Dylan's 'Basement Tapes' give Canadian restoration duo Grammy attention

TORONTO -- Years of sifting through dusty attic boxes and reels of fuzzy audio recordings has given two Canadian music archivists a shot at Grammy glory.

See Full Article

Producer Jan Haust and engineer Peter Moore are nominated in the best historical album category this year for bringing Bob Dylan's "The Basement Tapes" to life.

It's one of several projects on which the Toronto-based duo has worked, meticulously restoring tapes that were seemingly lost to time.

"We reach into that netherworld of records that have been recorded but neither erased nor released," says Haust, a native of London, Ont.

"I like to think we pull them through time and give them liberty."

Those efforts come with a heaping dose of patience, as for every gem recording there are countless fruitless searches.

On other projects, Haust and Moore have spent endless hours cold calling strangers in hopes they'll locate something -- anything -- tied to one of their historical music endeavours.

Moore compares his work to an archeologist, except that instead of dusting away at dinosaur bones he's flattening out crusty old audio tapes unearthed from a mouldy storage room.

"You take a good educated guess and start digging down," says Moore, who grew up in Hamilton.

In the case of the "Basement Tapes," the search was a little easier in some respects.

The fabled recordings "sort of appeared in a locker" when the Band's Garth Hudson was going through items in storage, says Haust.

After hearing about the discovery, Haust encouraged him to send the tapes to Canada for restoration, and sidelined bigger plans for a Levon and the Hawks boxed set to devote more time to Dylan's recordings.

The complete tapes, which Dylan made with Toronto's the Band in 1967, were already popular bootlegs with music aficionados interested in filling their shelves with the demos of famous rock performers.

But the audio quality varied and the collection was never fully complete.

Haust and Moore say it was important to make a definitive source of Dylan and the Band's work in a period that marked the germination of Woodstock and the transition into psychedelia.

So came the release of "The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete," an extensive six-disc collection that features 138 takes of 115 songs recorded with the Band in a basement near Woodstock, N.Y., as Dylan was recovering from a motorcycle accident.

Included in the package is a 120-page hardcover book with photographs and memorabilia of the time.

The compilation garnered rave reviews from critics and gave Haust and Moore a newfound level of global attention -- which included the Grammy nomination.

With the wrap of the "Basement Tapes," the duo is turning their attention back to the Hawks project with plans for a release later this year. Their spirits have been buoyed by recognition from their industry peers.

"Even the nomination, at least for me, is a nod," says Haust.

"All those years spent in basements and storage lockers -- hours and hours -- there's a little acknowledgment there."



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Magician Penn Jillette of 'Penn & Teller' apologizes for calling Newfoundland 'stupid'

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Celebrity magician Penn Jillette has apologized after Newfoundlanders took him to task for insulting their intelligence on a talk show. Jillette, half of the comedic magic duo "Penn & Teller," said his family likely comes from Newfoundland, which he described as being a "euphemism for stupid". Source
  • Magician Penn Jillette apologizes for calling Newfoundland 'stupid'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Celebrity magician Penn Jillette has apologized after Newfoundlanders took him to task for insulting their intelligence on a talk show. Jillette, half of the comedic magic duo “Penn & Teller,” said his family likely comes from Newfoundland, which he described as being a “euphemism for stupid”. Source
  • Judge refuses to end Roman Polanski sex assault case

    Entertainment CBC News
    A Los Angeles judge on Friday denied the impassioned plea of Roman Polanski's victim to end a four-decade-old sexual assault case against the fugitive director. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon ruled that Polanski must return to California if he expects to resolve charges of sexually abusing a teen. Source
  • Ryan Phillippe threatens social media imposters soliciting donations

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Ryan Phillippe has warned fans not to be fooled by scammers posing as the actor online, urging them to beware of imposters soliciting donations for charity. The Cruel Intentions star took to Twitter on Friday to send out the alert, insisting any Facebook accounts set up in his name are fake. Source
  • 5 best 'Game of Thrones' battle scenes — so far

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Game of Thrones’ stunning Loot Train Battle was certainly one of the standout scenes during seven seasons on the HBO series. But was it the very best of the major battles that we've witnessed? With the final two episodes of Season 7 promising to be an epic showdown between Jon Snow, Cersei and Daenerys against the Army of the Undead, here's the definitive ranking of the major GoT battles thus far. Source
  • Madonna doesn't want deposition on auction of her dirty underwear taped

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Madonna has asked a judge to block cameras from videotaping a deposition in her lawsuit over the online auction of her personal items. The Material Girl hitmaker filed suit against bosses at Gotta Have It! Collectibles and her former friend, art consultant Darlene Lutz, last week, claiming items hitting the auction block had been wrongfully taken from her. Source
  • Robin Thicke, Paula Patton end custody battle

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Robin Thicke and his ex Paula Patton have reportedly resolved their custody issues by reaching a new agreement. The Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol beauty legally regained her single status in 2015, a year after her separation from Thicke, but at the start of 2017, the former couple became embroiled in a nasty court fight over the care of its seven-year-old son, Julian. Source
  • First official details of 'Deadpool 2' stuntwoman's downtown Vancouver death released by WorkSafeBC [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    A woman who was killed on a stunt during filming of the movie Deadpool 2 went outside the planned boundaries of the stunt, according to an initial report by WorkSafeBC released on Friday. The report of the death of motorcycle driver Joi “S.J. Source
  • Stratford Festival explores painful chapter of Canada's past in The Komagata Maru Incident

    Entertainment CBC News
    The Stratford Festival is revisiting a painful chapter in Canada's history with The Komagata Maru Incident, but the show's stars say it is vital to continue addressing the issues at the core of the century-old story. Source
  • Judge rejects Roman Polanski victim's bid to end case

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- A Los Angeles judge has denied the impassioned plea of Roman Polanski's victim to end the criminal case against the fugitive director. Judge Scott Gordon ruled Friday Polanski must appear in a Los Angeles court if he expects to have his four-decade-old case resolved. Source