Monday, July 6th


  1. You are far too modest as this is by far the best I’ve read on the new album. There’s a multitude of rabbit holes to explore throughout it and your take on Dylan as being possibly more essential live than on record is particularly poignant in this current dearth of live music. And very nice to see Emma Swift get a mention.

  2. That’s a very nicely written piece, Martin. Insightful and wise. As Paul Kerr almost says in his comment above (he must have more restraint than me), it contains multitudes. I don’t know when exactly you wrote this appreciation but I wonder if it benefitted from you taking your time to get to know the album rather than rushing out a hot take. It’s still revealing itself to me. After the first couple of listens I had made up my mind that ‘I’ve Made Up My Mind…etc’ was the weakest track on the album and that I just didn’t like it. And then something happened and I found that I had changed my mind.
    But now my day has started with ‘Mutineer’ in my head, a welcome ear-worm. I miss Warren Zevon and would have loved to hear him sing about that moron in the White House.

  3. budgie9 says:

    Thanks for that wonderful piece. A friend of mine said to me that the album is like an onion revealing layer upon layer. Nobody else has the gravitas wit or chutzpah to give us an album like this and it will surely go on giving to us for some time yet. Thank you also for providing those “rabbit holes” mentioned above.

  4. Alex Finer says:

    Dylan thanks his audience and I thank you for a fascinating and compelling interpretation of the man.

  5. Terrific, Martin..! Dylan surprising yet again but that’s not surprising, if you see what I mean. I was having a ‘Zoom’ chat with a couple of pals the other day about music things. His new album came up and the general thought was that given old Dylan songs remain in some people’s repertoires, no one is going to tackle ‘Murder Most Foul’ at a buskers‘ night anywhere (whenever they return)..! Once more Bobby intrigues..marvellous. By the way, I really like the new format/presentation..a thumbs up. Hope you’re coping alright with the current difficulties.. Finally as an aside, a viewing/listening suggestion for you, I’m a big Chuck Prophet admirer and there’s a fairly recent thing Posted on YouTube of him and his band (Mission Express) performing his album ‘Temple Beautiful’ with strings..rather good to my lugs.. He’s big chums with Dylan’s guitarist, Charlie Sexton, by the way.

    • Thanks for the design review, Charlie! Got fed up with the new blocks editor in WordPress so thought I’d go for a more magazine look and just upload a giant jpg, but even that has its issues! Loving the Chuck Prophet so far…

  6. Mrs Henry says:

    Hi Martin

    I really enjoyed your article on Dylan’s latest release.

    A couple of comments

    1. I’m sure I’ve seen a clip where Frank Sinatra states “I’m just a song & dance man”

    2. Is Bob a Dr Who fan ? In the final episode of the last series the doctor states (at 50 mins approx)
    “I contain multitudes”.


    Mrs Henry

    • Interesting about Frank Sinatra, I always loved Bob’s performance of ”Restless Farewell” at his 80th birthday. And no, not the good Doctor, it’s from Walt Whitman’s ”Song of Myself” from 1855. Thanks for responding!

  7. Patrick Humphries says:

    A fine reflection. That 2000 tour was the one Bob actually addressed the audience at Wembley about the Battle of Britain and Churchill. I am enjoying R&RW more than any Bob record since God knows when. And as you say what a bounty we have had these recent years, and just when you think it’s all been said, check out Spencer Leigh’s exhaustive Outlaw Blues, all 510 pages of it. Keep well all…

  8. mick gold says:

    What a beautifully subtle and interesting exploration of Rough & Rowdy Ways. Thanks. I remember Alex Ross writing a fine essay, The Wanderer, on Dylan for The New Yorker. Ross suggested that the climax of Tangled Up In Blue was a reflection on Bob’s relationship with his audience.

    “The lines that he shouted out with extra emphasis came at the end: ‘Me, I’m still on the road, heading for another joint/ We always did feel the same, we just saw it from a different point/ Of view/ Tangled up in blue.’ Suddenly, the romance in question seemed to be the long, stormy one between Dylan and his audience. There’s a Ricksian detail that locates this shift in meaning: used as a rhyme, “point” cuts the phrase “point of view” in half, so that the “you” and the “I” are literally looking from different points in space—Dylan being over there and the rest of us over here. And what is the “it” that we’re seeing? The thing that comes between him and us—the music.”

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