The Vinyl Dialogues Blog

Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

Tag: Bob Dylan

From Bob to Bruce: The Best Concerts of 2016

There are many aspects that make a good concert experience. Primarily of course, is the music. How does the artist and the band sound? Is what I’m hearing on stage like what I hear on the vinyl?

Maybe we all have different criteria, though. I am particularly fond of hearing an artist sing the hits live. I want see and hear Hall & Oates sing “She’s Gone” and “Sara Smile”; I want to see and hear Brian Wilson sing “Surfer Girl”; I want to personally witness Elton John sing “Rocket Man”; I want to be in the stadium and experience “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen.

As a music writer, there are several other aspects of a concert that add to the experience for me. Oftentimes, I interview the artist and write a story for my media group advancing the show. Was the interview a pleasant experience and did I … Read more

My inaugural Dylan concert: It was Bob being Bob . . . with a little swagger and prancing

dscn5771The between-song banter by Mavis Staples – who is opening for Bob Dylan on his summer tour – Wednesday night at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia included an interesting and somewhat unexpected observation.

“Oh, that Bobby Dylan. I love listening to him sing, but I also love to watch him move,” said Ms. Staples, 77, a longtime member of the gospel, soul and R&B family singing group The Staple Singers and later a solo artist, who revealed last year that Dylan once proposed to her when they were teenagers and she turned him down. “He’s got that swagger.”

“Does Bob move with a swagger?” I asked my friend Ted, who has seen Dylan approximately 25 times in concert and had driven all the way from Illinois (919 miles and 14-and-a-half hours in what has been dubbed the 2016 Iron Undershorts Tour) to accompany me to my … Read more

Roger McGuinn’s ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’ a classic

Roger McGuinn of The Byrds played a solo gig June 12, 2014, at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA.

Hearing Brian Wilson sing “Surfer Girl” in concert.

Listening to America’s Gerry Beckley from the fifth row as he sings “Sister Golden Hair.

Seeing Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers rock out to “China Grove.”

Hearing great songs in person sung in their original versions by the artists who made them famous has always appealed to me. And now I can cross another one off my list: Hearing Roger McGuinn of The Byrds sing “Mr. Tambourine Man” in person.

I know it’s a Bob Dylan song. And certainly one can argue that hearing Bob Dylan sing it would be hearing “Mr. Tambourine Man” in its original form. Dylan released the song in March 1965 and The Byrds’ version was released in April 1965.

But it’s the harmonies of McGuinn, Gene … Read more

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