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Jim James, Marcus Mumford, Elvis Costello & More Take on Bob Dylan’s ‘Nothing to It': Listen

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Bob Dylan circa 1966 (Getty Images)

Bob Dylan circa 1966 (Getty Images)

By Kevin Rutherford

What happens when a handful of big names in the music industry decide to take on one of the most important songwriters in history in Bob Dylan?

The result is Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes, featuring an all-star cast recording songs written by Dylan in the ’60s, and the first taste of such a project arrives today (Aug. 19) with “Nothing to It.”

Related: Radio.com Minimation: Bob Dylan: ‘Anybody Can Make a Video’

Jim James of My Morning Jacket takes the lead on the song, and even though he and the others on the track are very much modern, he manages to make the song very much retro-sounding, particularly in the chorus.

“I knew I was young enough,” he sings. “And I knew there was nothing to it / For I’d already seen it done enough.”

There’s fuzzed-out guitar as well, perhaps either a contribution from James or Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith, from the sound of it.

James and Goldsmith are joined on the song — and the entire album — by Mumford & Sons‘ Marcus Mumford, Elvis Costello and Carolina Chocolate Drops‘ Rhiannon Giddens, plus producer T Bone Burnett.

A lyric video released today to accompany the song features Dylan’s lyrics strewn throughout an animation of a walking man.

Lost on the River is due out Nov. 11. It includes 15 songs written by Dylan in what’s estimated to be 1967 and recorded in two weeks by the supergroup.

A Showtime documentary on the making of the album is set to premiere Nov. 21.

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