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Bob Dylan Is Making a New Gospel Album with The Blackwood Bros.

Bob Dylan Is Making a New Gospel Album with The Blackwood Bros.

Though the music entertainment spectacle known as the Grammys has gotten most of the media attention this week, Bob Dylan’s appearance at another, much lower profile ceremony is also worth checking it out. The rock icon was given the Person of the Year award by the charity organization MusiCares on Friday, and made a half-hour speech about his own career, the state of songwriting and why making great art is all about “confounding expectations.” As part of the trend of confounding his critics, he also announced that he’s working on a new Gospel album with Christian music legends The Blackwood Brothers. After reading several verses of the song “Stand By Me” (including “In the midst of faults and failures / Stand by me / When I do the best I can / And my friends don’t understand / Thou who knowest all about me / Stand by me”), he said,

That’s the song. I like it better than the pop song. If I record one by that name, that’s going to be the one. I’m also thinking of recording a song, not on that album, though: “Oh Lord, Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”

Dylan talked extensively about criticism of his voice, his ability to write melodies and even the way he annunciates: “Critics have been giving me a hard time since Day One. Critics say I can’t sing. I croak. Sound like a frog … Critics say my voice is shot. That I have no voice … Critics say I can’t carry a tune and I talk my way through a song … ‘Why me, Lord?’ I would say that to myself.” His answer to those critics after all these years: “Because that’s all I do. That’s how I think about it. Confounding expectations.” You can read the full transcript of the speech here …

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