashville‘Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City’
Various Artists (Legacy)
5 stars out of 5

I’m a firm believer that true-blue fans of country music should make the occasional pilgrimage to Nashville to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. I’ve been there a couple times and can assure you that it’s a terrific way for a music lover to spend a day. I’ll try my best to make a return trip before Dec. 31, 2016 to check out showcase exhibit “Dylan, Cash, and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City.”

Nashville CDThe exhibit — and this fantastic two-disc companion album — explores the relationship between pop, rock, folk and country music through a variety of essential recordings. Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, The Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Linda Ronstadt, The Monkees, Joan Baez and Gordon Lightfoot were among the A-list artists who flocked to Nashville in the late 1960s and early 1970s to record with Music City’s acclaimed session musicians known as “The Nashville Cats.”

Dylan and Johnny Cash paved the way for the crossover appeal and they loom large on the 36-track, 115-minute collection. There isn’t a bad song to be found here, of course, but pay extra attention to tunes from Dylan (“Absolutely Sweet Marie,” “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight,” a previously unreleased version of “If Not for You”), The Byrds (“You Ain’t Going Nowhere,” “Hickory Wind”), Kris Kristofferson (“If You Don’t Like Hank Williams”), Simon & Garfunkel (“The Boxer”), Young (“Heart of Gold”), Baez (“The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”) and Derek & The Dominos (“Matchbox”). This one is an essential addition to the collection of any self-respecting music aficionado. (Jeffrey Sisk)

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