Polling the Artists Q8 (the Dylan question) Part 1

It's been a long time since I did a Polling the Artists segment. I don't know why that is. Maybe it's because I feel bad about bugging these great artists with my simple questions. But anyways, I knew I'd have to get a lot of opinions on Bob Dylan, so I decided to bring it back! So here's the question:

What is your favorite Bob Dylan Song or album, and how did it inspire and/or influence you?

Let's start with Polling the Artist new comer Taylor Kirk

Taylor Kirk AKA Timber Timbre:

My favorite Bob Dylan record is Desire. It is almost in a genre of its own. Of course it's roots music but the players and instrumentation make it sound really eclectic, with those sort of gypsy violin runs and counterintuitive snare hits. It's such a distinct recording, yet it sounds to me like it could have come from any time or place. I hope I can make a recording that has that same feeling/effect.

Blair Whatmore, guitarist for Olenka and the Autumn Lovers, For Love or Money:

My favorite Dylan album is 2001's "Love And Theft" (Blood on The Tracks and Blonde On Blonde tied at a close second!). To me, Love And Theft has it all, Dylan at his most poetic, insightful, and hilarious. The musicianship is outstanding, Bob being backed by his best band since The Band, featuring Charlie Sexton and Larry Campbell on dueling guitars. A must-own album for anyone that cares about good song-writing or aspires to be a good musician. Favorite lyric:
"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drownin' in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothin' but affection for all those who've sailed with me" -"Mississippi"

Darrin Davis, frontman for the Strip:

Excellent question. Dylan has been hands down my biggest influence.
Seen him live 8 times, have every studio album, love 'em all.
(I'm actually listening to a recently unearthed copy of the 80's heavy 'Empire Burlesque' on vinyl as I type).
Desire was my first love.
Then Blood on the The Tracks.
Then the masterpieces, Highway 61 and Blonde on Blonde.
Nowadays, I alternate every couple of weeks.
The new albums are fantastic.
Time out of mind was his first new album that I heard right when it came out, and that was exciting and kind of earth changing.
I think my all time favorite bobby tune is 'Sooner or Later'.
And Positively 4th street is so freaking good...


Kaya Fraser, singer/ songwriter

I heard Dylan all my life. But the first time I really listened was when I was in my early teens, riding on a Greyhound from Montreal down to Boston to visit my sister. I had a copy of a greatest hits tape--the one with the sort of blue silhouette cover?--in my walkman. I figured I should maybe give this guy a real try, sort of like when you start ordering beer in bars for the purpose of enjoying the taste. Anyway, I didn't have to wince and pretend. I loved it, was mesmerized, watching landscape roll by and listening to the words. "Positively 4th Street" especially spoke to my teenage soul.

Then, later, I started to listen to the albums individually. Blood on the Tracks hit me with a fierce precision. It still does, and remains my favorite, although I agree with Darrin: Desire, Highway 61 and Blonde on Blonde are right up there too. To round out my Top 5, I'd have to add the live tapes of the 1966 tour: the double CD that came out with the acoustic half of the show on one disc, and then the (in)famous electric moment on the other. "JUDAS!" "I don't beLIEVE you. You're a LIAR!" Brilliant.

How has he influenced me? Well, what is the wisdom of Bob Dylan... Range as widely as possible in search of poetry. Devastate. Don't believe your own mythologies. Much more importantly, don't believe IN them. Weird can be funny can be sad can be beautiful. Sometimes even geniuses write crap songs. Keep changing everything and keep producing. Art can matter to lots of people and still be art.

Eddie Orso, Revival Dear

Didn't take me long to think about the most influential Bob Dylan track he ever put on tape. "Dear Landlord" off of Dylan's 1967 record "John Wesley Harding" hands down. Not only is it one of my favorite songs lyrically from Dylan, his minor to major chord progressions give the song a killer vibe and taught me a lot about song structure in general. If you pan this song all the way left or right you can listen to just dylan
and the piano. The drums are cut out. It's awesome. For me Dylan's lyrics on this number blow me away more than anything. "Dear Landlord, please don't put a price on my soul. My burden is heavy, my dreams are beyond control".
Can't argue with that!

Part two I'll probably put up on Friday, featuring more Dylan influences by the likes of Me, Barzin, Nick Zubeck and Sam Allen.

No comments: