Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Apr 7th 2010 10:00AM by Melinda Newman
"The Clash were the first group that just had it all. They looked like a gang," he said during a talk with the Grammy Museum's executive director, Robert Santelli, on Monday night. After seeing the British band perform in Los Angeles as a young teen, "I went out and got a Telecaster right away and haven't put it down."
Dylan made the appearance to discuss 'Women + Country,' his second solo album following 2008's 'Seeing Things.' Like that effort, 'Women + Country' is largely acoustic but has a large, sometimes booming or even brassy sound, as on the New Orleans-inspired 'Lend a Hand.' "The songs came to me in a theatre aspect," he said, "unlike the last album [where] they were stripped down and somewhat primitive." Backed by Neko Case and Kelly Hogan on eight tracks, lyrically Dylan tackles "the human condition. Most of these things are universal and not unique to today."
Dylan, 40, wrote all but one of the album's 11 songs in a month after producer T-Bone Burnett told him to be ready to record in four weeks. "I work better with a deadline," Dylan said. "If T-Bone told me to come back in 18 months, it would have taken me 18 months to write these songs."
The lone song he wrote before the month-long countdown is the opening track, 'Nothing but the Whole Wide World,' which he wrote for Glen Campbell. "I liked the shoes the song put me in," he said. "There's always one song that tells you you've begun. I'm covering [Glen's] song now. He cut it."
The album title comes from a line from 'Nothing.' "'Women' is family. Women are something you protect and honor and sometimes try to oppress. And 'Country' is everything else," Dylan said.
This marks the second time Dylan and Burnett have worked together: Burnett produced the Wallflowers' breakthrough album, 1996's sextuple-platinum, 'Bringing Down the House.' But their affiliation goes much further back. Dylan first met Burnett when Burnett toured as guitarist with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue.
"I've known him since I was very young," Dylan said. "I met him on [my father's] tour in 1975. We swapped stories. I don't think I saw everything he saw. I remember the Rolling Thunder tour very little and I've seen pictures from earlier than that with me asleep by the stage."
In the early years of his career, Dylan eschewed interviews and, understandably, shied away from talking about his famous dad. But now, given his own considerable success, he's much mellower about the connection and even poked fun at his own naiveté in the early days.
"When I began [making music], I had this imaginary thought that it wasn't going to be that big a deal," he said. "I was wrong about that," he added after a slight pause.
Dylan, backed by Case and her band, will kick off a tour to support 'Women + Country' this Friday in Homestead, Pa.