Summer Days

When Bob Dylan’s album “Love and Theft” was released in 2001, a common joke among reviewers and fans was that Dylan should have called the album “Highway 61 Revisited Revisited.” This reference was to Dylan’s 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited and the similarities between the two albums, especially the power of the music produced toContinue reading “Summer Days”

Someday Baby

In May 2006, the inaugural episode of Theme Time Radio Hour, hosted by Bob Dylan, aired on  XM Satellite Radio (now known as Sirius XM Radio). It’s hard to capture the thrill that came with the weekly release of each episode of Theme Time Radio Hour with Dylan himself offering up his favorite songs aroundContinue reading “Someday Baby”

Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands

“This is the best song I ever wrote.” So said Bob Dylan with evident pride about “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” to journalist Robert Shelton in a Denver hotel room during an impromptu performance on March 12, 1966. Dylan was showing off the song and a few others (including “Positively Van Gogh” covered previously onContinue reading “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”

Red River Shore

The 1997 album Time Out of Mind was considered a comeback for Bob Dylan, receiving critical praise on the album’s release, which had not been a regular occurrence for Dylan to that point. The album even won multiple Grammys, including Album of the Year. Yet recording the album was not without its disagreements with producerContinue reading “Red River Shore”

Mississippi

Written by Bill Halley, Jimmie Rodgers recorded the song “Miss the Mississippi” a year before his death in 1933: The song must have had some relevance for the so-called Father of Country Music as he was born and raised in Mississippi before setting off for a life on the road. The song is sentimental asContinue reading “Mississippi”

Man in the Long Black Coat

The first thing heard on Bob Dylan’s song “Man in the Long Black Coat” is the sound of crickets chirping. The song is the last track on the first side of Dylan’s 1989 album Oh Mercy. The album was produced by Daniel Lanois, which marked the first time Dylan and Lanois worked together after beingContinue reading “Man in the Long Black Coat”

Love Sick

In the late fall months of 1997, magazines everywhere were insisting: no really, Bob Dylan is back! The irony in this statement is that not only had Dylan not gone anywhere, he had actually been everywhere. Over the course of the 90s for the so-called Never Ending Tour, he had toured constantly at small venuesContinue reading “Love Sick”

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry

Arguably the best song title in Bob Dylan’s catalog, “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” off of 1965’s Highway 61 Revisited tells about the back and forth of sexual frustration between a couple.   The narrator starts things off: Well, I ride on a mailtrain, babyCan’t buy a thrill TheContinue reading “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry”

Highlands

Asked by Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times in December 1997 about the genesis of “Highlands” off of Time Out of Mind, Dylan said: “I had the guitar run off an old Charley Patton record [in my head] for years and always wanted to do something with that. I was sitting around, maybe inContinue reading “Highlands”

Floater (Too Much to Ask)

Who is Jack Frost? According to Wikipedia, he is a “variant of Old Man Winter who is held responsible for frosty weather…leaving fern-like patterns on cold windows in winter.” Jack is depicted as “a sprite-like character, sometimes appearing as a sinister mischief-maker or as a hero.” Starting in 1990, a certain Jack Frost appeared inContinue reading “Floater (Too Much to Ask)”