For the uninitiated, The New Basement Tapes are a newly formed, one-off group of artists brought together by the legendary producer T Bone Burnett after he was personally given a box of lyrics written by Bob Dylan.
The lyrics came from a major writing session in 1967 , when Dylan invited some fellow musicians (who later became The Band) to upstate New York for some jam sessions while he recovered from a motorcycle accident.
The New Basement Tapes are a project based on trust.
First, Dylan placed these lyrics –in whatever shape they were in — into T Bone’s hands who would then in turn trust these five musicians to create songs based on lyrics.
Recently, KCRW had the pleasure of recording a live session with the group at the historic Capitol Recording Studios where the original album was cut.
Afterwards, our own Anne Litt sat down with T Bone, Jim James. Taylor Goldsmith, Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford, and Rhiannon Giddens to talk about the creation of the project and what they think it means for Dylan and songwriters of all kinds.
Here’s Anne Litt on KCRW’s Press Play talking with Madeleine Brand about her interview.
WATCH: The New Basement Tapes perform “Kansas City” live at Capitol Records Recording Studio