This Friday we celebrate live music. For the next few months Scotland will host an amazing line-up of visitors with whom the listener to Another Country will be very familiar. First up we need to mention this ensemble…..
After many years of touring solo and acoustically worldwide, Earle will be touring in support of the new album with his electric live band, The Dukes (and Duchesses) featuring Allison Moorer.
Glen Campbell (All of Scotland), Alison Krauss (Glasgow), Wilco (Glasgow) and our old friend Diana Jones who is coming in to Glasgow to play at the Fallen Angels Club at the CCA on 29th October. Also we’re getting very excited about Other Lives visit to The Captain’s Rest next Tuesday…
However on Friday we will also pause to celebrate this album:
Highway 61 Revisited is a landmark record in so many ways. Firstly seeks to beautifully upset the delicate balance of Bringing It All Back’s home acoustic/electric two sides by dispensing with any attempt to please the folkies. For that reason alone it is worth celebrating Bob Backwards all year. Great folk music listens, adapts and changes. But sadly, in my experience, folk purists often remember the first two rules but forget to change and round on those who do. Rather like the church or the aristocracy, folk music has a habit of pointless resistance to change. At its best of course it is a dynamic force for good but sadly when it comes to poker-faced earnest devotees of folk who harangued Dylan for ‘going electric’ I’m on the side of Bob every time. So let’s go with him and embrace the shock of the new. One of the things I love about this period is that one is often tempted to assume in these God-awful X Factored times that anything massively popular has to be bad. With Highway 61 and Like A Rolling Stone Bob Dylan hit the Zeitgeist perfectly. He made brilliant art and blistering pop music that people bought in droves. It’s worth remembering it can be done.
Finally on a Friday when we celebrate so much live music it is hugely significant that this Dylan album hosted three out of fourteen songs Bob played live a couple of weeks ago in Glasgow. Highway 61, Like A Rolling Stone and Desolation Row. Pretty good huh.!