Singer-songwriter Tim Easton recruited a renowned collection of Nashville musicians to record a cover of the Bob Dylan outtake “Whatcha Gonna Do?” to raise awareness and funds for the Nashville Rescue Mission. We’re beyond pleased to premiere the cover here and encourage you to help feed Nashville’s homeless.
For the recording, Easton enlisted the help of singer-songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Aaron Lee Tasjan (who also co-produces the track with Easton) and Megan Palmer, in addition Dylan collaborators and American Music Association Award show staples the McCrary Sisters. The song/video was recorded at East Side Manor Studios in East Nashville, with the participants being members of the Campfire Propaganda songwriter collective.
“I simply wanted to do a project that gives back to the community that nurtures us, and use the abundant talent around the neighborhood to make it happen,” Easton says. “My goal is to have Campfire Propaganda create an annual video that employs various locals to raise awareness for local causes. A little more ‘We are the Neighborhood’ than ‘We Are The World.'”
The original song was written and recorded by Dylan during the Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan sessions, but was left off the album. It latter appeared on Vol. 9 of the Bootleg Series, The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964.
Easton and company flesh out this demo and add a bit of gospel flavor to one of Dylan’s more religious early recordings. In addition to supporting a great cause, the Nashville native hopes the song will also will help those with hate in their hearts after this past weekend’s Paris attacks.
“I wouldn’t call myself a religious person, but I enjoy Spiritual music of many stripes. I also think it’s interesting that Bob Dylan wrote these words as such a young man, perhaps borrowing from a Gospel tradition,” Easton says. “I do my best to respect every reasonable person’s beliefs, and try not to engage in a hateful attitude, hoping that all those who are stuck in hate can somehow turn the corner.”
Nashville Rescue Mission is a faith-based organization that aids homeless men, women and children in Middle Tennessee by providing food, clothing and shelter. They are currently raising funds to provide Thanksgiving meals to those with nowhere else to go.
“It’s $2.26 to purchase a Thanksgiving dinner for somebody at Nashville Rescue Mission,” Easton says. “Watch the video, and if the spirit moves you, click on the link and help out someone in need.”
Watch Mick Leonardi-directed video for Tim Easton’s cover of Bob Dylan’s Whatcha Gonna Do” below, and learn more about Nashville Rescue Mission and how to donate here.