Bob Dylan

Up north, you could find these radio stations with no name on the dials that played pre-rock ‘n’ roll things – country blues. We would hear Slim Harpo or Lightnin’ Slim and gospel groups, the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Five Blind Boys of Alabama. I was so far north, I didn’t even know where Alabama was.

“Up north, you could find these radio stations with no name on the dials that played pre-rock ‘n’ roll things – country blues. We would … Read More

A brilliant 1989 album, Oh Mercy; some career retrospectives; and two albums of American folk songs, with just Bob Dylan and his guitar and harmonica. All that culminated in the Grammy-winning comeback album, Time Out of Mind (1997). Once again, just as Dylan seemed to be out of it, he was back at the top of his game.

“A brilliant 1989 album, Oh Mercy; some career retrospectives; and two albums of American folk songs, with just Bob Dylan and his guitar and harmonica. … Read More

The confessional singer-songwriter movement of the 1970s was in full swing, and Bob Dylan’s emotional album [ Blood on the Tracks] resonated with the times. There would be other hits, but never the same alchemy of emotion and time.

“The confessional singer-songwriter movement of the 1970s was in full swing, and Bob Dylan’s emotional album [ Blood on the Tracks] resonated with the times. … Read More

We shouldn’t confuse singers and performers with actors. Actors will say, “My character this, and my character that.” Like beating a dead horse. Who cares about the character? Just get up and act. You don’t have to explain it to me.

“We shouldn’t confuse singers and performers with actors. Actors will say, “My character this, and my character that.” Like beating a dead horse. Who cares … Read More

Every singer has three or four or five techniques, and you can force them together in different combinations. Some of the techniques you discard along the way, and pick up others. But you do need them. It’s just like anything. You have to know certain things about what you’re doing that other people don’t know. Singing has to do with techniques and how many you use at the same time. One alone doesn’t work. There’s no point to going over three. But you might interchange them whenever you feel like it. It’s a bit like alchemy.

“Every singer has three or four or five techniques, and you can force them together in different combinations. Some of the techniques you discard along … Read More

Early on, before rock ‘n’ roll, I listened to big band music – anything that came over the radio – and music played by bands in hotels that our parents could dance to. We had a big radio that looked like a jukebox, with a record player on the top. The radio/record player played 78rpm records. When we moved to that house, there was a record on there, with a red label. It was Bill Monroe, or maybe it was the Stanley Brothers. I’d never heard anything like that before. Ever. And it moved me away from all the conventional music that I was hearing.

“Early on, before rock ‘n’ roll, I listened to big band music – anything that came over the radio – and music played by bands … Read More

They’re selling postcards of the hanging They’re painting the passports brown The beauty parlor is filled with sailors The circus is in town Here comes the blind commissioner They’ve got him in a trance One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker The other is in his pants And the riot squad they’re restless They need somewhere to go As Lady and I look out tonight From Desolation Row.

“They’re selling postcards of the hanging They’re painting the passports brown The beauty parlor is filled with sailors The circus is in town Here comes … Read More