Friday, August 5, 2011

New Bob Dylan Article Submitted to the Pal-Item

I have been a big fan of Bob Dylan for most of my life. My dad is a piano player and used to play a lot of Dylan songs on the piano. When I heard my first Dylan record I must have been 12 or 13. My dad handed me a stack of records, including Highway 61 Revisited, Another Side of Bob Dylan and Bringing It All Back Home, and said, “You might like these.”

And of course, I did.

Now Dylan has just released his new collection of art for his “The Drawn Blank Collection.” You can see and actually purchase prints on Bob’s website, Dylan has been releasing collections of his artwork on his website since 2008.

I never really looked at Dylan’s art before, and I was struck by his use of bright and vivid colors in his pallet choices. Sometimes he seems to have an attraction to gritty and dark in his music, that I assumed his art would look like that as well. The only piece I had seen before was the cover to his “Saved” album back in the early 80’s, a very dark, yet hopeful image, which depicts an outstretched hand pulling out another hand from a morass of other reaching hands. That image was very evocative and powerful, and reflected the spiritual nature of the album.

These new pictures depict a bright and hopeful place; the direct opposite of place where a song such as “Desolation Row,” must occur. To me these happy looking pictures are like the other side of the coin in comparison to the type of images brought up in his recent recordings. “Woman in Red Lion Pub,” to me is very humorous, and “Man on A Bridge,” and “Sidewalk CafĂ©,” seem to transport the view into another time, the way a lot of Dylan’s most recent music does as well.

I have been listening to a lot of Dylan’s more current music lately. The Bootleg series volume 8, Together Through Life, Love and Theft and a couple other albums. I find that my favorite song I've been listening to lately is "It's All Good." It is such a humorous slam on the overused modern phrase:  "Cold blooded killer stalking the town...But there's nothing to worry about cause it's all good." It cracks me up. If you get a chance you should check out the song. I find that Bob still has something worth saying and does it in such a way that captures the attention of the listener.

But these songs are reminiscent of the recordings before and during the Great Depression, not a great deal of hope and light in them, though the dark humor is present. Yet, these paintings seem to reflect the hope that provides for the humor present in the recordings. I have read that Dylan doesn’t seem to appreciate people overanalyzing his work, and I have to confess of being guilty of doing just that at times, but these paintings are eye-catching and pleasing to the eye without analyzing the intent behind the images.

This collect continues to demonstrate the great range of talent in the master songwriter and musician, and as in his recordings, Bob Dylan continues to show us that he still has a lot to say.

Willy Minnix is a private and group music instructor located in Richmond, IN. He teaches piano, guitar, bass guitar, drums, mandolin, banjo, harmonica and voice to all grade levels. He also teaches Family Band lessons, group music lessons designed to teach students how to play together in a band environment.