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Strangely enough, though, the Souls' versions of the tracks are consistently excellent. Rather than offering bouncy but watered-down renditions, Matthews and McDonald use a '90s garage-dub style that's true to the numbers' psychedelic spirit. "Basically those songs were great songs already," McDonald explains. "So we wanted to inject Jamaican flavor into a fresh sound."
Mission accomplished. Dylan's masterpiece has been beefed up with a crunching guitar and the most infectious riff since Sublime's "What I Got." As for Buffalo Springfield's oft-covered "For What It's Worth," it remains recognizable thanks to its chimey, two-tone signature hook, but fat bass lines and a hip-hop beat take it to another level.
Given the success of this experiment, Wailing Souls fans are already wondering what Matthews and McDonald will try next. But Matthews isn't ready to think about that quite yet. He's got other things to do. "I'm going back outside now to work on my car," he says.
Wailing Souls are scheduled to perform on Thursday October 22, at Jackson Hole, with Let's Go Bowling. Showtime is 8 p.m.