We often think of Dylan’s 1966 motorcycle accident as a breaking point in his career, one that separates the folk and rock music of the early sixties from the basement and country music that followed. In the years before and after this event, however, Dylan found inspiration again and again in Nashville, where he drew on the dazzling talent of that American musical capital. This session will offer an in-depth look at those years in a conversation between Daryl Sanders, author of The Thin, Wild Mercury Sound: Dylan, Nashville, and the Making of Blonde on Blonde, and Leigh Edwards, a scholar of American music who contributed the essay “Dylan and Country Music” to The World of Bob Dylan.
Sanders’ book includes previously unpublished interviews and eyewitness accounts of the recording of Blonde on Blonde. Along with enlightening insights about the studio musicians who help craft this album, the book includes intensive research and interviews with the album’s producer, studio personnel, management personnel, and many others.
Edwards’ work explores the surprising collaboration between Dylan and Johnny Cash that has now been richly documented on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15: Travelin’ Thru, where we can hear the two legends in dialogue, harmony, and good humor. In her talk, Edwards will explore the way the two men drew on the complicated connection between country music and authenticity to create new possibilities for American music.