OA: Rock Cesario Column March 13, 2009

Musical heroes to debut fresh CDs

Last week in this column we talked about a new release from Van Morrison. Well, it looks as though two more of my musical heroes, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, are both releasing new CDs.

The following information comes from rollingstone.com: “I’m listening to Billy Joe Shaver/And I’m reading James Joyce/Some people tell me I got the blood of the land in my voice,” Bob Dylan sings in a leathery growl, capturing the essence of his forthcoming studio album — raw-country love songs, sly wordplay and the wounded state of the nation — in “I Feel a Change Coming
On,” one of the record’s 10 new originals.

Set for release in late April, the as-yet-untitled album arrives a few months after Dylan’s outtakes collection “Tell Tale Signs,” and it “came as a surprise,” says a source close to Dylan’s camp.

Last year, filmmaker Olivier Dahan, who directed the 2007 Edith Piaf biopic, “La Vie en Rose,” approached Dylan about writing a song for his next feature. Dylan responded with “Life Is Hard,” a bleak ballad with mandolin, pedal steel and him singing in a dark, clear voice: “The evening winds are still/I’ve lost the way and will.” The song appears in the film “My Own Love Song,” starring Renee Zellweger. Inspired, Dylan kept writing and recording songs with his road band and guests, with Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo rumored on accordion.

Dylan produced the album under his usual pseudonym, Jack Frost. The disc has the live-in-the-studio feel of Dylan’s last two studio records, 2001’s “Love and Theft” and 2006’s “Modern Times,” but with a seductive border-cafe feel (courtesy of the accordion on every track) and an emphasis on struggling-love songs. Dylan makes references to the national chaos, as on the viciously funny slow blues “My Wife’s Home Town” (“State gone broke, the county’s dry/Don’t be lookin’ at me with that evil eye”), culminating in the deceptive rolling rock of “It’s All Good.”

This one sure sounds good to me!

The following information on Neil Young is from a one-sheet sent by Reprise Records.

“Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Young is stirring things up again. This time he is rolling on down the road not only with an auto-centric concept album but with his own electric ride. ‘Fork In

The Road,’ whose largely eco car–themed songs he debuted in concert during the past year, will get a promotional push from the 1959 Lincoln Continental Young has converted to hybrid technology and which he plans to drive to Washington, D.C. With ‘Fork In The Road’ as current as today’s headlines, the controversial and mad-as-hell Neil Young is still rockin’ the free world and once more is taking the road less traveled. After a Canadian tour in early April, Young will perform in Denver (April 27), Omaha (April 29), Kansas City (April 30) and New Orleans at the Jazz & Heritage Festival (May 3).The DVD in the CD+DVD package features three live, never-before-seen concert videos, and videos for four songs on the album.”

Personally, I am looking forward to both of these new CDs and will be playing them both in the store and on “Acoustic Sunday.”

Rock Cesario owns Triple Play Records, 530 Main St., and hosts “Acoustic Sunday” from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday on Drive 105.3 FM. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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