Category Archives: Blues

The Songs he didn’t write: Bob Dylan In My Time of Dying





“The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing, thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness”
– Psalms 41:3

In My Time of Dying (also called Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed or variations on this) is a traditional gospel music song that has been recorded by numerous musicians. Bob Dylan recorded it for his debut album as In My Time Of Dyin’.

It was (as most of the songs on the album) cut in one take.

” I can’t see myself singing the same song twice in a row. That’s terrible.”
– Bob Dylan

“Dylan had never sung ‘In My Time of Dyin’ ‘ prior to this recording session. He does not recall where he first heard it. The guitar is fretted with the lipstick holder [ makeshift slide ] he borrowed from his girl, Suze Rotolo, who sat devotedly and wide-eyed through the recording session.”
– Liner Notes, Bob Dylan (album, 1962)

Continue reading The Songs he didn’t write: Bob Dylan In My Time of Dying

The Songs he didn’t write: Bob Dylan House of the rising sun





The House of the Rising Sun is a traditional folk song, sometimes called Rising Sun Blues. It tells of a life gone wrong in New Orleans; many versions also urge a sibling to avoid the same fate. The most successful commercial version was recorded in 1964 by The Animals.

Bob Dylan recorded it, as House of the risin’ sun,  for his debut album released in 1962. He did it several more times both live and in studio.

Album version:

Like many classic folk ballads, The House of the Rising Sun is of uncertain authorship. Musicologists say that it is based on the tradition of broadside ballads, and thematically it has some resemblance to the 16th-century ballad The Unfortunate Rake. According to Alan Lomax, “Rising Sun” was used as the name of a bawdy house in two traditional English songs, and it was also a name for English pubs. He further suggested that the melody might be related to a 17th-century folk song, “Lord Barnard and Little Musgrave”, also known as “Matty Groves”, but a survey by Bertrand Bronson showed no clear relationship between the two songs. Lomax proposed that the location of the house was then relocated from England to New Orleans by white southern performers. However, Vance Randolph proposed an alternative French origin, the “rising sun” referring to the decorative use of the sunburst insignia dating to the time of Louis XIV, which was brought to North America by French immigrants. Continue reading The Songs he didn’t write: Bob Dylan House of the rising sun

The Songs he didn’t write: Bob Dylan Fixin’ To Die





In 1961,  Bob Dylan recorded “Fixin’ to Die” for his debut album, released the following year. The album liner notes indicate that it “was learned from an old recording by Bukka White”. However, Dylan’s arrangement uses a slightly different melody line and some new lyrics.

Album version:

The urgency and intensity of Dylan’s performance gets me every time, I love it. Continue reading The Songs he didn’t write: Bob Dylan Fixin’ To Die

April 28: Bob Dylan released Together Through Life 2009





bob dylan Together-Through-Life

 

April 28: Bob Dylan Together Through Life was released in 2009

…Sure, I try to stick to the rules. Sometimes I might shift paradigms within the same song, but then that structure also has its own rules. And I combine them both, see what works and what doesn’t. My range is limited. Some formulas are too complex and I don’t want anything to do with them.
~Bob Dylan (to Bill Flanagan, in 2009)

“Dylan, who turns 68 in May, has never sounded as ravaged, pissed off and lusty”
~David Fricke (rollingstone.com)

bob dylan Together Through Life back

Together Through Life is an album that gets its hooks in early and refuses to let go. It’s dark yet comforting, with a big tough sound, booming slightly like a band grooving at a soundcheck in an empty theatre. And at its heart there is a haunting refrain. Because above everything this is a record about love, its absence and its remembrance.
~Danny Eccleston (mojo4music.com)

Beyond Here Lies Nothin’

I’m listening to Billy Joe Shaver
And I’m reading James Joyce
Some people they tell me
I got the blood of the land in my voice
~Bob Dylan (I Feel A Change Comin’ On)

Continue reading April 28: Bob Dylan released Together Through Life 2009

March 02: Alvin Youngblood Hart was born in 1963 – here playing Dylan’s Just like a woman




Alvin Youngblood Hart (born Gregory Edward Hart, March 2, 1963 in Oakland, California, United States) is a Grammy Award-winning American musician.

Hart was born in Oakland, California, and spent some time in Carroll County, Mississippi, in his youth, where he was influenced by the Mississippi Country Blues performed by his relatives.  Hart is known as one of the world’s foremost practitioners of country blues. He is also known as a faithful torchbearer for the 1960s and 1970s guitar rock of his youth, as well as Western Swing and vintage country. His music has been compared to a list of diverse artists ranging from Lead Belly, Spade Cooley to acoustic and electric guitar as well as banjo and sometimes the mandolin. Bluesman Taj Mahal once said about Hart: “The boy has got thunder in his hands.” Hart himself said, “I guess my big break came when I opened for Taj Mahal for four nights at Yoshi’s.”
Continue reading March 02: Alvin Youngblood Hart was born in 1963 – here playing Dylan’s Just like a woman