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‘American Songwriter’ does 30 Days of Dylan

Bob Dylan singing with guitar 1963

my first introduction to Bob Dylan, other than the usual classic rock radio fare, was on a mixed tape in high school from a boy i had a crush on. though i don’t recall which songs were on that tape, it not only solidified the crush, but also sparked a life long love affair with Dylan’s music and poetry. my all time favourite Dylan tune (and fave song, period) is “Tangled Up in Blue” from Real Live, recorded during his 1984 tour of Europe. a story of true love, bad timing, and living life, it embodies the intricate simplicity that runs through Bob Dylan’s body of work. the Real Live lyrics are also very different from the studio Blood on the Tracks version, showing Dylan’s evolution as a songwriter and his ability to adapt his songs to stay relevant and meaningful to himself, as well as his audience.

more than anything, my love of Bob Dylan shaped the way i experienced music from then on and led me to discover music i wouldn’t have otherwise pursued: Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, Roscoe Holcomb, Townes Van Zandt, and so many more. and the poetry of his lyrics drew me towards Dylan Thomas, William Blake, Carl Sandburg, TS Elliot, and on…

i really can’t imagine what my life would have been like without Dylan, and i’m glad i don’t have to know.

Check out American Songwriter for ’30 Days of Dylan’: 30 interviews with 30 artists on what Bob Dylan means to them.


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