That’s what they say when a rival team beats yours up here north of Hadrian’s wall. It’s the commiseration offered under your breath when the ostentatious Range-Rover-driving neighbour scrapes the chariot off the gate-post and, frankly, it’s the best I can offer to all this Friday’s artists whose name doesn’t start with Ro…and end in immerman.
If you have a new record out this week, good luck. But heck I can only wish for you that it had been a few weeks back when we had Self Portrait, or months ago when we were exploring Saved. Pity for you that it hasn’t coincided with Under The Red Sky – we’d have had all the time in the world then. But for the next three weeks we arrive at the reasons why Another Country’s year-long pilgrimage would ever take place. Three great landmark albums by the towering figure of modern folk, rock and roots music….let’s call it for what it is...Americana. For me Bob Dylan defines the genre and if you ever had any doubt just witness what the ripe trees of Autumn are bestowing upon us: Blonde On Blonde, Highway 61 Revisited and Bringing It All Back Home.
This is not just a purple patch of records my friend, this is a man writing a new rule book on popular music. These albums contained the blueprints to songs, styles, attitudes and sonic sculpture bands and artists would try to emulate over the next 40 years. Some would hope the magic would brush off on them if they copied their stylings and titles…..the guilty parties know who they are….some would hope to emulate the ambition, but no one in the succeeding decades has come close to the colossal impact of these records. Perhaps it was the times: The Beach Boys were re writing another script, The Beatles were leading a popular art revolution and year on year every thing we thought was right was being turned on its head. Not a bad time to be alive. In the middle of it all a man who had rightly been embraced by the folk community was showing them he no longer wished to be contained. Nothing would be the same again. It’s special stuff……and over these next few weeks we’ll try to make it feel that way.
But there’s always more:
New and wonderful things from Tom Waits, hidden gems from The Dixie Chicks and dark beauty stuff from the album I’m listening to now; Bonnie Prince Billy.
Richard has also found you some great music from Kitty Wells and Loretta Lynn which might well make our good friend Stevie think…..Heck, I’ve opened my eyes, it is country music and I like it. Decide for yourself on Friday at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland.
Thanks to everyone who has encouraged continued Blog-Roll…….It carries on unfettered. I am also sitting in for the great Bob Harris on his late Saturday/early Sunday show on Radio 2 for the next 5 weeks. It’s such a pleasure and I have some great guests….so if you can’t sleep Saturday, you know where to find me.
Join me on Friday if you can.
Friday and Saturday nights?……….”no sleep till Brooklyn” then……..
Just wanna say, you played a blinder on Saturday standing in for Bob. I swear, the first couple of records blew me away and put my mind at ease. You know, it’s funny, that, when you hear a record poring out of the radio rather that placing it on yourself, the whole thing sounds different, like it’s not the same record at all! What an excellent show and excellent taste in music, though, I knew you always did have. What about a bit of ‘The Carter Family’. Thanks again Mr. Ross and keep on keepin’ on.