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“Not the Other Kind

A review of

The Gospel According to Bob Dylan:
The Old, Old Story for Modern Times .
By Michael J. Gilmour.

Review by Warren Hicks.

Gospel According to Bob Dylan - Michael GilmourThe Gospel According to Bob Dylan:
The Old, Old Story for Modern Times .
Michael J. Gilmour.
Paperback: WJK Books, 2011.

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“There are only two kinds of music. Good music and the other kind”
-Duke Ellington

“All of these songs added together don’t even come close to my whole vision of life”
-Bob Dylan (quoted, 94)

As a child of the 1960’s and one who engaged the charismatic renewal of the 70’s as a teenager, I was very intrigued when this title came up for review.  I remember hearing the murmurings about Bob Dylan around my house, I even remember my dad and his friends playing Bob Dylan tunes on the guitar around campfires.  That didn’t seem so odd to me then, except that in looking back I know my dad and Dylan didn’t see eye to eye politically in those highly charged times of the 60’s.  Apparently, however, my dad, his friends and I recognized good music when we heard it.

Bob Dylan, with The Band, Chicago c. 1972 (Bob Kinney)

Bob Dylan, w/The Band, Chicago c.1972(Bob Kinney)

In The Gospel According to Bob Dylan, Michael Gilmour, associate professor of New Testament and English at Providence College in Manitoba, makes a persuasive case for Bob Dylan being a purveyor of the Gospel, that is ‘good news,’ even if today he doesn’t claim publicly the same sort of Christian fervor that he did during his Slow Train Coming, Saved and Shot of Love period of publicly espousing his ‘born-again’ Christianity.

Gilmour takes a long hard look at the body of Dylan’s work, spanning some 50 years and more then 30 albums, films, poetry and the 2004 publication of Dylan’s autobiography Chronicles: Vol. 1.

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