Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Highway 61 Revisited

Happy Wednesday!  Given that you’ve all made it to mid-week, you probably don’t want to return to Monday, do you?  But that’s just what we’re doing here today, as we have the Wednesday edition of the Monday Morning Blues!

I had intended for my musical outings this month to be quite different.  In the past I used to do some chord solos on the uke, both the tenor & the baritone. A “chord solo” for those who don’t know is a way of playing the song’s melody using chords, so there’s also harmony underneath the melodic line.  But things have been crazy at so many levels here at Robert Frost’s Banjo central, & when I sat down to record on Sunday, I found that my uke chops are really rusty.  Putting together the series I planned would have required extra practice time I just don’t have.

So, back to the guitar.  Since I’ve been on a performance sabbatical the last couple of months I’ve experimented with taking my music in some different directions (as witness the selections in November).  One direction is the music of Bob Dylan, & I’ll be featuring his songs on the Monday Morning Blues the rest of the month.

The song “Highway 61 Revisited" comes from from Dylan’s 1965 album of the same name—& 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 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."
(taken from Wikipedia)

Obviously, Bob Dylan songs aren’t going to be “seasonal,” but I suspect a fair number of people would like a break from the ubiquitous holiday soundtrack!  Hope you enjoy the song.


  1. Nice take! Hmmmmm... I may like this better than the original. Heh, heh!

    As to the holiday soundtrack, it depends on which one you listen to. Being the medieval, Renaissance, and Winter Revels enthusiast that I am, I always look forward to this time of year. There's so much music in that genre, and more being discovered all the time, that it's hard to get tired of it because you never hear all of it in a single season. Oh yeah, and I listen to Bach's Christmas Cantata (not Händel's Messiah, thank you very much!) every year, too.

  2. Hi Roy: Glad you liked it so well! I agree--there is good Christmas music out there--the sort of music you mentioned is great. Jean Ritchie did a really beautiful album of old Appalachian carols. But when I said soundtrack, I was more thinking of what you hear these days in stores, supermarkets & other public places.

  3. Interesting the way you've put in a break between lines 5 and 6. I like this a lot.

  4. Hi Peter: Thanks so much--just doing it the way I "hear" it!

  5. a Brilliant Bit Of BobCat Medicine! Thank You Sir!

  6. Hi Tony: Thanks! Glad you liked it!

  7. Man, you must be puttin' me on! Sounds great!

    Lately, I've been into the late 60s-early 60s white electric blues scene: Paul Butterfield, MIchael Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Electric Flag, The Blues Project. Those guys were good! I also stumbled across a recent album by Danny Kalb (founder of The Blues Project) that I'm really enjoying.

  8. Hi K: Thanks! That is one of the great lines, isn't it. Those guys you mention were really good--of course, some of them were in Dylan's back-up band on the Highway 61 Revisited album!


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