First of all, let me say that these two songs have two things in common: they are both by Dylan, and I wanted to post both. I put them together because I wasn’t sure I would have enough time for two posts.
Suzzy and Maggie Roche: Clothes Line Saga
Bob Dylan has an impish side. Some of his songs seem to have been written in response to his reputation as a profound songwriter; the attitude seems to be, “Let them try to find a profound meaning for this. Heh, heh.” I think Clothes Line Saga is one of these songs. It sort of tells a meandering story about a family waiting for their clothes to dry on the line in January, and goes a lot of places without getting anywhere. The playfulness of it appealed to the Roche sisters, Maggie and Suzzy in this case. Add the third sister Terri and you have The Roches. They have certainly shown a playful side of their own in their work. Incidentally, as far as I can tell, the Roche sisters are the only ones who have recorded a cover of this song.
Dave‘s True Story: Simple Twist of Fate
Bob Dylan, of course, emerged from the Greenwich Village folk scene of the 1960s, along with Joan Baez and many others. Dave’s True Story emerged from the Greenwich Village folk scene of the 1980s, which gave us Suzanne Vega and many others. The 80s scene was fueled by Fast Folk Musical Magazine. Fast Folk released albums on a regular schedule which collected folk artists who were active in the Village folk clubs at the time. For many, this was the artist’s first recorded work, and careers were built.
Dave’s True Story perform what might be called pop-folk, with a strong jazz flavor. They cite Cole Porter and George Gershwin as major influences. Their version of “Simple Twist of Fate” comes from the album Simple Twist of Fate: DTS Does Dylan, which is pretty much what it sounds like.