FROM ANOTHER WORLD: A TRIBUTE TO BOB DYLAN Album Set for Release 2/11
The tour never ends, the words and music still flow, onstage and on album. More than half a century after he first performed in Greenwich Village, Bob Dylan remains the master. His songs have becomes beacons of the times, from the fire of the 1960s to the embers of revolution that burn today. He's that rare artist where cover versions of his material have sometimes taken on lives of their own: the Byrds with "Mr. Tambourine Man" or Hendrix transforming "All Along The Watchtower."
Never just an American figure, Dylan has long been global. His words speak to people all around the world. And now they're speaking back, refracting his music through the prisms of different cultures on From Another World: A Tribute to Bob Dylan (Buda Musique; release: February 11, 2014).
"I wanted people who were like Dylan," explains producer Alain Weber, the driving force behind the project. "People with the same spirit, poets in their own culture. Some of them knew his music, others didn't. We translated the lyrics. It was vital that they could identify with the words, to feel the images and meanings."
"I'm a Dylan fan," Weber states. "Dylan is the only artist to make the connection between tradition and its poetry in his own music. He's an outcast but he's influential. And that's just like the musicians in traditional societies. They're professionals but they stand apart from society and influence it with their words and music."
With contributions from spectacular talents like Eliades Ochoa (Buena Vista Social Club), Taraf de Haïdouks, the Musicians of the Nile, Paban Das Baul from Bengal and Macedonia's brass powerhouse, Kocani Orkestar, From Another World has been 10 years in the making, a labor of sheer love from the man who's spent the last two decades working with traditional music. He's worked with groups from Asia to the Americas, was musical director for the groundbreaking Gypsy film Latcho Drom and the producer of countless albums. These days he runs annual festivals in France, Portugal and India, including the prestigious Sacred Music Festival in Fes, Morocco, where he's been the director for the last five years. Music isn't just his passion; it's his blood.
The whole journey began with the Musicians of the Nile, the Egyptian group Weber formed more than two decades ago. "They live like rock musicians," Weber laughs, "but they're very deep in their own tradition." They took the epic "Tangled Up In Blue" on a trip far upriver, a lifetime from its origins (their take also featured in 2003's Masked and Anonymous, a movie that starred Dylan, who also co-write the script). It set the bar high for the acts that followed.