Do you remember the first time you heard Bob Dylan and he resonated with your soul? I do. I was 14 that summer and my mom and I were visiting her friend Diane who lived on Beaver Island, Michigan, before we would head back to Indiana and I would begin high school in the fall. Both Diane and my mother had been diehard Dylan fans all of their lives, so it was no surprise my mother had packed several mixed tapes of her favorite Dylan music. I remember standing at the very front of the ferry as it pushed us across the choppy water from Charlevoix to Beaver Island. My mom slipped a tape into my Walkman, pushed play and stood back, smiling, lighting a cigarette. I watched her hair dance in the lake wind as those first few chords of Mr. Tambourine Man strummed through my earphones. I was hooked.
Later that year I would go to my first Dylan concert. People criticized the sound of his voice and said he sounded the worst he’d ever sounded. Those same people have continued to criticize Dylan year after year. They’ve completely missed the point. I grew up, went to college, all the while listening to Bob Dylan. I partied to Bob Dylan. I got sober to Bob Dylan. I even made love to Bob Dylan a few times!
It’s been some 25 years since that ferry ride across upper Lake Michigan. Diane and my mom have both passed away and I’m long since graduated from high school. And yet tonight, as I listen to the first released track, Duquesne Whistle, from Bob Dylan’s newest CD Tempest, being released today, I can’t ignore the feeling that everyone and everything from my youth is still around me. That…is what listening to Bob Dylan does for me. He has always released my soul and been a shelter from the storm. No crackle or change in his voice will ever take away from me the experience that his music has served as a soundtrack for my life.
God Bless You Bob Dylan! If Not For You!
Check out his newest single and video for Duquesne Whistle below. And go out and buy his newest CD, dammit! If you like this track, trust us, the other 9 are just as amazing!
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