Miley Cyrus will appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”tonight (Feb. 15), performing “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go,” her contribution to Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International. The collection is available as a 76-song digital edition, a 73-track 4-CD set and a 31-song Starbucks edition in the United States, where combined first week sales made it the nation’s No. 7 bestseller. It debuted at No. 4 in Canada and has charted in the Top 20 in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Germany, Austria, Norway and the Netherlands.
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” will continue its tribute to the work of Amnesty International with a series of performances by artists from Chimes of Freedom. Natasha Bedingfield will perform “Ring Them Bells” next Wed., Feb. 22, and Dierks Bentley and the Punch Brothers will perform “Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)” on an upcoming show (date to be announced soon). Mariachi El Bronx will debut their version of Dylan’s “Love Sick” on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Mon., Feb. 27.
On Fri., Feb. 17, Rise Against will premiere a video for “Ballad of Hollis Brown,” the band’s contribution to Chimes of Freedom, on YouTube, VEVO, MTV.com, VH1.com and fuse.tv.
“The ‘Ballad of Hollis Brown’ was about one farmer who falls on hard times,” says Rise Against’s lead singer, Tim McIlrath, “but I don’t think anyone from that time period could imagine how our entire agricultural system would fall on hard times. We wanted to make a video that would let the audience know that these problems aren’t exclusive to the time period Bob Dylan was singing about, and in fact they’ve grown exponentially. A farmer’s enemies aren’t just drought or floods anymore, they are now everything from over-powerful corporations to short-sighted immigration policies.”
NPR’s Ann Powers commented: “What I love about this set is the musical variety, and one strain is definitely punk bands picking up Dylan’s political fervor and one of my favorite examples is the band Rise Against (covering ‘Hollis Brown’).” “Dylan’s ‘Chimes’ still resonates across the decades,” observed USA Today. “Sinéad O’Connor recasts 1981′s born-again ‘Property of Jesus’ as a fiery church-reform anthem,” said Entertainment Weekly. “And Carly Simon smartly plays ‘Just Like a Woman’ as a feminist ballad.”
In the United Kingdom, Chimes of Freedom received four stars from both The Observer and Rolling Stone, with the latter noting: “despite the breadth of material, interpretation and interpreters, the standard of these tributes is almost entirely worthy of the occasion, with many artists stepping up and out of their comfort zone to find what they need.” The Sunday Times praised Queens of the Stone Age, Tom Morello and the Gaslight Anthem for their reinventions of “Outlaw Blues,” “Blind Willie McTell” and “Changing of the Guards” respectively while The Daily Mirror observed that Chimes of Freedom shows “both the richness of Dylan’s songwriting and how far and wide his influence has stretched.”
“The response to this collection is beyond anything we could have imagined – people around the world are abuzz with excitement,” said Helen Garrett, Amnesty International USA director of special projects and one of the album’s executive producers. “From the bottom of our hearts, we thank the musicians for their inspired contributions to this album, and their enduring commitment to human rights. The injustices and brutality in this world can seem overwhelming, but if individuals around the world band together – like the musicians on this album – we have a chance to turn the tide, and create a better world with human rights and justice for all.”