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Another hybrid genre within this project as the lines are often inexorably blurred between the two. Tracks identified by critics as Country rock fall into either Country or Folk Rock / Americana. Similarly, tracks identified as Southern Rock usually fall into either Rock or Folk Rock / Americana.

The Jukebox Pick (of 2,285):

 Like A Rolling Stone

 (Robert Zimmerman)

 Bob Dylan

 10 out of 10 “Utterly perfect” Folk Rock / Americana

 First out as a 45 in June, 1965 then included on his LP “Highway 61 Revisited” released in August, 1965. With this release, much to the chagrin of the eclectically challenged, the decade’s lead hipster deepened his experimental hybrid of folk roots with electrified blues rock, all twisted up in lyrical Dylanility. The songs were flavoured by Mike Bloomfield’s blues guitar, and Al Kooper’s organ riffs. With a doff of the cap to his spiritual ancestors, the album title alluded to the famous route which passed near the birthplaces and homes of influential musicians such as Muddy Waters, Son House, Elvis Presley, and Charley Patton. The “empress of the blues”, Bessie Smith, died after sustaining serious injuries in an automobile accident on it. And it is, of course, the stuff of legend that bluesman Robert Johnson is said to have “sold his soul to the devil” at the highway’s crossroads with Route 49! Bob had to fight hard to get the title that he wanted to go with the content, he said: “Nobody understood it. I had to go up the fucking ladder until finally the word came down and said: ‘Let him call it what he wants to call it’.” How ridiculous is that? Fighting folk fans, fighting record companies, deemed to be a fighter of everyone’s cause; it’s little wonder he was fired up for this one. The strength in depth over the course of the 9 classic pieces is unsurpassed in Rock n Roll thus far. Such passion, such spirit, such vitality. It’s got a triple wow rating from start to finish. Opening track, “Like A Rolling Stone”, bristles with an intensity which is verging on the insane; when Bob sneers “How does it FEEL?” you get a sense that this is a guy on the edge. In May 1965, Dylan returned from his tour of England feeling tired and dissatisfied with his material. He told journalist Nat Hentoff: “I was going to quit singing. I was very drained.” The singer added: “It’s very tiring having other people tell you how much they dig you if you yourself don’t dig you.” As a consequence of his dissatisfaction, Dylan wrote 20 pages of verse he later described as a “long piece of vomit”. He reduced this to a song with four verses and a chorus—”Like a Rolling Stone”. He told Hentoff that writing and recording the song washed away his dissatisfaction, and restored his enthusiasm for creating music. As always, you can take Bob’s songs in many different ways – it seems to me he himself is the one with “no direction home”. We've all been there.

Some favourite artists:

Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, The Byrds, Mark Lanegan

The Jukebox pick:


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