Just the other day there was news of yet another Bob Dylan boxed set to be released in the near future, this one some kind of totally complete collection that will certainly appeal to people who (1) don’t own any Bob Dylan albums already and (2) have unlimited funds for entertainment purposes. Not really too very exciting for someone like yours truly, but news all the same I guess.
Today, however, there is news of some genuinely brand new material recently recorded by the young Bobby Zimmerman. An interview in the Aspen Times with David Hidalgo of the redoubtable band Los Lobos includes the following:
David Hidalgo recently finished recording sessions for a new Bob Dylan album, at Jackson Browne’s Los Angeles studio. Hidalgo, who has played on two previous Dylan albums, wasn’t expecting to add his Mexican instruments to the new project. But there were Mexican instruments around the studio, and Hidalgo, who grew up in a Mexican-American environment in East L.A., was as attracted to the accordion, and the tres — a guitar-like instrument whose six strings are separated into three groups of two — as he was to the electric guitar when he was a kid. Dylan heard those sounds, and welcomed them into his music.
“He’d say, ‘Wow, what’s that?’” Hidalgo said from a tour stop in Fort Collins. “He liked the sound. So we’d get it in there.”
Hidalgo appreciated Dylan’s embrace of the Mexican sounds. But he has an even bigger appreciation of Dylan’s outlook on music generally. The recording session, he said, was nothing like the earlier ones he had done with Dylan.
“It was a great experience. And different. Each one has been different, all completely different approaches. It’s an amazing thing, how he keeps creativity. I don’t see how he does it.”
The new album, assuming it is indeed released, would be Bob Dylan’s first album of new material since early 2009, when he released Together Through Life. (Later that same year he released Christmas In the Heart, a collection of Christmas hymns and seasonal classics.)
This poor old world, aching for new Bob Dylan songs, can only say, “It’s about time.” (Long-time readers would well-understand that there is no irony whatsoever in that last statement.)