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)”

Can’t Wait

1997’s Time Out of Mind is an album of push and pull between Dylan and the album’s producer, Daniel Lanois. Lanois is an illustrious producer who has worked with a roster of who’s who in recorded music: Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, U2, Emmylou Harris, the Neville Brothers, and on and on. Lanois produced Dylan’s OhContinue reading “Can’t Wait”