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Albums Of The Week: Cat Power | Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert

The soulful singer-songwriter pays tribute to the voice of a generation by recreating one of his most historic concerts — while putting her own stamp on the proceedings.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Recorded Nov. 5, 2022 at London’s vaunted Royal Albert Hall, Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert sees Chan Marshall paying tribute to Bob Dylan with a complete live reimagining of his legendary performance at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in May 1966.  Long known as the Royal Albert Hall Concert due to a mislabeled bootleg, the original performance saw Dylan switching from acoustic to electric midway through the show, drawing the ire of folk purists and forever altering the course of rock ’n’ roll.

Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert both lovingly honours Dylan’s imprint on history and brings a stunning new vitality to many of his most revered songs, including Like A Rolling Stone, Mr. Tambourine Man, Visions Of Johanna, Ballad Of A Thin Man, It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue and 11 more. “More than the work of any other songwriter,” says Marshall, “Dylan’s songs have spoken to me, and inspired me since I first began hearing them at five years old.”

There are few voices more deeply embedded in the iconography and mythology of American indie rock than Marshall’s. Under the musical nom de plume of Cat Power, Marshall has released music for nearly 25 years now and her prowess as a songwriter, a producer, and — most notably — as a voice has only grown more influential with time.

Photo by Mario Sorrenti.

Cat Power Sings Dylan: The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert marks the latest in a series of albums that see Marshall reimagining classics from the American Songbook, rock ’n’ roll history and beyond, including 2000’s The Covers Record, 2008’s Jukebox, and 2022’s Covers.

Now, Power recreates Dylan’s epochal concert with both heartfelt reverence and a deep understanding of the delicate nature of song interpretation. Like the original concert (and all of Dylan’s 1966 world tour), Marshall kept the first half of her set entirely acoustic, then went electric for the second half with the help of a full band including guitarist Arsun Sorrenti, bassist Erik Paparozzi, multi-instrumentalists Aaron Embry (harmonica, piano) and Jordan Summers (organ, Wurlitzer), and drummer Josh Adams. In her own rendition of that historic night, Marshall inhabits each song with equal parts conviction and grace and a palpable sense of protectiveness, ultimately transposing the anarchic tension of Dylan’s set with a warm and luminous joy.

“I had and still have such respect for the man who crafted so many songs that helped develop conscious thinking in millions of people, helped shape the way they see the world,” says Marshall. “So even though my hands were shaking so much I had to keep them in my pockets, I felt real dignity for myself. It felt like a real honor for me to stand there.”


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