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the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

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Sunday, November 29, 2009


First, I should have added to Positively Part 1 that there is another thoughtful and positive take on Christmas In The Heart from Roy Kelly - another long-term Dylan afficionado who doesn't try to kid himself that everything in Bob's garden is rosy - in the imminent issue of that other UK fanzine, The Bridge.

Meanwhile, I've also been alerted to a comparably plausible, readable review of Dylan's recent concerts that makes them sound good too. John Baldwin's Desolation Row e-mail newsletter of a few days ago pointed me to Ken Cowley's reviews of the recent New York shows on his blog here. Mr. Cowley even makes me wish I'd been there.

Lastly, I'm pleased to say that since someone on that Expecting Rain discussion group disparaged the idea of anyone wanting to come to our forthcoming Winterlude Weekends we've now had someone step in and book the vacant place for the weekend of February 12-14.

The discussion-group person wrote that he'd rather eat his own foot. He may as well, since he's already put it in his mouth.


Blogger Judas Priest said...

Michael, for an excellent audience recording of a recent show, I' heartily recommend the Walkin' Dude recording of Boston from the 14th of November. You can find it here

I reckon this is the best quality audience recording from 2009. It's as good a place to start as any if you ever feel the urge to dip your toe back into what the man is up to live these days.

11:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It strikes me as increasingly odd the reaction by many to Dylan's current voice.
Yes I hear the same voice as everyone else, and I would expect fans of a particular vocal style to despise it, but many of the people openly questioning the sanity of anyone who likes the singing on (for arguments sake) Hark the Herald's Angels Sing are fans of singers like Doc Boggs aren't they?
So the voice is damaged, or not pretty? So what in my view. Not to say I don't like a pretty voice, but the tonal quality of a voice is barely a factor in my enjoyment of music. Hell even if Dylan were singing Opera I'd prefer to hear him give a go at Pagaliacci as compared to any living tenor.
I can see where many of Dylan's more recent live performances are lackluster going through the motions affairs, but when he brings care and proper effort to a performance he manages to struggle through barbed wire.
This Christmas album is an almost perfect vehicle for a good hang on every utterance examination of the voice, and I'd argue the closer, and harder you pay attention the better it sounds. Pat Ford

5:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with Pat's assessment of Dylan's current voice...but not the view that Dylan is "lackluster" or " going through the motions " when he performs live nowadays. Listen to Gonna Change My Way of Thinking or Forgetful Heart from the most recent tour ...he still sings with passion and intensity but his voice is corroded. I know people that have hated his last two albums prior to CITH were moved by the performances this year and felt that he was giving out to the full. Of course, it does make a difference if you are at the concert, as with any performance art.


10:46 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found this bit of trivia:
Hark the herald angels sing was written by Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley who founded the Methodist church, in 1739.
Pat Ford

1:40 pm  

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