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Saturday, 7 February 2015

Bob Dylan: Voices are measured by whether they're telling the truth

Following a recent interview in which Bob Dylan spoke extensively about his inspiration, yesterday he also made a revealing speech in accepting the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year:

'Dylan traced the roots of some of his better-known songs to numerous traditional folk songs, noting that his work blossomed from his spending so much time playing the traditional works. "John Henry" begat "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall." Big Bill Broonzy's "Key to the Highway" led to "Highway 61 Revisited." "Roll the Cotton Down" birthed "Maggie's Farm." "The Times They Are A Changin'" is an extension of what Dylan referred as the "come all ye" songs such as "Floyd Collins." From "Deep Elm Blues," a traditional song recorded by blues artists in the 1930s, sprang "Tangled Up in Blue."

"There's nothing secret about it," Dylan said.

Dylan made a singular point about music and great songwriting, whether he was referencing the work of gospel legends the Blackwood Brothers, folk legend Roscoe Holcomb or bluesman Charley Patton. "Voices are not to measured by how pretty they are," Dylan said, quoting Sam Cooke. "They're to be measured by whether they're telling the truth."

"The Staple Singers were one of my favorite groups of all time," he said. "They were the type of artists I wanted to record my songs."'


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