Bob Dylan. The folk singer, come rock pioneer who was awarded the Nobel Prize For Literature and is currently Number 1 in the album charts at the age of 79. Bob Dylan who between 1979 and 1981 recorded three albums known as his Gospel Trilogy.
I am very excited to be speaking about Bob Dylan in our new Fitzroy TV series Light from Rock Music. During the vows we take during ordination services in the Presbyterian church we are told not to refuse light from any quarter. In this series we are doing what I have been doing for 40 years and actively seeking light in the work of recognised rock musicians.
The first in the series was Van Morrison in which I was delighted to have Belfast songwriter Brian Houston as my guest singer. Brian recorded imaginative versions of Into The Mystic, Full Force Gale and When Will I Ever Learn To Live In God adding beats and sounds and even a snippet of John O'Donohue reading one of his benedictions. I was so pleased at the response, even from one person who said they knew nothing about rock music but found the VOLG insightful and meditative Watch Light From Van Morrison: Dreaming in God HERE
In our Bob Dylan episode I am thrilled to have as my guest singer Chris Taylor. Chris is from San Antonio, Texas and came to fame in the Contemporary Christian Music world as lead singer of Love Coma before a catalogue of solo records that reveal the artist within, in his eclectic and creative range.
If Brian Houston was an obvious choice to sing Van Morrison, being from the same East Belfast streets, then I chose Chris because of his stunning album of Bob Dylan covers called Down a Dead End Street. That record was in my Top 10 albums of 2017 and in my review (read that HERE) I wrote of how Chris's "voice has a strong rough hue that makes traction in Dylan’s quirks. That gives him the sensitivity to eek out the yearning and deep soul searching going on." Wait until you here his covers on Sunday night!
In my commentary on Dylan I will be looking at those "Gospel years" when there is plenty of light in creed and spiritual formation. I will also, however, be looking at his short folk Civil Rights years and wondering if he was more biblically prophetic then than in his very clear Christian records. I will also be looking at the 40 years since his Christian phase and asking if there is still light to be found, right up until his brand new number 1 record Rough and Rowdy Ways.
Light From Rock Music Vol 2: Bob Dylan - Pressing On will be available on FITZROY TV from 7pm on Sunday July 5th
Followed by Light For Rock Music Vol 3: U2 - Don't Let it Go Out on July 12th