2007 Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance

Dylan’s nominations and awards

By Aaron Galbraith and Tony Attwood

  • 2007 Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance
  • Winner – Bob – Someday Baby


  • Beck – Nausea
  • Tom Petty – Saving Grace
  • John Mayer – Route 66
  • Neil Young – Lookin’ For A Leader


Aaron: Beck – from the 2006 album The Information. Beck said he wanted the song “to sound like the Stooges in South America.” When performed live, it is done in more of a punk rock vein, more akin to the Stooges.

Tony: Songs without melody don’t do much for me.   One note in the verse and three in the chorus.  It’s a sort of music without all the ingredients  and I can’t see the benefit of that especially when there is only one chord in verse and two others in the chorus.

But obviously some people find it ok.  I played it all the way through, just in case.  But nope, there was nothing else.  Sorry, it must be just me.

Tom Petty – from the album Highway Companion. It was a good year for the Wilburys as this one was produced by Jeff Lynne.

Tony:  Now this is completely different; I’ve always been a Tom Petty fan.  The sound is always perfect, every song is original, and as with so many this one builds in a very satisfactory way, the production is superb and the unexpected instrumental break on about 2 minutes 10 is exquisite.   Even the use of the word “carpet” is exciting; it is unexpected to have two syllables here.   I cried all night when he passed away.

John Mayer – Route 66. From the soundtrack to the Pixar movie Cars, so it’s a big hit in my house!

Tony: Now there’s a rhythm I recognise, and very cleverly leading in into a totally unexpected percussion accompaniment.

It is clever because we all know the song so well, to do something different that works and is interesting is very hard.

But… at its heart Route 66 isn’t itself that interesting a song.  The instrumental break really does liven things up, and presumably the nomination was just for the arrangement.  And although that’s good I am not sure it is “award winning” material.

Neil Young – From his Bush baiting album Living With War.

Aaron: In it Neil predicts the future:

Someone walks among us
And I hope he hears the call
And maybe it's a woman
Or a black man after all

Yeah, maybe it's Obama
But he thinks that he's too young

Aaron: Maybe a better selection from the album would have been Let’s Impeach The President, but perhaps that one was too controversial for the selection committee!

Neil returned to the song in 2020 for his The Times EP with an update to the lyrics – this time attacking you-know-who

Yeah, we had Barack Obama
And we really need him now
The man who stood behind him
Has to take his place somehow
America has a leader
Building walls around our house
He don't know black lives matter
And we got to vote him out

Tony: Another of my favourites.  He might have got my vote just for the message.  You have to give it to Neil, he’s never given up the cause.

But… Neil can do really long songs, but this one really seems to go on a bit long from a musical point of view.  And if you are going to put across a message in the song you really do have to keep the music interesting.  Neil’s a great guitarist, but somehow I found myself drifting away.  Perhaps that’s because the story is told and the events have happened.

So what of the winner Bob – Someday Baby?

Tony: This is one of the songs that Bob has evolved from the heritage of the blues, in this case a Sleepy John Estes song and a Muddy Waters song.  Dylan changed the lyrics and kept the blues style and the title line.  This was recorded in 1935.

As a result of its age there many versions around which can contain elements of the original and of Dylan’s re-write


Here’s Bob’s re-worked version

What makes this song so attractive and listenable is that the band behind Bob does the standard blues accompaniment but in such a background manner, even when he’s not singing, that it gives a completely new meaning to the piece.  It is about life just going on and on… it is there, we live it, but there is, out in the far distance, this hope for change.

And this way, the laid back feel makes total sense in relation to the lyrics; a perfect re-working of original concept for modern times.  In an extraordinary way the whole sound projects the notion to me that the old times have gone but we are still just chugging on awaiting the ever hoped for change that never materialises.

Plus that laid back feel mean that we have to listen to the lyrics, even though they are just rhyming couplets all the way through followed by the chorus line.   We know where we are but we just really have to have to keep on listening.

One other thing: it is one hell of a track to jive to.  That beat really keeps you on your toes, both literally and metaphorically.  Not to be tried if prone to heart attacks however.

Love it.


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