56 episodes

Actors Kerry Shale and Lucas Hare talk to interesting people about Bob Dylan. Proud part of Pantheon - the podcast network for music lovers.

Is It Rolling, Bob? Talking Dylan Lucas Hare, Kerry Shale

    • Music
    • 4.7 • 133 Ratings

Actors Kerry Shale and Lucas Hare talk to interesting people about Bob Dylan. Proud part of Pantheon - the podcast network for music lovers.

    Ann Powers

    Ann Powers

    Ann Powers, writer and lead music critic for America’s National Public Radio, joins us from her East Nashville home to discuss gender, sexuality and “the body” in Bob Dylan’s work. Sparked off by an emotional encounter involving Joni Mitchell, Ann compares Mitchell’s work with Dylan’s and discusses other groundbreaking female artists like Roberta Flack, Kate Bush, Madonna, Megan Thee Stallion, Candi Staton, Chaka Khan and Sarah Silverman.
    With Ann, we contemplate Dylan’s early years as a “baggy elephant”, discover what Prince, Bob and Game Of Thrones have in common, explore the Jewish art in Dylan’s work and learn why Lay Lady Lay is the beginning of the genre of soft porn/soft rock “instructional songs about sex”. Ann cheerfully admits that her Bob Dylan theories are often “a provocation and a tease”. Join us for a particularly provocative discussion of “the parrot that talks”.
    Ann Powers is one of America’s leading music writers. She began her career at San Francisco Weekly, and has held positions at the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, Blender, and the Experience Music Project. Her books include Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America, Tori Amos: Piece by Piece (which she cowrote with Amos), Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Rap, and Pop. Her latest book is Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black & White, Body and Soul in American Music. Ann’s chapter in The World of Bob Dylan (Cambridge University Press, 2021) was “Gender and Sexuality: Bob Dylan’s Body”.
    BBC Radio 4, Archive On 4: A Night With Prince, presented by Ann Powers
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    Recorded 30th March 2021
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    • 47 min
    Richard Williams

    Richard Williams

    Journalist Richard Williams joins us to talk Dylan and to surf “the waves of his career”, from Freewheelin’ (“one revelation after another”) to Murder Most Foul (“I was astonished by it. The level of detail. It’s like a John Coltrane quartet.”). Richard reminds us of “one of the great things I learned from Dylan: if you don’t understand something, that doesn’t invalidate it”.
    Our discussion includes generally unloved albums like Knocked Out Loaded (“Brownsville Girl contains the best single line of phrasing in Dylan’s entire canon”) and Down In The Groove (“we all lose our way a bit but the last three tracks are really very good”). Since writing his 1991 Bob Dylan book, A Man Called Alias, Richard has remained a true believer. “His phrasing has always been astonishing. Like that list of flowers he recites on Theme Time Radio Hour. He reads a seed catalogue and makes it sound like Visions of Johanna”. Prepare for the concise and clear musings of one of the best Bob brains out there in this ‘lectric episode.
    Richard Williams is a music and sports journalist. He was a writer, then deputy editor, at the weekly music newspaper Melody Maker, where he became an influential commentator on the rise of rock music in the 1960s. From 1970, he contributed to the Times. He left journalism to join Island Records’ A & R department, becoming department head. He was the first presenter of the BBC2 rock show The Old Grey Whistle Test and later became editor of the London listings guide Time Out and then Melody Maker. He also worked at the Sunday Times and the Independent On Sunday. Richard’s music journalism has been gathered in the volume Long Distance Call: Writings On Music. He has written biographies of Dylan, Miles Davis (The Man In The Green Shirt) and Phil Spector (Out Of His Head). Williams is also the former chief sports writer of the Guardian (he has written several books on Formula One). His comments about music and film, photography and art are published in his blog, The Blue Moment.
    Bob Dylan: Where to start in his back catalogue (The Guardian)

    2021/2020 selected blog pieces:
    When the Supremes met Jimmy Webb
    Bob Dylan in Surbiton
    The Band at the Albert Hall
    Bob Dylan and Barbara Allen

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    Recorded 16th March 2021
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    • 49 min
    John Harris

    John Harris

    Music and political journalist John Harris joins us just before Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday to celebrate the man with “the wink and the nod and the little impish skip” as well as the man who gives us “the solace of emptiness”. Mr Harris is not afraid to go against the grain: “”Love And Theft” is as good as Highway 61 or Blood On The Tracks”. As for John Wesley Harding, he happily quotes a friend who told him, “we wanted a big meal and he gave us a salad. It’s good for you - but a bit chewy.” The highlight of the episode might be John’s invitation - via pal Cerys Matthews - to meet Dylan backstage after his concert at the O2: “my internal monologue was going crazy. Brain fog was settling in. I was running out of breath.” (we won’t spoil the ending here).
    From making a Dylan-inspired harmonica rack out of a coat hanger at age 10 to reviewing the entire 1966 Live Recordings box set for MOJO magazine years later (“I’m still recovering”), John has heard every permutation of Bob on Dylan’s way to the Big 8-0. Was it worth it? “I like the way he sounds now. I want him to sound like that”.
    John Harris has been a music journalist for Sounds, Melody Maker and the NME. He was Features Editor at Q and Editor of Select magazine, before returning to the life of a freelance writer. Since then, he has written about music for Q, MOJO and Rolling Stone, and contributed articles on a variety of subjects to the UK newspapers The Independent, The Times and The Observer. He now writes about politics, music and culture for The Guardian. He was also a regular panellist on BBC2’s Newsnight Review. His first book, The Last Party: Britpop, Blair And The Spectacularly Demise Of English Rock was published in 2003. His second, a primer for disillusioned Labour voters, So Now Who Do We Vote For?, appeared in 2005. The Dark Side Of The Moon: The Making of The Pink Floyd Masterpiece was published in 2006. And Hail! Hail! Rock’n'Roll, a compendium, was released in 2009.
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    Recorded 2nd March 2021
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    • 58 min
    Dinner with Dylan trailer

    Dinner with Dylan trailer

    Dinner with Dylan

    On BBC Radio 4, Saturday 22nd May 2021, 3pm


    "My name’s Jon Canter and I’m a Bobaholic. That means I’m addicted to the songs and mystery of Bob Dylan. But it’s an addiction from which I never want to recover, because it’s sustained and nourished and challenged me for nearly 50 years.
    There are millions of people like me and this play is dedicated to them. But it’s also dedicated to the people who know and love Bobaholics and have to live with their addiction, which isn’t always easy."
    Dinner with Dylan is a play about three grown men - Bobaholics - who meet in a restaurant to chat about the meaning of life and Dylan. It's set in 2017, in the week when Dylan played a series of shows at the London Palladium and after an accidental meeting between playwright Jon Canter and writer and producer Richard Curtis. This is what happened next....
    Cast:
    Richard Curtis played by himself
    Kerry Shale played by himself
    Lucas Hare played by himself
    Eileen Atkins played by herself
    Sam Akbar Kurtha
    Produced and Directed by Clive Brill
    A Brill production for BBC Radio 4

    • 2 min
    Charlie McCoy

    Charlie McCoy

    Nashville musician Charlie McCoy’s Dylan-related achievements include those distinctive guitar licks on Desolation Row, that blues harmonica on Obviously Five Believers (a rare example of another person playing harp on a Dylan session) and the inventive bass lines on John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline and Self Portrait. His motto: “Say yes - and then figure it out!” On his work as a session musician: “The song is the picture and we are the frame”. On Dylan’s harmonica style: “I’ve tried to do it like that and it doesn’t sound as good”. On waiting until 4:00 in the morning to record Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands: “How much coffee can you drink?”
    Charlie has played with them all: Elvis (13 albums), Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Ringo Starr, Paul Simon, Kris Kristofferson, Robbie Robertson, Linda Ronstadt; even the rockers known as Ween. His tale of Leonard Cohen and the horsewhip is worth the price of admission. Any regrets? “I never played bass for Elvis” (only harmonica, organ, vibes and guitar). We are honoured to welcome the Nashville cat who has been there and done pretty much everything.
    In addition to being a fixture in Nashville recording studios for almost 60 years, Charlie McCoy has released 35 solo albums and served as music director for the long-running television series, “Hee Haw”. Charlie is member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. His session work includes Oh Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison, Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer, George Jones’s He Stopped Loving Her Today and Johnny Cash’s Orange Blossom Special. He has played harmonica for Waylon Jennings, Steve Miller, Gordon Lightfoot, Loretta Lynn, Leon Russell, Rodney Crowell and countless others. Charlie won a Grammy for his album, The Real McCoy. He has won the CMA’s Instrumentalist of the Year Award two times and the Academy Of Country Music’s Specialty Instrument Award seven times. Charlie was a member of legendary Nashville band Area Code 615, whose song Stone Fox Chase was the theme tune for the BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test TV series.
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    Recorded 19th February 2021
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    • 52 min
    Michael Simmons

    Michael Simmons

    Musician and writer Michael Simmons has written dozens of Dylan cover pieces for MOJO magazine, as well as incisive liner notes for Another Self Portrait and Bob Dylan 1970. “I remember where I was when Kennedy was assassinated and I remember the exact moment I heard Like A Rolling Stone. It sounded like freedom.” He praises Bob as both “a revolutionary” and “an evolutionary” artist and reminds us that “the difference between a great talent and a hack is the willingness to fall on their face in the pursuit of something new.”
    From Michael’s LA home he recounts his time playing guitar, singing backup and doing improvised comedy with the outrageous country jokesters Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys (despite being born in New York City). Mr Simmons contains other multitudes: T-Bone Burnett, Greil Marcus, George Hamilton IV, Gordon Lightfoot, Jerry Garcia and Neil Young all receive considered mentions. He brings it all back home by confirming that “at all times, somebody, somewhere in the world, is talking about Bob Dylan”. Join our conversation with this most savvy of Dylan scribes.
    Michael Simmons is a musician, journalist, filmmaker and activist. He was dubbed "The Father Of Country Punk" by Creem magazine in the 1970s, edited the National Lampoon in the '80s, and won the LA Press Club Award in the '90s. He's written for the LA Weekly, LA Times, Rolling Stone, Penthouse and High Times. He is MOJO magazine’s premiere writer on all things Dylan as well as profiling George Harrison, Leon Russell, Lowell George and The Fugs. He has written liner notes for albums by Dylan, Michael Bloomfield, Phil Ochs, Kris Kristofferson, Arthur Lee & Love and many others.
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    Recorded 11th December 2020
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    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
133 Ratings

133 Ratings

/Daisy222 ,

Fabulous!

Absolutely thrilled to have found this terrific podcast. Love it!

Skinnyfists ,

Not just the best Bob podcast, one of the best of any podcasts

My new favourite podcast. This is interesting people talking about the most interesting of people. Thank you Lucas and Kerry, I don't know how I started listening to this, I think I just saw the Nish episode and then slowly made my way through all of them. The hosts bring such a level of erudition and enthusiasm to all things Bob. I mean, I even bought a CD of Shot of Love off eBay the other day!

mcfontaine ,

Simply brilliant

I came here for a single episode, suggested from another show ... but stayed because quite simply, it’s a brilliant show.

Such a great selection of guests, from so many fields and always so entertaining. Luke & Kerry are fantastic hosts because they have the thing that too many hosts don’t, they give their guests ‘space’. Also their enthusiasm is so infectious.

Each episode is like Luke, Kerry and their guest are “exchanging all precious gifts” with your ears.

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