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Mystery & Manners' Honorary Southern Artist(s) PART ONE--Bob Dylan

Posted: Oct 10, 2007

...Mystery & Manners' Honorary Southern Artist(s)...PART ONE...

      "Beat a path of retreat
      Up them spiral staircases
      Pass the tree of smoke
      Pass the angel with four faces
      Begging God for mercy and weeping
      In unholy places."
                                                      -Bob Dylan

Every blue moon, I'd like to highlight an artist not necessarily from the south, but their work influenced folks beyond any border or generation.

Bob Dylan represents an honorary southern artist...Dylan's songwriting transcends all barriers...Dylan participated in the Civil Rights movement of the early 60s. Songs from those turbulent days like "Blowin' In the Wind", "Masters of War", and "Chimes of Freedom"--among many others--spoke to a people of all geographical and racial backgrounds...Just like Marc Ford's guitar playing...Dylan forced even the most hard bitten bluesman or seasoned soul singer to lend a nod and a wink to Dylan for his lyricism, storytelling and songs. He's like a messenger from the Book of Revelation. Dylan reminds us all of an ongoing, eternal riddle of the soul...

"Stuck Inside Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" always painted a vivid picture of some haunted lost highway. In this mean old world, these artists and their work provide solace. Dylan recorded in Nashville for several albums as well as New Orleans. Dylan played with Eddie Hinton at Muscle Shoals when Dylan recorded his Slow Train Coming album. On his album Saved (also recorded in Muscle Shoals), Dylan recorded with Spooner Oldham, Fred Tackett, Berry Beckett, Clydie King and Mona Lisa Young. Dylan recorded a song with Sam Shepard called "Brownsville Girl", and he recruited the Texas guitarist T-Bone Burnett to join his Rolling Thunder Revue Band. This band backed Dylan during the filming of Dylan's 4-hour unreleased film, Renaldo & Clara. I'll soon post an old article I wrote about that lost Dylan classic...

In the past few years, Dylan's toured with Willie Nelson in minor league baseball parks and word is Merle Haggard is recording a rock and roll record with Keith Richards (another honorary M & M southern artist)...and they've invited Dylan. Dylan never excludes the South's venerable grounds when touring. Until the second installment of Mystery & Manners' Honororary Southern Artist, check out Dylan's first ever art exhibit.

James Calemine

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