THE JUDAS OF FOLK - DYLAN PLUGS IN Comes to MUSE/IQUE in June

The concerts take place on June 22 and 23 at 7:30pm at Pasadena Memorial Park and June 25 and 26, 7:30pm at Skirball Cultural Center.

By: May. 22, 2024
THE JUDAS OF FOLK - DYLAN PLUGS IN Comes to MUSE/IQUE in June
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MUSE/IQUE’s next show of their 2024 season is The Judas of Folk – Dylan Plugs In,tracing the progression of folk music from its traditional roots to its role as the music of movements and protests; to Dylan’s bold swing, and beyond.  The concerts take place on June 22 and 23 at 7:30pm at Pasadena Memorial Park (outdoors) and June 25 and 26, 7:30pm at Skirball Cultural Center (indoors).  MUSE/IQUE is led by Artistic and Music Director Rachael Worby.
 
Joining Rachael Worby and the MUSE/IQUE orchestra onstage as guest performers for these concerts are Ira Ingber, Chris Pierce, Gabe Witcher, LaVance Colley, Rachel Gonzalez, and DC6 Singers Collective.  Ingber formed a band for Dylan himself for the albums Empire Burlesque and Knocked Out Loaded, can be heard on “Shadow Kingdom,” and has worked on a wide variety of projects with Van Dyke Parks and Danny Elfman.
 
David Hajdu, author of the book Positively 4th Street, wrote, “Some 15,000 people saw Dylan’s set [at Newport Folk Festival, July 25, 1965], and everyone who touched a different part of that elephant came away with his or her own mental picture of the beast.  The facts are the following: Bob Dylan took the stage at nine fifteen. In place of his old work clothes, he was wearing motorcycle boots and black leather blazer over a pressed white dress shirt with a gold tab pinning the collar tight.  His hair and sideburns were long, and he had a Sunburst Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, the model that Buddy Holly had played, strapped over his shoulder.  A band of other musicians followed him. They played three songs, ‘Maggie’s Farm,’ ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ and an early version of ’It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry’ and left the stage.” 
 
Elijah Wald, author of the book Dylan Goes Electric, wrote in Time on the 50th anniversary of the concert, “What happened next is obscured by a maelstrom of conflicting impressions: The New York Times reported that Dylan ‘was roundly booed by folk-song purists, who considered this innovation the worst sort of heresy.’ In some stories Pete Seeger, the gentle giant of the folk scene, tried to cut the sound cables with an axe. Some people were dancing, some were crying, many were dismayed and angry, many were cheering, many were overwhelmed by the ferocious shock of the music or astounded by the negative reactions”
 
“Dylan at Newport is remembered as a pioneering artist defying the rules and damn the consequences. Supporters of new musical trends ever since—punk, rap, hip-hop, electronica—have compared their critics to the dull folkies who didn’t understand the times were a-changing, and a complex choice by a complex artist in a complex time became a parable: the prophet of the new era going his own way despite the jeering rejection of his old fans. He challenged the establishment.”
 
Wald continued, quoting Dylan himself, “’Something is happening here, and you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones? .... ‘I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.’ He drew a line between himself and those who tried to claim him: ‘I try my best to be just like I am, but everybody wants me to be just like them.’ And he warned those wary of following new paths: ‘He not busy being born is busy dying.’”
 
The MUSE/IQUE program The Judas of Folk – Dylan Plugs In features the music and artists that influenced Bob Dylan and, in turn, the music and artists he influenced. Genres include early folk and blues from artists like Woodie Guthrie and Odetta, but also rock ‘n’ roll from Little Richard. MUSE/IQUE untangles some of the mystery that led up to that fateful electric set at Newport and celebrates the evolution of the folk genre with Bob Dylan as the prism. Music includes “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Forever Young,” “It Ain’t Me Babe,” and “Mr. Tambourine Man.”  The program also features songs that bridge the Rock n Roll, Folk, and Rock eras that are part of the music that influenced Dylan and that Dylan influenced.  Songs by or made popular by Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, The Weavers, Pete Seeger, Sam Cooke, Little Richard, Odetta, Joan Baez, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, all the way up to Tracy Chapman.   These include “This Land is Your Land,” “We Shall Overcome,” “The House of the Rising Sun,” “A Change is Gonna Come,” “Lucille,” “Water Boy,” “Time is on My Side,”  “In My Life,” and “Give Me One Reason.”




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