On the evening of July 25, 1965, Bob Dylan took the stage at Newport Folk Festival, backed by an electric band, and roared into his new rock hit, Like a Rolling Stone. The audience of committed folk purists and political activists who had hailed him as their acoustic prophet reacted with a mix of shock, booing, and scattered cheers. It was the shot heard round the world—Dylan’s declaration of musical independence, the end of the folk revival, and the birth of rock as the voice of a generation—and one of the defining moments in twentieth-century music.
In Dylan Goes Electric!, Elijah Wald explores the cultural, political and historical context of this seminal event that embodies the transformative decade that was the sixties. Wald delves deep into the folk revival, the rise of rock, and the tensions between traditional and groundbreaking music to provide new insights into Dylan’s artistic evolution, his special affinity to blues, his complex relationship to the folk establishment and his sometime mentor Pete Seeger, and the ways he reshaped popular music forever. Breaking new ground on a story we think we know, Dylan Goes Electric! is a thoughtful, sharp appraisal of the controversial event at Newport and a nuanced, provocative, analysis of why it matters.
Dave Van Ronk war ein US-amerikanischer Gitarrist, Sänger, Songschreiber und eine der treibenden Kräfte des Folk- und Blues-Revivals der 1960er. Zu den Musikern, die Van Ronk förderte, gehörten Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell und etliche andere. Geboren in Brooklyn, besuchte Van Ronk eine High School in Queens, die er mit 15 Jahren vorzeitig verließ. Seit 1949 hatte er in einem Barbershop Quartett gespielt. Anfang der 1950er ging er zur Handelsmarine. Ab 1956 trat Van Ronk als professioneller Musiker auf. Die meiste Zeit seines Lebens verbrachte er im New Yorker Künstlerviertel Greenwich Village. Van Ronk hatte ein intensives Interesse an Jazz und Blues, wobei schließlich der Blues die Oberhand gewann. Seine Songs orientierten sich am Werk von Blues-Legenden wie Furry Lewis und Mississippi John Hurt. Dave Van Ronk gab sein letztes Konzert wenige Monate vor seinem Tod im Februar 2002. In Greenwich Village wurde 2004 eine Straße nach ihm benannt.
Trying to separate myth from reality, biographer Elijah Wald studies the blues from the inside -- not only examining recordings but also the recollections of the musicians themselves, the African-American press, as well as examining original research. What emerges is a new appreciation for the blues and the movement of its artists from the shadows of the 1930s Mississippi Delta to the mainstream venues frequented by today's loyal blues fans.
Global Minstrels: Voices of World Music is an accessible introduction to international music and culture. Including conversations with dozens of artists from five continents, it explores the breadth of the world music experience through the voices of the musicians themselves. In the process, it gives a unique view of the interactions of a globalizing society and introduces readers to some of the most fascinating and thoughtful artists working on the current scene. Artists profiled include Oumou Sangare, Caetano Veloso, Ravi Shankar, Paco de Lucía, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and many more.
Jack White, T. Bone Burnett, and Robert Redford have teamed up to executive produce American Epic, a historical music project exploring the pivotal recording journeys of the early twentieth century, which for the first time captured the breadth of American music and made it available to the world. It was, in a very real way, the first time America truly heard herself.
In the 1920s and 1930s, as radio took over the pop music business, record companies were forced to leave their studios in major cities in search of new styles and markets. Ranging the mountains, prairies, rural villages, and urban ghettos of America, they discovered a wealth of unexpected talent—farmers, laborers, and ethnic minorities playing styles that blended the intertwining strands of Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. These recordings form the bedrock for modern music as we know it, but during the Depression many record companies went out of business and more than ninety percent of the fragile 78 rpm discs were destroyed. Fortunately, thanks to the continuing efforts of cultural detectives and record devotees, the stories of America’s earliest musicians can finally be told.
Bernard MacMahon and Allison McGourty, who directed and produced the documentary with American musician Duke Erikson, spent years traveling around the US in search of recollections of those musical pioneers. Their fascinating account, written with the assistance of prize-winning author Elijah Wald, continues the journey of the series and features additional stories, never-before-seen photographs, and unearthed artwork. It also contains contributions from many of the musicians who participated including Taj Mahal, Nas, Willie Nelson, and Steve Martin, plus a behind-the-scenes look at the incredible journey across America.
American Epic is an extraordinary testament to our country’s musical roots, the transformation of our culture, and the artists who gave us modern popular music.