Roots Rock Review

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Category: Folk

Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize

Bob DylanIn an unprecedented move, Bob Dylan has become the first musical composer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday, October 13th. Although Dylan had been speculated as a possible Nobel winner throughout the years, today’s selection was a huge surprise for those attending the prize announcement in Stockholm.

Born Robert Zimmerman, he adopted his stage name from poet Dylan Thomas. The 75-year-old, self-taught musician, has been performing, recording and composing for well over a half century and over that span has released 37 studio albums, 11 live albums, and a dozen editions of “bootleg” collections. Dylan has also been the subject of and starred in several films and published several books. His most potent work in recorded music came in the mid 1960s with classic albums such as The Times They Are a’ Changin’, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde. This latter album was cited by the Nobel Academy’s permanent secretary Sara Danius, who also said that Dylan’s songs were “poetry for the ears”.

Dylan forged his sound with influence from Delta blues and folk music, most pointedly Woody Guthrie, as well as rock icons like Elvis Presley. He adopted his surrealistic lyrical style from many poets and authors such as Arthur Rimbaud and Anton Chekhov. Dylan will receive this unexpected Nobel prize on December 10th and it will sit on his trophy case along with his 11 Grammy awards, Golden Globe award and 2001 Oscar for best original song.

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Bob Dylan Online

Bob Dylan website
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My Side by The Electric Rag Band

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My Side by The Electric Rag BandThe Electric Rag Band is a father/son duo which incorporates many roots genres – rockabilly, blues, folk, bluegrass and more into interesting fusions of catchy and energetic songs. This deliberative yet natural-sounding approach pays homage to several styles of roots music while not penning itself into any specific genre. The 2015 album My Side is the latest release of original music from this act which has been recording and performing for over two decades.

Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the group consists of guitarist and vocalist Pat Cook and his son Daniel Cook, who handles drums, percussion, backing vocals and other instrumentation. Starting with their self-titled 1996 debut album, The Electric Rag Band has been steadily releasing new material through the decades, with My Side being their sixth album.

Through the years, the group has also established a popular live act throughout the Central Plains and parts of the Midwest, often opening for national and international acts such as Johnny Winter, JD McPherson, Southern Culture on the Skids, and Billy Bob Thornton and the Boxmasters.

Roots Rock Review logoMy Side by The Electric Rag Band
Released: October 2, 2015
Produced by: The Electric Rag Band
Track Listing Primary Musicians
My Side
Do This to Me
She’s Got My Car
The Over You Rag
She’s So Good Lookin’
Like I Want
Charleston Girl
Two Dollar Strings
For My Health
Smash That Radio
Slider
Three Bullets
My Revolution Blues
Pat Cook
Guitars, Banjo, Bass, Vocals
Daniel Cook
Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Vocals

 

The album comes in strong with the spastic electric guitar riffing and thumping rhythm of the title track, “My Side”. This blues/rocking song drones but to great effect as it solidifies its subtle message of rebellion along the way. Lyrically, the song encourages people to be more honest with themselves and not let outside forces control their lives. With the second song, “Do This to Me”, the album instantly pivots with a rapidly picked acoustic accompanied by a plethora of percussive elements to complement the down-home vocals in this country blues gem. “She’s Got My Car” features a fuller arrangement as Pat Cook adds bass behind his driving electric. Between the verses, this song takes off in a slight frenzy of sped up blues with a latter instance containing a nicely crafted lead guitar.

The Electric Rag Band
“The Over You Rag” features rapid, dueling guitars that make this the most interesting track on the album thus far  The delivery and timing on this track is expert throughout.

“She’s So Good Lookin'” adds yet another element, the slide acoustic blues, which is perfectly complemented by Daniel Cook’s crafted percussion. A subtle guitar lead ushers in “Like I Want” as the underlying rhythms gradually work their way in to this folk/bluegrass track melodic vocals.  The following two songs appear to have been recorded live as some of the sonic dynamics are diminished. Nevertheless, these are interesting as “Charleston Girl” features some 1940s-style swing elements and the instrumental piece, “Two Dollar Strings”, is an upbeat jam with animated drums throughout.

While not as rewarding as earlier tracks, the latter part of the album features interesting and entertaining numbers. “For My Health” is a bit of a barroom anthem on the “positive” effects of drinking, while “Smash That Radio” has a darker folk feel as Pat’s lead guitar pattern acts in contrast to Daniel’s upbeat drums while it all somehow works to great effect. “Slider” comes in like a subtle and methodical rocker with later strategically placed rhythmic rudiments. “Three Bullets” is a Western style acoustic cowboy song with Johnny Cash-like elements about a dead man who delivers a morbid posthumous ode about his own and others demise in recent days. The final storytelling track, “My Revolution Blues” has steady, consistent rhythms, a slight banjo and some vocal harmonizing during the choruses.

The Electric Rag Band continues to tour in 2016 and is hoping to expand to other regions with an expanding fan base.

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The Electric Rag Band Online

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