Sam Jones’ absorbing documentary contains two strands. Primarily, it focuses on the two-week sessions when Elvis Costello and T Bone Burnett brought together Jim James, Marcus Mumford, Taylor Goldsmith (of Dawes) and the outstanding Rhiannon Giddens to complete song lyrics that Dylan accumulated post-bike crash.
Dylan plays his part in a wry and revealing voiceover that accompanies home movie footage of his time with The Band in Woodstock./o:p
The contemporary and historical stories inform one another, though the musicians’ awe at accessing their source material is refreshingly undercut by Giddens. The neophyte, unfamiliar with the mythic weight of The Basement Tapes, lets her astonishing musicianship course through the emblematic Lost On The River./o:p
Ultimately, Jones’ intimate approach proves most revealing, both about Dylan’s expansive imagination and the intense creative process that went into rescuing the maestro’s cast-offs for contemporary listeners./o:p