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SUBJECT: Bob Dylan Back to Subjects
Jan 26 2018
at 12:24 PM
As most of my gigs these days are of the solo singer/guitarist variety it is not uncommon for listeners to come up after the set and ask - among other things - who my favorite singers are, and two of the names that top the list are Louis Armstrong and Bob Dylan. When I tell people this they usually look at me as if they’re waiting for the punch line. But I’m serious! And I’ve been poring over the deluxe edition of “Trouble No More (Bootleg Series #13)”, which documents his so- called “gospel years” of 1979-81 when Dylan “found Jesus” and proceeded to sing his ass off, particularly live on stage, with a killin’ band and a 3-5 woman gospel choir. Highly recommended. I would certainly grant that there have always been qualities to his voice (or voices; he’s had several over the years) that would go under the heading of “acquired taste” for many. His singing has always been a singular hybrid of folk and blues - “colloquial” - conceptions of phrasing and delivery, as opposed to more “formal” traditions. But much of the critical rap against him seems to simply boil down to “he can’t sing”, and people do their imitations of imitations of his voice and adopt the accepted critical “wisdom” without actually listening to the man. And we can talk about the songwriting, too. I mean, they don’t give out Nobel prizes for writing “All About That Bass” (all respect to Ms. Traynor and the idea of bringing booty back…) His voice(s) might “sound funny” - but I say Bob Dylan is a great singer. Any fans out there?
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Mar 27 2018
at 4:26 PM
Bookmark and Share Oh Mike S., I’m afraid I have to disagree. Nobody can interpret a Bob Dylan original song the way Bob can. Of course there are exceptions.
Mar 24 2018
at 7:30 PM
Bookmark and Share Kurt Elling does a passionate version of "A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall" on his new album. It’s magnificent & quite emotional.
Mike S.
Feb 08 2018
at 8:10 AM
Bookmark and Share Everybody else that performs Bob Dylan’s songs do so better than he does!
Jan 27 2018
at 1:35 PM
Bookmark and Share up until bob dyland broke 7 vertebrae in his neck in a motorcycle accident in july of 1966, in my opinion, he was one of the greatest vocalists who ever lived. after that (and he was the first to say this), he was, and has been, never the same. before the accident he never, ever, ever sang ’out of tune’ - his intonation was relentlessly ’on pitch’, and his ’drive’ was without peer, in any field, even opera. he always said, early on, that he could sing as good as caruso, and he was right. after the accident, save for one or two albums (’infidels’ and most of ’blood on the tracks’ come to mind - ’tracks’ gets a demerit for that indecent, patronizing, and desperate rendition of ’idiot wind’ that everyone seems to adore so much, but is, in fact, an ’outta tune mess’, and could be mistaken for ’satire’ if’n we didn’t know better - ha!), he was constantly straining to be able to sing like he used to, but, according to bob, he ’just couldn’t do it anymore’. as for his writing, i think he’s been a pompous poop for pretty much the last 45 years . . . . but everyone says he’s a ’legend’, so i suppose that’s the way we have it. one thing’s for blasted sure, though: for the first 6 or 7 years of his public career, he was virtually everything that the word ’legend’ intimates. ’s far as i’m concerned, he received the nobel prize based on those years more than the past 50. all hail bob!!
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