Dylan turns classic into gay wedding anthem – Listen

NME is reporting that Bob Dylan has contributed a track to a new compilation that turns well know songs into “same-sex wedding anthems”. Mick Huckabee will not be amused. They report: “‘Universal Love’ will be released on Friday (April 6) and features the likes of Dylan, St Vincent, Kesha, Bloc Party‘s Kele Okereke, Death Cab For Cutie‘s Ben Gibbard and Valerie June. For the six-track EP, Dylan takes on American classic ‘She’s Funny That Way’ (popularised by Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole), changing the song to be ‘He’s Funny That Way’. Continue reading “Dylan turns classic into gay wedding anthem – Listen”

Reg Meuross “Faraway People” (Hatsongs, 2017)

What’s the function of Folk music these days – does it have any place at all?  If its function was to hold a mirror up to society, then Meuross would have a place in this world. His songs are measured illustrations of the social crises that pockmark our nation, the gradual disintegration of society, the dismantling of the NHS, a government that drives the disabled to suicide, all important issues and all subjects of these songs. Continue reading “Reg Meuross “Faraway People” (Hatsongs, 2017)”

Girl from the North Country, The Noel Coward Theatre, London

A West End musical based entirely on the songs of Bob Dylan has to rank quite highly in the list of things that will never exist. And yet Girl from the North Country is that very thing. After a short run at the Old Vic it has now transferred with near sell-out success for what is described as a limited run at the Noel Coward Theatre. That very close to sold-outness would, one would like to think, ensure it has a longer life to come somewhere else.  Despite weaving a story around a single artist’s music it’s not your typical juke-box musical – it’s not your typical anything. Continue reading “Girl from the North Country, The Noel Coward Theatre, London”

Girl from the North Country is on the move

Photo: Manuel Harlan

In fact by the time of publication Girl from the North Country – the critically acclaimed musical derived from Bob Dylan’s songs will have completed its  transfer from the Old Vic to the heart of London’s West End at the Noel Coward Theatre.   Want  a plot synopsis ?  Well, it’s Duluth, Minnesota. 1934. A community living on a knife-edge huddle together in the local guesthouse. The owner, Nick, owes more money than he can ever repay, his wife Elizabeth is losing her mind and their daughter Marianne is carrying a child no one will account for.

Continue reading “Girl from the North Country is on the move”

Dylan covers Tom Petty’s Learning to Fly – Watch

Another amazing cover version this week, Bob possibly more enthused than his famous enthusiasm during the We are the World recording. Pitchfork report: “Bob Dylan has paid tribute to his late collaborator Tom Petty. During his show in Colorado last night, Dylan covered Petty’s 1991 song “Learning to Fly.” Watch footage of the performance below. Following news of Petty’s death on October 2, Dylan issued a statement remembering his friend. “It’s shocking, crushing news,” he said. “I thought the world of Tom. He was great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him.” Continue reading “Dylan covers Tom Petty’s Learning to Fly – Watch”

Full tracklisting for next Dylan bootleg series package revealed

This comes courtesy of Uncut this morning, thank you Uncut: “Bob Dylan‘s ‘gospel years’ are to provide the focus for the next instalment of his ongoing Bootleg Series. Trouble No More – The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 is released by Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings on November 3. Uncut has covered this period before – in a mammoth, two-part exploration of Dylan’s Eighties. You can read part one by clicking here and part two by clicking hereContinue reading “Full tracklisting for next Dylan bootleg series package revealed”

Film about Dylan “Gospel Tour” to premiere in New York

Made during his so called “Christian years” no less. Spin reports: “The New York Film Festival, which opens on September 28 and runs through October 15, is premiering a new concert film featuring the music Bob Dylanmade during his Christian years in the late 1970s and early ’80s. The movie is called Trouble No More, and is primarily comprised of clips from two shows during his lengthy 1979-80 tour, supporting the first of his three “gospel albums,” Slow Train Coming, in Toronto and Buffalo. The movie features voiceovers by actor Michael Shannon, written by writer Luc Sante, which are juxtaposed with the live footage. Continue reading “Film about Dylan “Gospel Tour” to premiere in New York”

Ian Felice “In The Kingdom of Dreams” (Loose, 2017)

Between two things there is often a dilution of each, a middle of the road but there is also the possibility of great fertility. I mention this as when listening to this record my first impression (and so far it’s an unshakeable one) is that on this record Ian Felice finds a beautiful sweet spot somewhere between Bob Dylan and Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel). There’s a wonderful off-the-cuff quality to the recordings (it was recorded quickly over 4 days produced by brother Simone and featuring other brothers fraternal and otherwise) as though the way the songs sound on here isn’t necessarily how they will sound again. There are strange lyrical flourishes – “Well the aliens landed on Election Day and they stole your mother’s lingerie” from 21st Century is one example – and at points an almost gleeful release, like it’s a creative cleansing. Continue reading “Ian Felice “In The Kingdom of Dreams” (Loose, 2017)”

Joan Osborne to release new Dylan covers album

Joan Osborne of philosophical musings about higher being fame has announced the release of her ninth studio album “Songs of Bob Dylan” for September 1st, her own interpretation of Dylan’s catalogue from his 60s and 70s standards through to his later releases that she spent time crafting as part of the “Joan Osborne Sings The Songs Of Bob Dylan” residencies – two two-week stints at New York’s Café Carlyle in March 2016 and 2017, which were described as ‘Magic’ by the Huffington Post and delivering ‘No-nonsense Dylan’ by the New York Times (she then went on to deliver a “Nonsense Dylan” set at the Frog and Bucket in Camden).  You can hear the first track from it via Spotify below, along with the tracklisting.  Continue reading “Joan Osborne to release new Dylan covers album”

Bob Dylan, London Palladium, London 28th April 2017

This was the first of three nights at The London Palladium, and this pretty theatre is by far the smallest venue I’ve ever seen Dylan in with just a 2,2866 capacity: Wembley Arena or The Dome this is not. Which means that even up in the Upper Circle the seats aren’t really that far from the stage – probably equivalent to being a dozen rows back in the stalls. The view of the stage – and hence the view of the band – is just perfect. Even during dimly lit sections it’s possible to pick out Dylan’s facial asides to the band – well, when they aren’t obscured by his wide brimmed hat. Continue reading “Bob Dylan, London Palladium, London 28th April 2017”