The new record was produced by T Bone Burnett, who also oversaw the Wallflowers’ 1996 breakthrough album Bringing Down the Horse, which sold 4.3 million copies. It was that breakthrough album that won two Grammies and produced four hit singles, including “One Headlight” and “Sixth Avenue Heartache.” But that was 15 years ago. The Wallflowers maintained a devoted following, but never came close to matching that success, and since 2005 the group has been largely inactive.
After the still-enjoyable Robert Plant/Allison Krauss record, Burnett co-helmed the soundtrack for the Oscar-winning Crazy Heart and produced Willie Nelson’s latest album (and greatest in more than a decade), Country Music. He and Dylan knocked out the bulk of Women + Country in about a week with some of Burnett’s go-to musicians, including guitarist Marc Ribot, pedal-steel wiz Greg Leisz and drummer Jay Bellerose.
Making a modest debut at Number 12 on the Billboard chart, Women + Country hardly comes off as an attempt to rekindle that success, but it is quite an ambitious artistic achievement. Some of Dylan’s best lyrical and vocal work to date – songs such as “Nothing but the Whole Wide World” and “Everybody’s Hurting” – are laden with references to wars and wounds: products of the record’s two title words.
For info on the show, visit www.bearsvilletheater.com or call (845) 679-4406.