Rise Against and Bad Religion on Bob Dylan tribute album

We’re not exactly lacking for Bob Dylan covers and the fact that there’s another Dylan tribute coming out this year is hardly a surprise – it is the year of his 70th birthday after all – but the news that Rise Against and Bad Religion have signed on for a new covers album is exciting. And given that the album also celebrates Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary it’s practically a public service duty for us to announce it.

So far the two punk acts are the only bands that have officially announced their involvement in the for the record, but the album is reportedly similar to 2007’s Instant Karma compilation which featured John Lennon covers from U2, R.E.M., Green Day and Flaming Lips, and raised funds for Amnesty’s efforts to help victims of civil war in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Rise Against frontman Tim McIlrath told the Edmonton Journal that the band recorded a version of Dylan’s Ballad of Hollis Brown about an unemployed farmer who kills his starving family because he felt passionate about the lyrics. “It’s the first time I sang [someone elese’s] lyrics like the kind of the same way I sing my own… I’m kind of a born-again Bob Dylan fan, I’ll be honest,” he explained, “I grew up in a punk rock/hardcore world where it wasn’t cool to listen to folk music, so I’m just now discovering a lot of amazing artists. Bob Dylan was one I passed on in the past, but now I’m digging into his catalogue and really appreciate his stuff.”

Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz confirmed his involvement with the tribute album by tweeting last week to announce that producer Marc McClusky was “tracking a new @badreligion song at Sonora for Amnesty Int’l comp – its a dylan cover”.