Various Dylan Country

While most compilations released in tribute of someone’s work usually fall flat of the mark, this meticulously chosen collection of country versions of Bob Dylan songs is outstanding. Instead of commissioning a number of artists to record his songs in tribute, Dylan Country is a collection of previously recorded Dylan tracks by name country and folk artists from the past 30 years that, when strung together, highlight the genius of Dylan’s work from a more roots-oriented angle. Taking tracks from the old school country guard — Johnny Cash’s "It Ain’t Me Babe,” Waylon Jennings’ "Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” and matching them up with newer artists such as Nancy Griffith works well. As does hearing Buck Owens take on "Love Minus Zero/No Limit” followed directly by the Byrds’ "You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” perhaps the best Dylan cover they did after "Mr. Tambourine Man” (and one that, unlike "Tambourine,” they actually played on). I can’t say enough about this collection. It is a real listening joy from start to finish. (Shout! Factory)