Bob’s awards: Best Contemporary Folk Album

by Aaron Galbraith and Tony Attwood

Best Contemporary Folk Album: Winner: Bob Dylan – Time Out Of Mind

Time Out of Mind won three Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year in 1998. It was also ranked number 410 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2012.

Nominations 

  • Guy Clark – Keepers : A Live Recording
  • Iris Dement – The Way I Should
  • Indigo Girls – Shaming For The Sun
  • John Prine – Live On Tour

Aaron: I didn’t know any of the albums so I spent the week listening to them (they are all on YouTube if you are so inclined).

Guy Clark I’m aware of as a songwriter but I’ve never heard his own performances. I knew two of the tracks from his album through Johnny Cash covers.

The Last Gunfighter Ballad

If the video below doesn’t work for you, it is a regional issue.  Try this link instead

Tony: I had no idea what to expect here, and the sudden appearance of the harmony completely took me by surprise.  As did part two (if I can call it that) with its new rhythm.

I don’t know what to make of this, I really don’t.  If you have a clear view of the song, or know about  the context or … well anything, could you either write a comment below, or send me an article about it to publish here?  Email: Tony@schools.co.uk

Desperadoes Waiting For A Train

Again, different parts of the world may need different versions.  Try one of these, or failing that do a search on Google of Spotify.

Tony:   OK I’m getting ready to hang up my writing hat (or fingers).  I just don’t hear anything here that I can feel, oh yes wow, I see what the guy is doing here.  How many times does the title line need to be sung with the same accompaniment?

Aaron: Iris Dement – Here is the title track. It’s a great tune and Mark Knopfler plays some fine National guitar on this track

Tony: That’s interesting for me, because if I had been asked what type of music this was I would have said half way between C&W and folk.  But that shows how ignorant I am.

There is a phrase in the melody which is so reminiscent of a line from Dylan’s “Jack of Hearts” I get distracted and can’t pick up on what is really going on.

Oh hell, I’m really doing badly today.  And it is such a beautiful day here in middle England.

Indigo Girls: Shame on You.

Aaron: Indigo Girls. I liked this one a lot, some real good singles

Shame On You – brave to include a line like :

"The beautiful ladies walk right by and I never know what to say"

I like that, it would have made some fans feel included and accepted for who they are.

Tony: In the latest edition of the greatest cover versions of Dylan’s song we have Indigo Girls’ version of Tangled up in Blue – in fact it is in there twice largely because of my difficulties with alphabetical order.

I really enjoy their music, it always sounds so fresh and lively as if they really want to be there signing and performing; plus they are highly original in their reinterpretations.

Get Out The Map

John Prine – Live On Tour

Aaron: This was a real good one!

Tony: Ooooh, Aaron we are going to have to find a different way of doing these – I just can’t get into this music at all.  Would anyone like to do a review?  Aaron, if you send me a review I’ll paste it in here.

The Late John Garfield Blues

Tony: So I end the whole affair bemused.  But then, I know so many people who have listened to a little bit of Bob Dylan and just don’t get it at all.

And that really brings me to the issue of the judging.  Maybe the judges really do know about all the music being issued that year, but really how on earth do you judge formats that are so different?  It’s like being asked to evaluate a Haydn symphony against a Bach Prelude and Fugue.  It’s just not possible to do in any meaningful way.

Aaron: Now I admit Bob’s album is the best and by quite some distance, however I’m struggling to see it as a “Contemporary Folk” album. I’d probably give this to John Prine but I found each of the other nominees highly enjoyable also. A great selection all round, and I’m delighted to have discovered some new music and artists I’d have never listened to without this article!

Tony: I haven’t gone exploring the others yet – because I am now stuck on listening to all the Indigo Girls tracks.  But maybe that is the point.  There is so much music out there how can we ever meet more than a tiny fraction of 1 percent.  If you, dear reader, have managed to get through this far, and if you have a few minutes to spare, try this.

It knocks me out totally.

Dear dear reader – I hope somewhere in this you found something of interest, and also that you had a moment to think: how on earth do these awards work?  I mean, how can you judge one of these albums against another.

I find it all quite weird.

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