Friday, December 25, 2009

Dylan the mysterious ‘true believer’

I will say that I see no reason, during the past decade or two, to believe that Dylan has stopped believing that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah. I see all kinds of reasons to believe that Dylan has stopped believing that Bob Dylan is the messiah, the great genius who defined a generation. I’ll leave it at that. I also know that lots of music journalists in their ’50s and ’60s still care about this issue. CLICK HERE to read more

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bob Dylan Saves Christmas

Mr. Dylan has given the world a present. He and his band play these songs like they mean something. They sound like they are having so much fun, like Christmas came early for them this year. Dylan is not afraid to throw choruses in that sound just the way they might have sounded in the forties or fifties. His music is blending folk, blues, rock, pop, big band and country all in a great happy jumping celebration of Christmas and all its familiar symbols. CLICK HERE to read more

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Merry Christmas, signed: Bob Dylan

(It needs to be observed that Slow Train Coming was praised - sometimes years later - by many critics, even some who didn't resonate with Dylan's overt Christian lyrics on the album. And many songs from this phase of Dylan's career have been recorded by some of today's best known gospel artists - Shirley Caesar, Dottie Peoples, Aaron Neville, Helen Baylor, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Mavis Staples - on the 2003 album entitled Gotta Serve Someboddy: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan. This is a poweful, moving album of music! It's a testament to just how good these Dylan songs are; how well they hold up over time, and how well they translate when interpreted by other artists.) CLICK HERE to read more

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet Jeremiah, Nostradamus and Allen Ginsberg all Rolled Up Into One

Dylan’s wide-ranging knowledge and interest in the Bible is clear, and Rogovoy skillfully sketches original examples of how biblical curiosity and interpretative depth animate the songs. Yet, in focusing on what he conceives of as a Jewish lens for Dylan’s biblical influence and concerns, Rogovoy limits his review of the singer’s equally rich contemplation of the New Testament, which from his earliest days as a rebel folkie through the so-called “born again” period until today has been a source of poetic inspiration. CLICK HERE to read more

Monday, December 7, 2009

SLOW SLEIGH COMING [some thoughts on “Christmas In The Heart”]

Thirty years after recording “Slow Train Coming” in Alabama in May 1979, Bob Dylan went into a recording studio in California in May 2009, after ending his fine European tour in Dublin. CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Better Watch Out From Bing Crosby to Bob Dylan, holiday classics have a strange and powerful lure for pop stars.

How anybody could act like Scrooge about a rock or pop artist's Christmas album is beyond me. CLICK HERE to read more

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Gotta Serve Somebody - The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan's songs are nearly always the record of a struggle - between appearance and reality, or between justice and its opposite, or between the demands of the self and some higher truth. Nothing is taken for granted; one is always choosing. CLICK HERE to read more

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bob Dylan: Investigating the icon's 'Christmas In The Heart' album

Making an album of Christmas music would seem to be about as middle-of-the-road and as polite and inoffensive a project as a singer could have. So it would seem. CLICK HERE to read more

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bob Dylan “Saved” By Ilford

Two years before Bob Dylan’s “Saved” was released Estabrook was attended a Dylan show in Fort Worth, Texas. He carried a Nikkormat ELW loaded with Ilford HP-5 film. The photograph was taken from that show, the amazing thing is the film was that he did not developed until recentlyTwo years before Bob Dylan’s “Saved” was released Estabrook was attended a Dylan show in Fort Worth, Texas. He carried a Nikkormat ELW loaded with Ilford HP-5 film. The photograph was taken from that show, the amazing thing is the film was that he did not developed until recently. CLICK HERE to read more

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Patty Griffin readies gospel CD

Griffin said in a statement that she was inspired to write the original material after listening to Bob Dylan's religious work. CLICK HERE to read more

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

SNS – Exclusive Bob Dylan Interview

Christmas In The Heart is another surprising move by an artist famous for surprises. Yet when you hear Dylan’s direct and obviously sincere readings of “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Little Town Of Bethlehem,” and “The First Noel,” this unlikely exercise seems of a piece with the rest of Dylan’s work. CLICK HERE to read more

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Author writes about overlap between Torah of Dylan and Torah of Moses

Is Dylan a born-again Christian? Rogovoy hears that question frequently. His stock reply: Who knows?

“In any case, it’s beside the point,” Rogovoy says. Although famously private about his private life, Dylan has issued enough on-the-record comments “to support any viewpoint—he’s Jewish, he’s Rastafarian, he doesn’t believe in any religion,” Rogovoy states. Maybe Dylan finds his deity in music, his religion in his songs, Rogovoy speculates. That formulation should serve any Dylan listener well. CLICK HERE to read more

Friday, November 20, 2009

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!--Dylan's Recent Seattle Surprise

Between this and the new Christmas album, is it possible to conceive that Mr. Dylan's experience with Jesus, some three decades ago, wasn't a passing fad? Or a fluke or something he discarded like the black leather jacket he wore during those head-scratching tours? CLICK HERE to read more

Monday, November 16, 2009

Change my way of thinking

They are the modified lyrics from the Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan you can hear them as the last song on the following link. But they need some interpretation. What is the Welcome Table that is referred to? What is this thing about jumping on a Monkey's back? After reflecting on the lyrics I am ready to offer an interpretation. CLICK HERE to read more

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Christmas in the Heart? Bob Dylan’s Holiday Album Begs the Question: What Does the Singer Believe?

Does he, as Billboard's Prince suggests, merely join a long list of Jewish artists who paid tribute to Christ's birth as non-believers in Him or does he present it as a believer who has maintained his belief three decades after that much publicized 1978 conversion? CLICK HERE to read more

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dylan's Early Christmas Present by Sean Wilentz

The album is a sincere, raspy-voiced homage to a particular vintage of popular American Christmas music, as well as testimony to Dylan’s abiding spiritual faith. CLICK HERE to read more

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ralph Stanley: “I Am the Man, Thomas”

The best known performances of “I Am the Man, Thomas” in the last decade have been by Bob Dylan. He has never recorded the song for official release but in little more than three years, he performed it live at least 59 times, first on September 4, 1999 in Atlanta. “I Am the Man, Thomas” fits perfectly with the musical approach taken by Dylan since the early nineties. CLICK HERE to read more

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bob Dylan, "Christmas in the Heart" (Columbia) [NO STARS] By Jim DeRogatis

Unfortunately, when it comes to the music, the album is a complete failure. CLICK HERE to read more!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bob Dylan’s Awesome Christmas Album Leaks

The Verdict: Just as we suspected, it's pretty excellent. CLICK HERE to read more

Christmas in the Heart: The Jewish Angle

So whatever you say about CITH, however you explain how Bob is an American ethno-musicologist participating in the very genre he studies, adding subtle twists and nuances to rejuvenate tired war horses, I still don't like it at all. I hope someone does. I don't want to hear it in stores each December for the rest of my life.

Too bad Bob didn't do a Festivus album instead. CLICK HERE to read more

Monday, October 5, 2009

Live Setlist, Tour Opener, October 4, Moore Theatre

1. Gonna Change My Way of Thinking
2. Shooting Star (Bob center stage with harp)
CLICK HERE to read more

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Marie Knight dies at 84; gospel vocalist sang with Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Marie Knight, a gospel singer who came to fame singing duets with gospel-music star Sister Rosetta Tharpe in the late 1940s and made a noteworthy late-in-life comeback as a solo artist, has died. She was 84. CLICK HERE to read more

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Barry Beckett, Muscle Shoals Musician, Dies at 66

Barry Beckett, an Alabama-born keyboardist who helped create the distinctly Southern amalgamation of rhythm and blues, soul and country that became known as the Muscle Shoals sound, and who as a producer recorded a wide range of music with Bob Dylan, Kenny Chesney, Bob Seger, Dire Straits and others, died on Wednesday at his home in Hendersonville, Tenn., north of Nashville. He was 66. CLICK HERE to read more

Friday, June 12, 2009

Swamper Barry Beckett dies at 66

Beckett co-produced Bob Dylan’s first platinum album, “Slow Train Coming,” along with the late Jerry Wexler at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios at 1000 Alabama Ave. in Sheffield. CLICK HERE to read more

Sunday, June 7, 2009

America's folkie guru has always been a spiritualist

American music's most eccentric hero turns out to be an enduring spiritual realist for unreal times.

From the start, Bob Dylan has been called a troubadour trickster, gypsy prophet, folkie guru, "voice of his generation" (he hated that one). He wrote about war, heartbreak, life's answers blowing in the wind. He warned that "he not busy being born is busy dying." Thirty years ago this summer, he confounded everyone again, releasing a born-again Christian record. People have puzzled over Dylan's religion ever since. CLICK HERE to read more

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Using the Bible as a Key to Unlock the Meaning of Bob Dylan's "Jokerman"

The enigmatical nature of Bob Dylan’s song "Jokerman" makes it subject to many wildly different interpretations. It has been argued that the Jokerman represents Christ, an antichrist, Israel, and Bob Dylan himself. In the light of such varied readings, it may seem ludicrous to attempt to pin down the symbolic nature of the Jokerman. CLICK HERE to read more

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Forgiving son's killer brings Regina McCrary Peace

It was the cross tattooed on her son's arm, sticking out from under the white sheet, that started the pain Regina McCrary can only describe as insanity. CLICK HERE to read more

Friday, April 10, 2009

“Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground” - Blind Willie Johnson

There could be no more appropriate song for Good Friday, and I might call this the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard. CLICK HERE to read more

Monday, April 6, 2009

Three gospel songs in Saarbr├╝cken tonight (Palm Sunday)

In Saarbr├╝cken, Germany, this very night, Bob Dylan included three tunes from what’s commonly known as his gospel period in the set list. He kicked off the show with Gotta Serve Somebody, did Every Grain Of Sand as the fourth song, and I Believe In You as tune number twelve. It seems to me that it probably hasn’t been since sometime in the 1980s that he included three songs from those gospel albums in one set list, although I could certainly be wrong. At any rate, it’s got to be an extremely rare occurrence in any post-gospel-era gig. CLICK HERE to read more

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tryin’ to get to heaven-My ponderings on Bob Dylan and the Christian Faith

For the past few months I have been listening to Bob Dylan’s Christian music and have been greatly helped by it (“I Believe In You” from Slow Train Coming has become a song that says it all for me-I don’t seem to tire of listening to it). I cannot help but think (as I know many others do) about where Dylan stands in regard to Christ. CLICK HERE to read more

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Spiritual Journey Of Bob Dylan

Ever since its inception two thousand years ago, Christianity has played a large role in art. Whether out of devotion or necessity, it has been perhaps the most explored topic of the last two millennia. CLICK HERE to read more

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ring them Bells - Bob Dylan's Road to Damascus

Every bit the sneering, instinctive, anti-puritanical, vote-splitting impulsive Prometheus, shifting his feet on the limited generic boundaries, Bob Dylan’s outlandish late 1970s conversion from a safe secular vote amongst the hipper than thou, rocked the very “didacticism” of the post punk ethos much in the same light as Shelley’s riposte, nearly 200 years previously, to his horrified erstwhile Whig contemporaries. CLICK HERE to read more

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Dylan Mass

The band debuted these five Dylan covers sitting at the front of the nave, seated in a semi-circle with their backs to the audience. They chose these specific songs to carry the congregation through the liturgy of an Anglican Mass (see here). Throughout the service, the band remained obscured, the music supporting the proceedings rather than becoming them. CLICK HERE to read more

Polarizing power of 'Hallelujah'

It all started when dreadlocked Jason Castro sang Cohen's "Hallelujah" on "American Idol" last March. Simon Cowell was duly impressed, as were American audiences, who promptly sent the late Jeff Buckley's 1994 cover of the same song to the top of the iTunes charts. CLICK HERE to read more

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking

Just another night and just another date on that long, long road: November 18th, 1979. Click here for a clip of Bob Dylan and his band performing Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking. CLICK HERE to read more

Preacher Abandons Bible For Dylan Lyrics

Calling his movement The Zimmerman Way, the once Reverend Chuckie Leven announced to his surprised congregation that he would no longer teach from the Bible and would, in the name of postmodernism, preach only from Dylan lyrics. The reaction was predictable; CLICK HERE to read more

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dylan Gets Saved

Anyway, one of those books I'm currently reading is a book about Bob Dylan called "Dylan Redeemed." Here, the author chronicles Dylan's three so-called "Christian" albums from the late seventies and into the early eighties. His first, 1979’s “Slow Train Coming,” is more Christian than much of what passes as Christian music today. CLICK HERE to read more

Dylan Get's Saved (Part 2)

Much could be said about the overall library of Bob Dylan's music. While I'm somewhat a fan of Dylan, I'm by no means the Dylan expert. I leave that label for the real experts, such as those who've actually listened to his corpus of music in it's entirety. Stephen Webb, in his book that I've been reading titled "Dylan Redeemed," suggests that when one looks at the whole of Dylan's recordings, one finds the origins of what would later become Dylan's three Christian recordings. CLICK HERE to read more

Dylan Get's Saved (Part 3)

It's interesting that much is made about the faith of Bob Dylan and that many questions whether his turn towards the Christian faith (from his Jewish upbringing) was simply a farce. CLICK HERE to read more

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bob Dylan: Review of Shot of Love

Dylan makes the dichotomy of the Christian life so clear and real in this album. A believer may enjoy the eternal summertime of God’s presence and live a life of gracious love that heals and strengthens but he must endure the mocking, the oppression the real threats from the non-believing world. CLICK HERE to read more

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Dylan Watch (by Lawrence J. Epstein)

This is a post about Bob Dylan and Judaism. Were Dylan more of an ordinary person, an ordinary analysis might suffice. Such an analysis would include the normally revealing facts that Robert Zimmerman was born to Jewish parents, raised as a Jew, given a lavish Bar Mitzvah, and attended Camp Herzl in Webster, Wisconsin for four consecutive summers, from 1954-1958. CLICK HERE to read more

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bob Dylan: Review of Saved

While the songs of Slow Train Coming might have attained a natural groove, some of the songs on this album really rock, manifesting the jet-blast power of faith. Saved is one of those songs. CLICK HERE to read more

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bob Dylan: Infidels Review

Here’s my commentary on the philosophy behind the songs. CLICK HERE to read more

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Learning to write great songs

Dylan’s born-again period with Slow Train Coming and Saved are part of his creative use of the Bible. I’m not saying he didn’t convert to Christianity for awhile. But Christianity is just a next stage in Judaism, always a strong source for Dylan. Did Dylan become a Christian missionary? No, he became a Christian songwriter. Listen to Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan recorded by authentic gospel singers and ask: how does a white, Jewish boy from northern Minnesota write black gospel songs that sound authentic? Learn and absorb. CLICK HERE to read more

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bob Dylan: Jokerman and Authenticity

The picture is of one standing on the cliffs of the sea with a loaf of bread, all that one owns in the world to rely upon, and he’s are taking it apart, piece by piece and throwing into the waves and the wind. Casting your bread upon the waters is a reference from Ecclesiastes about abandoning one’s self and substance to God in faith, expecting to be provided for. CLICK HERE to read more

Monday, January 12, 2009

Claude Jeter, Gospel Singer With Wide Influence, Dies at 94

The Rev. Claude Jeter, the founder of the gospel group the Swan Silvertones whose delicate yet potent falsetto had a wide influence on both pop and religious singers in the 1950s and ’60s, died on Tuesday in the Bronx. He was 94. CLICK HERE to read more

Thursday, January 8, 2009

To Artists as An Artist

I was reading an article today about Bob Dylan’s so-called “Jesus period”, that part of his life associated with his friendship with the late Keith Green, his involvement in the Vineyard movement in California, and his baptism and other public presentations of his new-found Christian spirituality (this category includes three albums) in the late 70’s and early 80’s. CLICK HERE to read more

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Did Bob Marley confess Jesus Christ?

Bob Marley was indeed a true Rastaman. So could someone please tell me, how in the world could I deduce or even dare ask the question if Bob Marley confessed Jesus Christ? CLICK HERE to read more

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bob Dylan: Slow Train Coming Review

Dylan’s first overtly Christian album is about the coming Great and Terrible Day of the Lord. Here’s my summary of the philosophy of each song. CLICK HERE to read more

Sunday, January 4, 2009

UN complicty in the massacre 'How many times can a man turn his head and pretend he just doesn't see' - Bob Dylan

The line from Bob Dylan's immortal song 'Blowin' in the Wind' made famous by legends like Stevie Wonder and the trio Peter, Paul and Mary and himself among others takes on a new and poignant relevancy in the context of Israel's vicious attacks on the Palestinians in Gaza. CLICK HERE to read more

Saturday, January 3, 2009

songs for the journey: Bob Dylan- Saved

I fear I've been duped. Actually I'm a little annoyed because I was stupid enough to listen to others without checking it out myself - I should have known better than that. The word 'out there' was that Saved - one of only 3 Dylan albums I don't have (others are Knocked Out Loaded and Down in the Groove) - was a terrible album. I'd heard it wasn't worthy of the great man, it was far too full of evangelical zeal to bear listening to - simply it was as bad as Self Portrait and I already knew that was a disaster. So I never bothered with it. CLICK HERE to read more

Bob Dylan and the Feminine

I posted this on Sophie’s Ladder as well. It’s a review of three of Dylan’s love songs. I think they can be instructive as to our relationship with God. I encourage you to read the lyrics and listen to the songs. As you do, think about your relationship with God and how it’s so similar to the relationship between man and woman: CLICK HERE to read more
“The highest form of song is prayer.”
-Bob Dylan

STOCKHOLM 04.05.2002

Just a few days after performing at the 2002 Grammy's, Bob Dylan recorded a new re-write of "Gonna Change My Way of Thinking" for "Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan" with longtime friend Mavis Staples. One month later he would kick off a new tour in Stockholm Sweden and perform Solid Rock (what many consider the theme song to his gospel era concerts) for the first time in 20 years. Dylan would continue to perform this rousing song as well as other gospel era songs at numerous concerts across Europe and beyond. The two-time Grammy nominated compilation would be released on Sony/Columbia one year later on April 1, 2003.

Sinead O'Connor - Property Of Jesus