Album: Various artists

Is It Rolling, Bob? A reggae tribute to Bob Dylan, RAS / SANCTUARY
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Though not quite as seamless a fit of manner and material as last year's prog/reggae crossover Dub Side of the Moon, this compilation of Jamaican cover versions confirms the apparently infinite adaptability of Dylan's songs. In the hands of Beres Hammond and The Mighty Diamonds, respectively, "Just Like a Woman" and "Lay, Lady, Lay" sound like native Jamaican creations, while "Mr Tambourine Man" could have been designed to match the plaintive vulnerability in Gregory Isaacs' voice. At the more didactic end of the scale, the scourging, fire-and-brimstone attitude of "Gotta Serve Somebody" (performed by Nasio with Drummie Zeb & The Razor Posse, featuring the toaster Incline) echoes the stern, righteous approach of older roots-reggae Rasta pioneers and younger "Taliban dreads" such as Sizzla. As it happens, Sizzla contributes one of the album's more fiery cuts, making up in feistiness what he lacks in fidelity to the original lyric of "Subterranean Homesick Blues". Some of these versions strug

Though not quite as seamless a fit of manner and material as last year's prog/reggae crossover Dub Side of the Moon, this compilation of Jamaican cover versions confirms the apparently infinite adaptability of Dylan's songs. In the hands of Beres Hammond and The Mighty Diamonds, respectively, "Just Like a Woman" and "Lay, Lady, Lay" sound like native Jamaican creations, while "Mr Tambourine Man" could have been designed to match the plaintive vulnerability in Gregory Isaacs' voice. At the more didactic end of the scale, the scourging, fire-and-brimstone attitude of "Gotta Serve Somebody" (performed by Nasio with Drummie Zeb & The Razor Posse, featuring the toaster Incline) echoes the stern, righteous approach of older roots-reggae Rasta pioneers and younger "Taliban dreads" such as Sizzla. As it happens, Sizzla contributes one of the album's more fiery cuts, making up in feistiness what he lacks in fidelity to the original lyric of "Subterranean Homesick Blues". Some of these versions struggle for either mood or commitment but the artistry is more equally applied on tracks such as Toots Hibbert's rousing "Maggie's Farm" and Luciano's lovely take on "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", recast as "... Zion's Door".

Comments