I’ve been messing around with the Bob Dylan song “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” which was popularized by the Byrds, among others. Six years ago I posted some vocal and baritone uke musings to this blog and promptly forgot about it. Then the Reuben Kincaid started jamming together and we broke this song out once or twice. (It’s only got three chords and the verses and choruses are the same so it’s, uh… kind of easy to play.)
When the time came for my scary stage debut as Cheeses & Tequila with Bill DeRouchey at Ukepalooza, I dragged it out of my memory banks for our frantic rehearsal and sessions and this ended up being one of the songs we played in our set.
Recently, while one of the members of the Kincaid was gallivanting halfway around the globe, the Right Reverend “So-Called” Bill and I got together for a duo rehearsal, Bill on acoustic guitar and myself on my trusty electrified ukulele, and among other things we played this song.
Now, after I played in Portland with Other Bill, my old friend Levi Asher dropped me a note complimenting me on choosing to sing that particular version of the lyrics. It happened to be the one I was more familiar with at the time, and that’s the first version So-Called Bill and I improvised.
What’s strange to me now is that I distinctly remember that Levi used to quote the lyrics “strap yourself to a tree with roots” in one of his email sigs of yore, and that’s from the other well known version of the song. I can never keep straight which one came first.
Well, Bill also expected more lyrics so I found the other version and we played that one too. Bill demurred when I suggested a guitar solo, so I take all five solos (two in the first version and three in the second) with varying degrees of success and ability to resolve a phrase in time for the next verse.
Given that every ensemble has to have a name, Bill and I have dubbed ourselves Bacon ‘n’ Biscuit for the purposes of our duo excursions, so without further ado, I give you two versions of You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere, performed by Bacon ‘n’ Biscuit live in the studio:
I put down a basic rhythm track with a little bit of fingerpicking on it, doubled it (there are, like, nine verses) and then sang over it. The result is the sort of demo I make to show other people how I’m playing the song and to possibly use as a sort of stone-soup scratch track to be overdubbed into oblivion.
But life has its own ideas and other songs have pushed this aside in my active practice repertoire and yet I still feel kind of good about this very loose take and so I’ve decided to share it here.