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Thursday, December 30, 2010

ODETTA

Odetta died on Decenber 2, 2008 - I reprinted an obituary of her on this blog at the time - but she would have been 80 years old tomorrow. Here's a specially-updated version of her entry in The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia:

Odetta [1930 -2008]

Odetta Holmes Felious Gordon was born on the last day of 1930, in Birmingham, Alabama but she grew up from the age of 6 in LA with her mother and a sister, took singing lessons at 13 studying music at City College and becoming an actress, teacher and songwriter but more significantly a singer, at first hovering between musical shows and folksong but soon plumping for the folk. She had appeared in Finian’s Rainbow through summer 1949, during which she first encountered the blues in the form of SONNY TERRY; in 1950 she was in San Francisco playing in Guys and Dolls, and there discovered the local folk scene. Her first concert, in San Francisco in 1952, co-produced by folksinger Rolf Kahn and the 18-year-old LYNN CASTNER (at whose Minneapolis apartment Dylan would first hear WOODY GUTHRIE’s records) had people queuing round the block; her New York début, achieved only by taking time off from her work as an LA housekeeper, was in 1953 at the Blue Angel. Then came a shortlived duo, Odetta and Larry, yielding her début album, The Tin Angel (the name of a Philadelphia club), recorded in 1953 and ’54, on which it’s clear that the competent Larry Mohr, on banjo and vocals, was utterly superfluous. Less was Mohr, she must have decided. In 1956 came the solo Odetta Sings Ballads & Blues, and the next year At the Gate of Horn, recorded not live at the Chicago club but in the studio, and with BILL LEE on bass.

She was encouraged through the 1950s by many in the music business, especially HARRY BELAFONTE, on whose 1959 TV Special she appeared to great effect. This can be readily imagined by anyone who saw the vintage footage of Odetta performing ‘Water Boy’ shown within SCORSESE’s No Direction Home in 2005, on which the stark, ferocious power of her field-holler delivery and explosive use of the soundbox on her guitar were matched only by her terrifying teeth. This all leapt out at the viewer across a 50-year divide to explain instantaneously why Bob Dylan had found her so revelatory and important to his early entrancement with folk - and when it was new, such a performance must have exploded into Eisenhower America’s living rooms as the nightmare embodiment of the nation’s oppressed ex-slaves rising up as if to start a slaughter of revenge.

But Odetta was no fieldhand, as made clear when, appearing at Belafonte’s Carnegie Hall concert of May 1960 - billed above Miriam Makeba and the Chad Mitchell Trio - she followed a medley of ‘I’ve Been Driving On Bald Mountain’ and ‘Water Boy’ with a double act with Belafonte on that tiresome old LEADBELLY song ‘There’s A Hole In The Bucket’, on which the timing and delivery of her spoken lines is that of a professional actress. To track back through her 1950s recordings is to recognise that despite the marvellous ferocity of ‘Water Boy’, the great majority are understandably invaded by the well-spoken gentility and concert-platform formality of musicianship that were prevalent in 1950s folk music, despite the way that both the blues and rock’n’roll had demonstrated the artistic glory to be had from abolishing these aspirations.

In Minneapolis at at start of the 1960s, JAHANARA ROMNEY (aka Bonnie Beecher) told The Telegraph 30 years later, ‘Odetta was coming to town…so me and Cynthia Fisher were plotting as to how we could get Dylan to meet Odetta and play for her…And in fact he did meet her…. Cynthia Fisher came running over to my house…saying “She said that Dylan had real talent and he can make it!”’

This thrilled Dylan, keeping his determination fully charged, and encouraging his inclusion of Odetta repertoire items in his own. Years later, Dylan would specify that he had devoured Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues, her 1956 album: ‘I learned all the songs on that record,’ he said: ‘…“Mule Skinner”, “Jack of Diamonds”, “Water Boy”, “’Buked and Scorned”.’ He may also have learnt ‘Devilish Mary’, ‘Ain’t No More Cane’ and ‘No More Auction Block’ from early Odetta recordings.

In 1960 she appeared at the NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL, made a flurry of albums, including Odetta at Carnegie Hall, and was an acceptable guest on Ed Sullivan’s TV show ‘Toast of the Town’ that Christmas Day - but was criticised for 1962’s Odetta and the Blues because it was ‘closer to jazz than folk’, as Time put it. This LP featured a combo of jazz musicians, including pianist Dick Wellstood, who that year also played on a couple of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan sessions. Switching labels again she made two albums for the heavyweight RCA (Belafonte’s label), the second of which, Odetta Sings Folk Songs, in 1963, made the Top 75 album charts. It included her ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ - and by 1965 she had recorded Odetta Sings Dylan.

BRUCE LANGHORNE plays guitar and tambourine, and the tracks are ‘Baby, I'm In The Mood For You’, ‘Long Ago, Far Away’, ‘Don't Think Twice, It's All Right’, ‘Tomorrow Is A Long Time’, ‘Masters Of War’, ‘Walkin' Down The Line’, ‘The Times They Are A-Changing’, ‘With God On Our Side’, ‘Long Time Gone’ and ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’: a mix of the obvious with the far from obvious, revealing that she had paid Dylan’s work, including unreleased material, close attention.

Odetta has also written songs, appeared in films - including Tony Richardson’s film of the William Faulkner novel Sanctuary in 1961 and, uncredited, Paul Newman’s extravagantly titled The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972). In late September 2005 she was one of the more effective performers at the London Royal Albert Hall’s ‘Talking Bob Dylan Blues: A Tribute Concert’, no longer subduing the audience with ‘Water Boy’ but by taking ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ at a punishingly funereal pace. She died December 2, 2008, four weeks before her 78th birthday.

[Odetta: The Tin Angel, US, 1954; Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues, Tradition TLP1010, US, 1956; Odetta at the Gate of Horn, Tradition TLP1025, 1957; Odetta at Carnegie Hall, Amadeo Vanguard AVRS9027, US, 1960; Odetta and the Blues, Riverside RLP-9417, US, 1962; Odetta Sings Folk Songs, RCA LSP2643, 1963; Odetta Sings Dylan, RCA LSP3324, 1965. ‘Talking Bob Dylan Blues: A Tribute Concert’, London, 26 Sep 2005. Harry Belafonte: Returns to Carnegie Hall, NY 2 May, 1960, RCA LOC-6007 (mono) & LSO-6007, US, 1962. Time, US, 23 Nov 1962, quoted from www.bobdylanroots.com/odetta.html; special thanks to Åke Holm’s amazing discography online at www.akh.se/odetta/index.htm; both seen online 10 Feb 2006.]

Monday, December 27, 2010

WHEN HARVEY MET BOB

No, not Dylan, Geldof. When Harvey Met Bob was a TV drama by Joe Dunlop shown on BBC-2 last night (9.15-10.45pm UK time) about how Bob Geldof persuaded promoter Harvey Goldsmith to help him organise Live Aid in 1985. I thought it was quite good, interesting and quaint (any drama about organising something difficult being quaint now, if it's set in the pre-mobile phone, pre-internet world).

I particularly liked the way that the story paid no attention to the US concert at all, aside from their having to change the date of the event to accommodate Bruce Springsteen, and a reference to having to put up with Philadelphia instead of New York as the American venue. Not only no mention of Dylan's tired and emotional demeanour or his speech: no mention of him at all.

My own main memory is of rushing to a London station at the last possible moment, getting a train up north and dropping in on John Bauldie at his Lancashire bungalow home. He was surprised to see me; I was surprised that he was there alone, watching Live Aid in semi-darkness.

I remember our agitated anticipation as we waited boyishly for Dylan's appearance. Some intimation of bad news hung in the air, and we steadied our nerves with much gin and tonic. Not, as it turned out, as much alcohol as the nerves of Bob, Keith and Ron had received.

On they came, floundering through. I was so pleased Bob had chosen 'When the Ship Comes In' but there was nothing else to be pleased about. We didn't enjoy it. I've never re-watched it since.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Monday, December 20, 2010

THE MONO BOX: HOW DOES IT FEEL?

I've been sent a really interesting response to the Mono Box Set - see first comment below - from someone who has written about Dylan in the past but no longer generally does; more important, in this context, is that he has been comparing these mono CDs to, among other things, his old mono vinyl, so it's a careful, unrushed assessment. It strikes me as fair but not entirely positive. See what you think.

But also, see if you can find the long, fascinating interview that Roger Ford conducted in ISIS no.153 (November-December 2010) with the main men who put the box set together, Steve Berowitz and Mark Wilder - which shows just how very much effort they put into trying to get it all as correct as possible, how scrupulous they were and how many difficulties stood in their way. (In the same issue there's Roger Ford's own appraisal of the albums too.)

All feedback gratefully received.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

MICHAEL GRAY SPRING TOUR 2011

Two new dates have been confirmed since my earlier post - one at Connecticut College, New London CT on Monday April 4, and one at the Mermaid Arts Centre in Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland, on Sunday April 17 - so the list now looks like this:

Thu Feb 17, 5pm
Liverpool University School of the Arts
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Tue Feb 22, tba
Saratoga CA: West Valley College
Searching For Blind Willie McTell

Wed Feb 23, 7pm
Stockton CA: University of the Pacific, Janet Leigh Theatre
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Thu Feb 24, tba
Stanford CA: Stanford University English Department
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Thu Mar 24, tba
Tuscaloosa AL: University of Alabama New College
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Tue Mar 29, tba
Georgia Southern University
Bob Dylan Discussion + Dinner

Wed Mar 30, 4pm
Athens GA: University of Georgia
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Thu Mar 31, 3.30pm
Athens GA: University of Georgia
Searching For Blind Willie McTell

Sun April 3, 2pm
Highland Park NJ: Nighthawk Books
Bob Dylan & Beyond: A Journey into Geniuses of American Music

Mon April 4, 4.30pm
New London, CT: Connecticut College English Dept.
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Wed April 6, 6.30pm
NYC: The New School
Searching For Blind Willie McTell

Sat April 9, tba
Newbridge, Ireland: Riverbank Arts Centre
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Tues April 12, tba
Athlone, Ireland: Passionfruit Theatre
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Wed April 13, tba
Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland: The Dock Arts Centre
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Thu April 14, tba
Castlebar, Ireland: Linenhall Arts Centre
topic not yet selected

Fri April 15, tba
Limerick, Ireland: The Loft, The Locke Bar
Love Me Slender: The Genius Of Early Elvis

Sat April 16, 1pm
Galway, Ireland: Cúirt International Festival of Literature
Searching For Blind Willie McTell

Sun April 17, 8pm
Bray, Ireland: Mermaid Arts Centre
Bob Dylan & the Poetry of the Blues

Wed April 20, 7pm
Cork, Ireland: Cork World Book Festival
Love Me Slender: The Genius Of Early Elvis

Thu April 21, 8.30pm
Drogheda, Ireland: Droichead Arts Centre
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Thu-Sat May 19-21, tba
Vienna: Bob Dylan Conference
How did Bob Dylan’s version of Americanness impact 1960s’ British culture?

Tickets for the February dates can be reserved in January and tickets for March & April will be released in February. Details will follow a bit nearer the time. The Vienna Bob Dylan Conference, which also features Stephen Scobie, Clinton Heylin and others, will be free admission and open to the public, and I think you can book a place already by contacting Dr. Eugen Banauch via http://anglistik.univie.ac.at/staff/banauch/.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

DEATH OF CAPTAIN BEEFHEART

I know there's no real Dylan connection here but I'm saddened to have learnt a few minutes ago of Captain Beefheart's death yesterday. He was an extraordinary artist by any standards, and also a major figure in the career of Frank Zappa. See www.nytimes.com/2010/12/18/arts/music/18beefheart.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

Friday, December 17, 2010

BILLY PRESTON - THAT'S THE WAY?

I've been sent this short blurb about a radio programme coming up next Tuesday. I've never heard him called "the fifth Beatle", and I'm not sure that claiming he "collaborated with Bob Dylan" isn't a slight stretch too, but still:

Billy Preston: That's the Way God Planned It

Tuesday 21 December
1:30pm - 2:00pm
BBC Radio 4

Rick Wakeman explores the life and music of fellow keyboard player Billy Preston, the so-called fifth Beatle, who collaborated with some of the biggest names in pop, including Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton and Aretha Franklin. Featuring contributions by Jools Holland, Bill Wyman and Pete Townshend, this documentary also explores the secret that Preston spent his life suppressing - one that his former manager Joyce Moore believes fuelled his personal problems.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN'

I see that Bob Dylan's Bob's handwritten lyrics to 'The Times They Are Changin'' have been sold to a hedger fun manager at a Sotheby's auction for well over $300,000. The buyer also owns, it says here, the guitar John Lennon was carrying when he first met Paul McCartney:
http://tinyurl.com/3xnucgn
The weird thing about this report is that while it says these handwritten lyrics were "originally owned" by Dylan's early friend Kevin Krown, it doesn't say who owned them subsequently and sold them at the auction.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

JOHN HAMMOND'S 100th BIRTHDAY...

... would have been today. Here's his entry in The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia (a book that makes an ideal Christmas gift, if I may say so...):

Hammond, John [1910 - 1987]
John Henry Hammond Jr. was born into a branch of the Vanderbilt family in New York City on December 15, 1910, attended Yale and the Juilliard school of music. He gave up classical music in order to pursue his enthusiasm for jazz (which he discovered in the city’s clubs as an adolescent) and black popular music. He wrote music criticism and journalism for Down Beat and the British papers Melody Maker and The Gramophone, wrote widely on race relations in the US and even became a vice-president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. His family money financed his further career as an impresario: he owned a theatre at which he presented black acts, and he pioneered integrated touring and recording sessions. (As PETE SEEGER once said,
‘Jazz became integrated 10 years before baseball largely because of John Hammond.’)

His career as a promoter of talent and as a record producer stretched from the 1930s to the 1980s and the list of greats he discovered or brought into the studio was phenomenal. He worked in executive positions for several labels, though most notably for Columbia Records, for whom he produced artists from Bessie Smith to Bob Dylan. He discovered and/or brought studio opportunities to Count Basie, Charlie Christian, Lionel Hampton, Billie Holiday, Meade Lux Lewis, Teddy Wilson and Lester Young and many other jazz artists, and in 1938 and 1939 Hammond financed and promoted the now-famous ‘From Spirituals to Swing’ concerts at Carnegie Hall - bringing a wide range of black music to Manhattan’s swankiest venue - and featuring many of the above, plus Benny Goodman, BIG BILL BROONZY and SONNY TERRY. He wanted to include ROBERT JOHNSON at the first of these concerts and sent for him, not knowing that Johnson had been murdered shortly beforehand.

Hammond served in the US Army in World War II, returning to the musical fray as soon as possible. But when swing gave way to bebop, Hammond, who didn’t understand the latter, switched his attention more towards blues and pop. Just as many of the earlier jazz names he had espoused were unknowns when he latched onto them, so too he followed only his own instincts in the post-war era, in which he signed, among others, the important Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji (Hammond produced his ground-breaking first album, Drums of Passion, released in 1959 and still selling today), Big Joe Turner, Pete Seeger, Aretha Franklin, MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD, LEONARD COHEN and BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, and had a significant hand in opening the careers of George Benson and STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN (his last signing).

Hammond had the decency and belief to produce the 1965 album by the fragile but giant figure SON HOUSE that yielded at least one invaluable addition to his canon, the exquisite ‘Pearline’, and in 1962 it was also Hammond who, returning his attention to one of House’s pupils, compiled and released on Columbia the hugely influential LP of Robert Johnson’s work Robert Johnson, King of the Delta Blues Singers.

In 1961 Hammond signed Bob Dylan to Columbia, and then produced his first and second albums. Indeed after the poor sales of the first album, Dylan was known around the Columbia building as ‘Hammond’s folly’. On September 10, 1975, it was in Hammond’s presence at the recording of the tribute TV show ‘The World of John Hammond’ that Dylan delivered the first public performances of ‘Hurricane’, ‘Oh Sister’ and ‘Simple Twist of Fate’, from his then-forthcoming album Desire.

No-one except DAVE VAN RONK receives more a more respectful write-up in Dylan’s 2004 memoir Chronicles Volume One than John Hammond. Dylan appreciates not only the man’s straightforwardness and seriousness of purpose, his depth of knowledge and his insight into the very young Dylan’s potential, but also makes the specific point that when Hammond gave him a pre-release copy of King of the Delta Blues Singers this had ramifications for his own development as a writer: ‘If I hadn’t heard the Robert Johnson record when I did, there probably would have been hundreds of lines of mine that would have been shut down - that I wouldn’t have felt free enough or upraised enough to write.’

Returning to the more general, Dylan says of Hammond that men like him ‘came from an older world, a more ancient order…. They knew where they belonged and they had guts to back up whatever their beliefs were. You didn’t want to let them down.’

John Hammond died, from complications following several strokes, on July 10, 1987, at the age of 76.

[Seeger quote seen online 5 Jan 2006 at www.rockhall.com/hof/inductee.asp?id=117. Bob Dylan: ‘Hurricane’ (1st take, uncirculated), ‘Oh Sister’, ‘Simple Twist of Fate’ & ‘Hurricane’, WTTW-TV, NY, 10 Sep 1975, broadcast ‘The World of John Hammond’, PBS-TV, 13 Dec 1975; Dylan quotes, Chronicles Volume One, pp. 287-288 & 288-289.]

Saturday, December 11, 2010

MICHAEL GRAY SPRING TOUR UPDATE NO.2

A couple more dates have been confirmed now, and a bit more info on a couple of the others, so the list is now like this (new info is asterisked; whole new date added is double-asterisked and all in bold):

Thu Feb 17, 5pm
Liverpool University School of the Arts
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Tue Feb 22, tba
Saratoga CA: West Valley College
Searching For Blind Willie McTell

Wed Feb 23, 7pm*
Stockton CA: University of the Pacific, Janet Leigh Theatre*
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Thu Feb 24, tba
Stanford CA: Stanford University English Department
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Thu Mar 24, tba
Tuscaloosa AL: University of Alabama New College
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Tue Mar 29, tba
Georgia Southern University
Compressed Version of Winterlude Weekend

Wed Mar 30, 4pm*
Athens GA: University of Georgia, 101 Miller Learning Center*
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Thu Mar 31, 3.30pm*
Athens GA: University of Georgia, 247 Miller Learning Center*
Searching For Blind Willie McTell

Sun April 3, 2pm
Highland Park NJ: Nighthawk Books
Bob Dylan & Beyond: A Journey Among Geniuses of American Music

**Mon April 4, 4.30pm

New London, CT: Connecticut College English Dept.
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Wed April 6, 6.30pm
NYC: The New School
Searching For Blind Willie McTell

Sat April 9, tba
Newbridge, Ireland: Riverbank Arts Centre
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Tues April 12, tba
Athlone, Ireland: Passionfruit Theatre
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Wed April 13, tba
Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland: The Dock Arts Centre
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Thu April 14, tba
Castlebar, Ireland: Linenhall Arts Centre
topic not yet selected

Fri April 15, tba
Limerick, Ireland: The Loft, The Locke Bar
Love Me Slender: The Genius Of Early Elvis

Sat April 16, 1pm
Galway, Ireland: Cúirt International Festival of Literature
Searching For Blind Willie McTell

**Sun April 17, tba

Bray, Ireland: Mermaid Arts Centre
Bob Dylan & the Poetry of the Blues

Wed April 20, 7pm
Cork, Ireland: Cork World Book Festival
Love Me Slender: The Genius Of Early Elvis

Thu April 21, 8.30pm
Drogheda, Ireland: Droichead Arts Centre
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

Thu-Sat May 19-21, tba
Vienna: Bob Dylan Conference
How did Bob Dylan’s version of Americanness impact 1960s’ British culture?

Friday, December 10, 2010

WOODY SEZ

Woody sez why does everything have to end up as a musical?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

ODDS & ENDS NO.9

First I'd like to thank the person who has posted a generous number of comments (attached to several different posts) about the rich array of poetry and folksong from which Dylan may have derived the "yellow hair" he gives himself in the magnificent 'Angelina'. Really interesting stuff, so thank you.

Second, today it is 30 years since John Lennon died in New York City.

Third, it is 65 years since the death in Chicago, at age 53, of Richard Jones, pianist and composer of one of the greatest songs I think has ever been written: the numinous, rich yet simple 'Trouble In Mind'. (Not the Dylan b-side.) I've loved this song ever since hearing it by the Everly Brothers when I was about 15, long before I knew anything about the pre-war blues. And when it arrives unbidden as an earworm, it's always welcome.

Fourth, tomorrow Joan Armatrading, who was a support to Bob Dylan at Blackbushe back in 1978, will be 60 years old. I still like her stuff too.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

BOBDYLAN.COM: I'M ON THE DARK SIDE OF THE SUPERHIGHWAY

If anyone tries to contact me via bobdylan.com they'll fail. When I used to use Internet Explorer I couldn't get the revamped website to load at all - no trouble with any other website (or the original version of bobdylan.com) but never any success with that one. Since I switched to Mozilla Firefox I can access the site but cannot log in to get "private messages". Even though it sends me a daily e-mail telling me I have "private messages", if I try to log in it tells me that the same e-mail address isn't valid - and doesn't give me the usual "forgotten your password?" option.

I've consulted Dan Levy on the matter, and he's been helpful, but he's battling with website machinery he inherited from other people now that he's been brought back in to run things after that daft period when they dispensed with his services to revamp the site, largely by making it far more corporate and unpleasant. So there it is. I'm a stranger in the strange land of bobdylan.com.

Someone in there who can log in, apparently, has the username Gypsy Daisy - and the other day "The Bob Dylan Team" e-mailed (to my "invalid" e-address) to report that "Michael Gray's friend relationship to GypsyDaisy has been removed by GypsyDaisy." No wonder. Sorry, Gypsy, whoever you are.

Friday, December 03, 2010

MICHAEL GRAY SPRING TOUR: UPDATE 1

I'm pleased to have added more dates to my spring tour of Dylan/McTell/Presley dates. The updated confirmed (though not finalised) list, with new information asterisked, is:

FEB 17 Liverpool University School of the Arts
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

*FEB 22 West Valley College, Saratoga CA
Searching For Blind Willie McTell

*FEB 23 University of the Pacific, Stockton CA
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

*FEB 24 Stanford University, Stanford CA
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

MAR 24 University of Alabama New College, Tuscaloosa AL
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues

*MAR 29 Georgia Southern University, Statesboro
Compressed Dylan Discussion Weekend, with dinner

MAR 30 University of Georgia, Athens GA
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues


MAR 31 University of Georgia, Athens GA
Searching For Blind Willie McTell


*APR 3 Nighthawk Books, Highland Park NJ
Bob Dylan & Blind Willie McTell

APR 6 The New School, New York City NY
Searching For Blind Willie McTell


APR 9 Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Ireland
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues


APR 12 Passionfruit Theatre, Athlone, Ireland
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues


APR 13 The Dock Arts Centre, Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues


APR 14 Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar, Ireland
topic not yet decided

APR 15 The Loft, The Locke Bar, Limerick, Ireland
Love Me Slender: the Genius of Early Elvis


APR 16 Cúirt International Festival of Literature, Galway, Ireland
Searching For Blind Willie McTell


APR 20 Cork World Book Fair, Cork, Ireland
Love Me Slender: the Genius of Early Elvis

APR 21 Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, Ireland
Bob Dylan & The Poetry of the Blues


MAY 19/21 University of Vienna Bob Dylan Conference
, Austria
How did Bob Dylan’s version of Americanness impact British culture?

PS. About the Nighthawk Books event at 2pm on Sunday April 3 in Highland Park, New Jersey:
I don't normally do bookshop readings these days but this is the independent bookstore founded and owned by that excellent blogging critic (and Dylan enthusiast) Steven Hart, and it's a great pleasure to have been able to include his shop in my tour. The proper title of my event there is:
Bob Dylan & Beyond: a Journey Among Geniuses of American Music
(readings from The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia+from Hand Me My Travelin’ Shoes).