A Way Into Dylan -
Some people are not much into Bob Dylan or his music. Others are very deep into Dylan. Some are not sure and would like an easy way to sample what his music has to offer. This post is for that last category of people. It is a link to an outstanding website in the UK, which could serve as a launch site for hundreds of hours of exploration of Bob’s music. 🎶
It is mainly a compilation of Dylan covers, that is, performances of Bob’s songs by folks other than Bob. The nice thing about Bob covers is that one can get a huge variety of different singers and bands. Because of the legend & inspiration of Dylan, cover performers are often delivering the very best performance they can muster and it is likely it is with the most outstanding song they will ever perform, perhaps a song that inspires them more than any other material they ever work with and so they deliver a performance better than in much of their work.
One person has compiled over 9,000 Dylan covers, so it is very helpful to link to a page like this that points to some of the best of them. You can start just about anywhere and there’s a decent chance you’ll hit a winner.
If you’re at a complete loss, I’ll give you one suggestion. It is the performance of Pressing On that they have selected. This is not a very well known song by Bob, but it is my favorite from his Christian period, which covers three of his official albums. It is an incredibly inspired performance by a gospel choir with a lead vocalist named Regina McCrary. Your chance of just stumbling onto this performance by just poking around on YouTube is very unlikely. I think you’ll like it.
I found there is a nice bonus to this one. When I finished watching.it, YouTube cued up as the next song a performance of the same song by Dylan and his band in a legendary concert in April 1980 in Toronto. With this one you get to hear his piano playing, inspired singing and his excellent band and singers. So two for the price of one! 🎶
That’s just one suggestion, but the UK website has dozens of other performances that are also outstanding. One could spend weeks using this one web page to launch hours of enjoyable music.
Try it and enjoy! Ron. 🎹