Posted on May 02, 2009 at 03:49 PM
It's impossible to encapsulate the contribution of Pete to our culture over the past seven decades, but this show does a wonderful job trying. It mixes Pete's interview with comments by the biographer, songs by Pete sung by the man himself and by others who had "hits" and includes Springsteen's version of "Hold On" from the Seeger Sessions. Without sentimentalizing, the show pays well-earned tribute to a central figure in the American folk music.
Pete's centrality to the promotion and propagation of folk music has been claimed by many, in long academic diatribes and show magazine articles. This show shows and tells the story as well as it can be done in an hour. It includes many of the standards and some of the more obscure details from this adventure. I'll be using this show in my college course "20th Century American Folk Music."
Posted on April 03, 2009 at 07:15 PM
Mr.Ricks provides an extraordinary analysis of "Hattie Carroll" and then responds to questions about "why Dylan." For those who still have any doubts about Dylan as poet, this should provide a definitive response. He makes the distinction between poetry for the page and poetry for the ear. He then goes on to rhyme and to claim, "All great artists are in touch with 'Alice in Wonderland.'" He closes by claiming that "O Mercy" is a fine album, not "one back from the dead."