Bob Dylan is one of the most covered artists in rock history. It almost seems as if a band hasn’t “earned their stripes” until they cover Bobby D. Dylan is the king of simple but effective tunes that are ripe for interpretation. One of those tunes is You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere, a beautiful little ditty that was actually released by The Byrds before Dylan got his version out.
You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere was first recorded by Dylan and The Band in 1967 during the legendary Basement Sessions. The Basement Sessions weren’t released to the public until 1975, but bootleg copies made the rounds among artists. The Byrds recorded their own version of the song for Sweetheart of the Rodeo in 1968, starting a trend of bands covering You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere. This week the B List compiles 20 great versions of one of our favorite Dylan tunes.
Read on for You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere covers by the Counting Crows, Phish, New Monsoon and 16 other acts….
1. Phish covered You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere at a concert in Camden towards the end of their career in 2003. The band did a great job with the tune, but sadly never covered it again before they broke up a year later. Phish played their It Festival a few days later leading to a number of cheers when Trey Anastasio sang the lyric “When we get up to it.”
2. The Counting Crows have been recording a bunch of covers lately including Ooh La La, Start Again and You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere. Earlier this month at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival the Crows busted out a live version of the latter.
3. As previously mentioned The Byrds were the first artist to release You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere. Here is a video of The Byrds rockin’ out the tune on Playboy After Dark.
4. The Radiators add a pinch of Zydeco to their version of You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.
5. It’s a shame you have probably never heard of The Grapes. The Grapes were a terrific southern rock band who came up through the ranks with ARU and Widespread Panic. The Grapes often covered You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere during their marathon performances.
6. Chris Hillman, formerly of The Byrds, played a country-fied version of You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere with his Desert Rose Band during a taping of TNN’s American Music Shop in 1991.
7. Hot Buttered Rum regularly performs a bluegrass style cover of You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.
8. Athens, Georgia’s Bloodkin is another band that came up through the ranks with Widespread Panic. Bloodkin offers a more rockin’ take of You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.
9. We’ve even got Shania Twain getting in on the You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere act. Check out this video of Shania, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Steve Wariner performing the tune live at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. We gotta give credit to Shania for beltin’ out the third verse without the help of Mutt Lange.
10. The String Cheese Incident invited the Del McCoury Band to open for them as part of their Winter Carnival shows in 2005. One of the tunes both bands played together during the encore of that show was You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.
11. Minnesota’s The Big Wu performed You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere during a gig at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.
12. Many incredible performers interpreted Dylan’s work during a concert celebrating the 30th anniversary of the beginning of his recording career. Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Shawn Colvin and Roseanne Cash do a nice job with You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.
14. New Monsoon played You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere with Honkytonk Homeslice and Keith Moseley during their set at the Yarmonygrass Festival in September.
15. Acoustic Junction was a great band from Boulder, that tried to change their name just as they were getting popular. The move was a disaster from which they never recovered. They even tried changing the name back, but it was too late. Do yourself a favor and check out one of their shows on the Live Music Archive. If you’ve been paying attention to this post you can probably tell Acoustic Junction covered You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.
16. Leftover Salmon started covering You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere just before their hiatus.
17. Dylan’s influence extends all the way to the east. Japanese group Kyo-Moyashi sang You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere with quite the thick accent during a gig in 2006.
18. The wacky Devendra Banhart does a surprisingly straight job of covering You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere at a recent concert.
19. When David Gans isn’t preparing episodes of the Grateful Dead Hour, he also plays guitar. One of the tunes Gans’ band covers is You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.
20. We couldn’t finish our list without sharing this version of You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere sung by Bobby D himself, featuring Larry Campbell on pedal steel.
If we missed any great versions of You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere let us know by leaving a comment below…..