Monday, July 12, 2010

“It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry”

It’s the Monday Morning Blues again, but this time around I’m doing something a little bit different—I’ve recast the great Bob Dylan song “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry” as a bluesy slide piece.  I started fooling around with this a week or so ago & performed it for the first time on Saturday. 

As many of you know, the song comes from Dylan’s 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited—& of course, the “Highway 61” of the title is the “Blues Highway”—U.S. 61 that runs from New Orleans, Louisiana up thru the Mississippi Delta region, eventually coming to an end in Wyoming, Minnesota.   Dylan himself said of the Highway 61 Revisited album:
"I'm not gonna be able to make a record better than that one... Highway 61 is just too good. There's a lot of stuff on there that I would listen to."
(from Wikipedia)

I sure had fun with this—hope you enjoy it, too!


  1. Brilliant! One Of My Favourite Dylan songs.Thank You .

  2. Hi Tony: Yes, I've always liked this one too--used to bang it out on the piano, much to my parents' consternation. Glad you liked it!

  3. I hate to admit that I don't know very much of Dylan's stuff. (Put that down to my age and not having a brother, if that makes sense.)

    On the other hand, I could listen to your version on a loop, all day. Love that slide!

    The Dylan quote, I found quite funny and revealing. I think artists do have a tendency to dismiss much of their work that others value highly. I know I often look harshly on some of the poems I've written, but they're still popular with everyone else. Do you find that?


  4. Great stuff, John. One of my Dylan favourites too.

  5. Hi Kat & Martin

    Kat: Thanks! I grew up on Dylan, having an older sister--I can remember hearing cuts from "Blonde on Blonde" when I was but a lad--& have more or less kept up with him--less familiar with more recent stuff. I certainly see/hear faults in my own work that others may not notice--as a result, once something is "done"--a poem is written, a song is recorded, etc--I very rarely go back to it (with the songs of course I keep playing them--but never listen to the recording once all the recording work is done).

    Martin: Thanks--glad you liked it!

  6. very fine, very fine
    took me 24 hours to get to it.
    but I LoOve the resophonic guitar, all blues and all tears.
    thank you, bluesman John

  7. Hmmmm... Somehow I missed this yesterday. Interesting take on the original! But then I've always been a sucker for slide guitar; I started listening to the Stones because of Brian Jones's Muddy Waters style slide work. And no big surprise, I lost interest in the Stones soon after Brian's death.

  8. Hi Roy: Glad you liked it! I think my earliest exposure to slide work was probably Duane Allman--not a bad fellow to hear first!

  9. Hey, this was slow Tuesday afternoon blues! Thanks, John! xx

  10. Hi Willow: Glad you liked it whatever day it was!


Thanks for stopping by & sharing your thoughts. Please do note, however, that this blog no longer accepts anonymous comments. All comments are moderated. Thanks for your patience.