Book Review: Clinton Heylin “No One Else Could Play That Tune” (Route, 2018)

If, like many of us, you’re hoping a copy of Dylan’s “More Blood, More Tracks” might be among the presents awaiting your attention under the Christmas Tree, I suggest you drop the fat man in the red suit a little note, requesting this stocking filler as a late addition to the Christmas list. ‘No One Else Could Play That Tune’ is an outstanding piece of rock history. Writer Clinton Heylin has left no stone unturned in his attempt to bring us the definitive breakdown of the Blood on the Tracks recording sessions that resulted in Dylan’s 1974 masterpiece – and which, in turn, created the latest release in the highly acclaimed Bootleg Series. Continue reading “Book Review: Clinton Heylin “No One Else Could Play That Tune” (Route, 2018)”

BST Hyde Park announces Dylan and Neil Young as first headliners

We have to refer to Neil by his full name in case any of you think you’re buying tickets to Will Young and end up bitterly disappointed. Evil multiconglomerate Barclaycard has announced its first two headliners for its British Summer Time Hyde Park events for 2019 – and they’re both playing the same night which could make getting hold of tickets interesting – no less than Bob Dylan and  Neil Young are joint headliners.  Continue reading “BST Hyde Park announces Dylan and Neil Young as first headliners”

Bob Dylan “Bootleg Series 14: More Blood, More Tracks” (Columbia Records,2018)

Every one of them words rang true and glowed like burning coal, pouring off of every page like it was written in my soul” – ‘Blood on the Tracks‘ is arguably Dylan’s masterpiece in a gallery of great works. What this entry into the Bootleg series – again, arguably the most important on-going archival series by any artist – offers is an alternative ‘Blood on the Tracks’, the version of the album that Dylan first recorded when he took these songs into the studio with a very different record in mind. September 16th-19th 1974 saw Dylan in the A&R studios in New York cutting tracks that had been stripped back to their essence – guitar and harmonica, Dylan’s words and voice – there was “revolution in the air“. Continue reading “Bob Dylan “Bootleg Series 14: More Blood, More Tracks” (Columbia Records,2018)”

Geoff Muldaur, Stables Stage 2, Wavendon, 7th June 2018

This was the final night of Geoff Muldaur’s UK tour – and even on a tour that had taken in mostly small stages like London’s Green Note this gig deserved the sobriquet “intimate“, with a bare couple of dozen in the audience and Geoff Muldaur on stage blinded by the blue lights and unable to see the crowd, other than as a psychedelic blur, a situation that caused him to, tongue-in-cheek, regret dropping acid before coming out. Continue reading “Geoff Muldaur, Stables Stage 2, Wavendon, 7th June 2018”

Bob Dylan does not recommend a bottle of wine

Yes, it may be as Tom Paxton has it “the fruit of the vine”, but that does not shake the resolve of his erstwhile Greenwich Village compadre.  Dylan himself – and this should come as no shock to those who’ve followed his musical drinking – suggests that the wise choice is the choice of a whisky.  And fortunately Dylan also knows just the whisky you want to choose from, either:  Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Double Barrel Whiskey or Straight Rye Whiskey – and all three are available from Dylan’s new distillery Heaven’s Door.  It’s a case of “mama take these guns offa me / and pour me a double on the rocks”. Continue reading “Bob Dylan does not recommend a bottle of wine”

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”