Guest Room Sessions: Karen Jonas, ‘It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry’
For July's installment of The Boot's Guest Room Sessions, singer-songwriter Karen Jonas decided to take on a Bob Dylan song. Press play above to watch her perform her take on "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry."
Fifty-four years ago this month, on July 29, 1965, Dylan recorded "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry," for his Highway 61 Revisited album. The influential record was released on Aug. 30, 1965.
"I love this song," Jonas tells The Boot. "It’s got all of the nostalgia and longing of a good country song, constructed in a blues number, with classic Bob Dylan phrasing and imagery. I love the juxtaposition of passion and weariness at play in the lyrics."
Jonas' special guest for her Guest Room Sessions performance of "It Takes a Train to Laugh ..." is her frequent collaborator, guitarist Tim Bray, with whom she's been playing for more than five years. The duo happened on the Ashland, Va., location at which they filmed their performance by chance after a show.
"We were driving home from a gig one evening and stopped by an old caboose outside of a museum," Jonas recalls. "We didn’t quite have permission to use the site, but no one seemed to mind as we strummed through the song."
Fans can hear Jonas's studio version of "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" when Lucky, Revisited is released on July 19. The project -- the name of which was inspired by Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited -- contains newly recorded, acoustic takes on songs from her first three albums, as well as a couple of covers. Visit KarenJonasMusic.com for details.