Pick of the Political Pops: Bob Dylan “Masters of War”

“Come you masters of war you that build the big guns, You that build the death planes, You that build all the bombs, You that hide behind walls, You that hide behind desks. I just want you to know I can see through your masks.” As the drumbeats grow louder again. FFS.

Dylan’s Girl from the North Country hits Town (again)

This December sees the return of the hit musical ‘Girl from the North Country‘ to the London stage. Based on the music of Bob Dylan it has a plot which it is safe to say separates it from all those jukebox musicals. The setting is a guesthouse in the heartland of America in 1934 and the interweaving stories of those who live and stay there are played out through re-imaginings of predominantly Bob Dylan’s less well known songs. Continue reading “Dylan’s Girl from the North Country hits Town (again)”

Bob Dylan announces new Bootleg Series release

Bob Dylan’s quicksilver nature was captured in that memorable phrase ‘wild mercury sound’, and he’s continued to show his prowess as an alchemist mixing up the medicine and creating mighty potent potions.  What does this have to do with the Bootleg series though.  Well, there is a hint in the picture. Continue reading “Bob Dylan announces new Bootleg Series release”

Jason Isbell & Rosanne Cash talk about Dylan in Nashville

It’s all in aid of the new Dylan Bootleg Series release, naturally, but Jason Isbell and Rosanne Cash are two of those talking about ‘Nashville Skyline‘ and ‘John Wesley Harding‘ on a short film put out by Columbia Records.  Continue reading “Jason Isbell & Rosanne Cash talk about Dylan in Nashville”

Bob Dylan “Bootleg Series 15: Travellin’ Thru” (Columbia Records, 2019)

The first impression of ‘Bootleg Series 15: Travelin’ Thru‘ is how small it looks in comparison to recent releases in the Dylan archive series – we’ve been spoilt of course but this is no ‘Live ’66 Complete Recordings‘ or ‘More Blood, More Tracks‘. Three CDs and an illustrated background booklet make up the contents of the small box covering Dylan’s activities from 1967-1969. Disc One covers both ‘John Wesley Harding‘ and ‘Nashville Skyline‘ outtakes, Disc Two is material culled from a two hour session with Johnny Cash which continues onto Disc Three which also has Dylan’s appearance on the Johnny Cash show, two outtakes from ‘Self Portrait‘ and the material recorded for the ‘Earl Scruggs. His Family & Friends‘ film. And if that all sounds a trifle “bitty” then that’s because it is quite “bitty”. Continue reading “Bob Dylan “Bootleg Series 15: Travellin’ Thru” (Columbia Records, 2019)”

Bob Dylan “Lay Lady Lay (Take 2)” – Listen

 

It’s 1969 and Dylan is not doing the same as everyone else – he’s beating his own path to Nashville and will cut an album that is unique within his body of work – it’s country.  Everyone else may be blazing a psychedelic path – but Bob Dylan had a set of songs he wanted to record and he was studio ready.  The result was ‘Nashville Skyline‘, and that preparedness meant there weren’t many takes or variations on the songs – this time they were not “studio evolved“. Continue reading “Bob Dylan “Lay Lady Lay (Take 2)” – Listen”

River Whyless “It Ain’t Me Babe” – Listen

River Whyless are a folk-rock outfit from Asheville, North Carolina – and they’ve discovered a talented new writer in the Folk Tradition, one Bob Dylan.  We jest, of course – but River Whyless  have put together a beautiful new rendition of the song – crafted in a new-old folk style that would sit alongside the Milk Carton Kids, for example. Continue reading “River Whyless “It Ain’t Me Babe” – Listen”

Jason Isbell and Sheryl Crow cover Dylan’s “Everything Is Broken” – Listen

Sheryl Crow has covered Bob Dylan songs in the past such as ‘Mississippi’ and ‘Tombstone Blues’, and she keeps up that tradition on her forthcoming ‘Threads’ album, due next month, where she covers Dylan’s ‘Everything Is Broken’ but recasts the song as a duet with Jason Isbell. As RS describes it, “their rendition opens with some fierce guitar runs from Isbell, before Crow sings about “broken lines,” “broken strings” and, in a nod to her album title, “broken threads.” Isbell steps in on the second verse, lamenting “streets filled with broken hearts.” It’s a true duet, with the vocalists eventually swapping lines and harmonizing together.” Have a listen below.

Bob Dylan “The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings” (Columbia Records, 2019)

In many ways it was not the best of times for Dylan – having bared his soul on ‘Blood on the Tracks‘ he’d found a release in a whole new musical direction – a direction which would eventually lead to the album ‘Desire‘. Having helped out Roger McGuinn on his abortive ‘Gene Tryp‘ project – which delivered such landmark songs as ‘Chestnut Mare‘ – Jacques Levy had now upgraded to being Dylan’s songwriting buddy. Dylan had further found in Scarlet Rivera his new sound – wild gypsy violin that added drama to the new songs. So, this is Dylan emotionally drained, with sufficient writer’s block to require a songwriting collaborator, and scrabbling around for a new direction to immerse himself in. Continue reading “Bob Dylan “The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings” (Columbia Records, 2019)”