Nothing But The Whole Wide World

Album: Women + Country (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the opening track of American singer-songwriter and Wallflowers frontman Jakob Dylan's second solo album, Women + Country. For the record, Dylan reunited up with producer T-Bone Burnett, who produced the Wallflowers' 1996 breakthrough Bringing Down the Horse and its hit single "One Headlight."
  • This was the song that persuaded Burnett to hook up with the New York born singer-songwriter. Dylan told Rolling Stone: "I met up with T Bone while he was finishing up work on the Crazy Heart soundtrack. We were just passing around guitars and I played 'Nothing' for him - it was the one [new] song I had written. He liked it enough that he said that we should go make another record. I took that as a challenge to get fifteen songs together in six weeks."
  • Dylan is backed on the album by T-Bone Burnett's group of musicians, which include Dennis Crouch (bass), Jay Bellerose (drums), David Mansfield (fiddle & mandolin), Marc Ribot (guitar), Keefus Ciancia (keyboards), Greg Leisz (pedal steel), Darrell Leonard (trumpet), Ira Nepus (trombone) and George Bohanon (horns). Mansfield's fiddle features on this track and he has some previous history with the Dylan clan having played with Jakob's father on the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975/6 as well as his World Tour in 1978.
  • Burnett told USA Today that after hearing this song, he knew Dylan "had arrived." "The song isn't just beautiful and inspiring," Burnett said. "It owns his birthright comfortably without any jagged vibe. Growing up in L.A., in the privileged and complex way he did, you cast about for identity. He's fought his way through and written a classic American song. I told him, 'Go write 10 or 15 more like that and we'll make a record,' thinking he'd never do it."

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