It's one thing to ambitiously take on the task of covering one of the greatest albums of the last century at a live show. It's another thing to record it, release it and garner a tasty record deal due to the surging critical buzz. That's the story of Mary Lee Kortes' band Mary Lee's Corvette and their rendition of Bob Dylan's legendary Blood on the Tracks. Recorded as part of a series of live "legendary albums" shows by various artists at New York's Arlene's Grocery, the recording wasn't even supposed to be released initially. But Kortes received such an overwhelming response from those who had heard it (largely on the Internet) that she did put it out officially, leading to a deal with Bar None, which re-released the album earlier this year. Since then, publications like Rolling Stone and Billboard have heaped praises on the album, and Dylan himself is reportedly a fan. The fact that Kortes' "breakthrough" is with someone else's material shouldn't be a problem — her band's self-titled debut album (which also got wider release by happenstance and cumulating buzz) was praised for the songwriting and Kortes' impressive vocal presence. And Bar None has plans to release a full-length studio album of Kortes' original material in the new year.
At the Southgate House on Friday with Betty Dylan.