Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes is an album featuring a collective of musicians recording under the moniker The New Basement Tapes. The record consists of a series of tracks based on lyrics handwritten by Bob Dylan in 1966-67 with each artist taking the lead on adding the music and vocals for several songs each. T Bone Burnett oversaw the production.
This song features the voice of Marcus Mumford, who also supplied the tune for Dylan's lyrics. Mojo magazine asked Mumford what drew him to the words of Stranger? He replied: "I liked that it was a bit dirty, I liked that it was a bit gritty."
"There's a conversation within the song, so I enjoyed singing as the object and the subject," Mumford added. "That's a style you find through reading people like T.S. Eliot who jump around in conversations all the time, and Dylan does that all the time in songs. It also has a kind of outlaw feel to it, and that was fun to play with."