A collection of unfinished Bob Dylan songs from the 1960s are finally getting the star treatment, though it's not coming from Dylan himself.
An all-star cast of musicians has convened to take two dozen Dylan tunes, purportedly written around 1967 during the singer's "Basement Tapes" period, and put them to music, with a planned album and Showtime TV special in the works, the L.A. Times reports.
Deemed "Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes," the project is helmed by producer T Bone Burnett, with a band that includes Elvis Costello, Mumford & Sons' Marcus Mumford, My Morning Jacket's Jim James, Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes and Carolina Chocolate Drops' Rhiannon Giddens.
"These are not B-level Dylan lyrics,” Burnett said Monday of the project. "They’re lyrics he just never got around to finishing."
According to Burnett, he and Costello set out to capture the magic of Dylan's original "Basement Tapes" session, which saw the folk singer and The Band record in a house in upstate New York, especially in terms of its creative process. All musicians involved were in on the process, often contributing multiple interpretations to the same lyric.
While Dylan isn't involved in creating the music aside from his original songwriting contributions, he has given the project his blessing.
In addition to an album of material, the entire process is being documented by filmmaker Sam Jones, who plans to release "Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued" on Showtime. Both are expected sometime this fall.