1941, in Duluth, MN
Band of the
Bob Dylan -
bluesman? Dylan is known as a rock and folk musician, and as a great songwriter.
Early in his career he covered some blues songs, and some of his compositions
such as "Temporarily Like Achilles" from Blonde on Blonde were definitely
blues songs. Still the words "Dylan" and "blues" are not often used in
the same sentence. Yet with these two albums [Good as I Been To You and
World Gone Wrong], especially World Gone Wrong, the recipient of the 1994
Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album, Dylan establishes yet another
identity as a great bluesman.
1961 debut album was an exploration of black styles with a preoccupation
with death and a gnarled, hardscrabble voice trying to sound like a blues
singer three times his age.… Highway 61 Revisited was, courtesy of young
guitar gun Michael Bloomfield, his 1965 version of urban Chicago blues
filtered through his own adrenaline-rushed lyrics, and his appearance with
the Paul Butterfield Blues Band at Newport that year was one of the pivotal
events in American popular music.
Though he prefers
emotion over technology in most of his recordings and uses blues forms
in many of his compositions, Dylan hasn't tried consciously to be a bluesman--his
songs and albums have reached far beyond any single genre--but there is
considerable evidence of his love for the music throughout his lengthy
With a Huge
not only revolutionized popular music by incorporating poetry into his
compositions, he also helped create a more inclusive and progressive socialconsciousness
in American culture.
I suspect there's
a lot of old blues greats up in heaven sitting around, sucking back on
a few cold ones and chuckling. With Time Out of Mind, Bob Dylan has done
to the blues what only the rare ones do: he's bent substance, style and
structure in an indelible, distinctive and very personal way -- but kept
it all, well, bluesy.
**The photos above are from Bob
Dylan: Inner Vision.