Through the lens of four seminal concerts, acclaimed poet and
biographer DanielMark Epstein offers an intimate, nuancedlook at
Bob Dylan: a vivid, full-bodiedportrait of one of the most
influential artistsof the twentieth century, from his birth tothe
Never Ending Tour.
Beginning with 1963's Lisner Auditoriumconcert in Washington,
D.C., Epstein revisitsDylan's astonishing rise as the darling ofthe
folk revival, focusing on the people andbooks that shaped him, and
his struggle tofind artistic direction on the road in the1960s.
Madison Square Garden, 1974, shedslight on Dylan's transition from
folk iconto rock star, his family life in seclusion, his subsequent
divorce, and his highly anticipatedreturn to touring.
Tanglewood,1997, reveals how Dylan revived his flaggingcareer in
the late 1990s--largelyunder the influence of Jerry
Garcia--discoveringnew ways of singing and connectingwith his
audience, and assembling the greatbands for his Never Ending Tour.
In abreathtaking account of the Time Out of Mindsessions, Epstein
provides the most completepicture yet of Dylan's contemporary
workin the studio, his acceptance of his laurels, and his role as
the eminence grise ofrock and roll today. Aberdeen, 2009, bringsus
full circle, detailing the making of Dylan'striumphant albums of
the 2000s, as well ashis long-running radio show.
Drawing on anecdotes and insights fromnew interviews with those
closest to theman--including Maria Muldaur, Happy Traum, D. A.
Pennebaker, Nora Guthrie, Ramblin' JackElliott, and Dylan's sidemen
throughout the years--The Ballad of Bob Dylan is a singulartake on
an artist who has transformed generationsand, as he enters his
eighth decade, continues to inspire and surprise today.
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