Lately, I’ve been really fascinated with folk music and folk singers like Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. Guys who just stood in front of a microphone with their acoustic guitars and sang. It’s funny because for the last three years, I’ve been watching people do that nightly and regrettably, I think the experience was often lost on me. And it’s not because I haven’t heard great artists before like Dylan or even local acoustic artists that I love, it’s just that I think I was always more interested in something other than the experience itself.
I can’t remember what actually kicked off the whole exploration into this genre music. I remember being really into the “O, Brother Where Art Thou” soundtrack (even though it is much closer to bluegrass), particularly this one. And for a time, I was completely obsessed with Paul Simon’s “Negotiations and Love Songs”. I even did a cover of “Still Crazy After All These Years” recently.
But in the last two months, I’ve been digesting as much Bob Dylan as possible. For the longest time, I was vehemently opposed to him, sort of like I was to the Beatles. Blasphemous, I know. But all it took was the right song and my eyes were opened to wonders that are their stories. For my love of Bob Dylan, that song was “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”.
Let’s be honest, Dylan’s singing voice is average (probably below average) at best. But there is something magical about the delivery of a great song, no matter who plays it that will always resonate on an emotional level. It feels almost prophetic in it’s truth, simplicity and nakedness. That’s the magic in songwriting and performing that I’d like to achieve.
Now before you purists out there get all technical with me about what/who really constitutes folk music, just remember that I generally have no idea what I’m talking about.
P.S. To all of you Beatles fans, don’t worry. I saw the error of my ways about John, Paul, George and Ringo a while back, too.