Glenn Buhr (Jennifer Buhr)
50 years after he broke onto the scene, Bob Dylan is still making music. His early songs such as Blowin' In The Wind or The Times They are a Changin' are still some of the first songs people ever learn.
This Saturday, November 12, The Broken Songs Band featuring Margaret Sweatman on vocals and led by Glenn Buhr gets into Dylan's music and reinterprets it for Tarbut, Festival of Jewish Culture (Nov 12-20).
SCENE asked Glenn Buhr the creator of the project called A Tribute To Bob Dylan and asked him six Dylanesque questions.
What's your first memory of hearing a Bob Dylan song?
Boy Scouts/campfire/Blowin' in the Wind. I thought the song had been written a hundred years ago. Everyone knew it and sang it together. Turns out the song was only a few years old.
What's your favourite Dylan song and why?
Maggie's Farm. It's simple, to the point and also very funny. And there's that powerful philosophical theme of not wanting to work on Maggie's Farm no mo'. Anyone with a head full of ideas driving them insane would want to get the hell outa there.
What song are you most looking forward to performing on Saturday?
I'm particularly fond of his blues ballad Blind Willie McTell - which I am singing, and which is a metaphor about the 60's civil rights movement, but it also eludes to ancient times and the enslaved Jews: 'I seen the arrow on the doorpost. It said this land is condemned all the way from New Orleans to Jerusalem.'
What have you learned from Bob Dylan?
I've learned that music is more than just another one of the arts. That music has a natural partnership with words. I've learned that the length of a human breath is one of the things that defines music. And I've learned that simple is enough, and that the best way to be original is to be yourself, and the best way to be progressive is to have great respect for the songs and events of the past.
If you could ask Dylan one question, what would it be?
Where do you buy your boots?
What's the connection between Dylan and the Tarbut Festival?
The Tarbut festival is a festival of Jewish culture and Dylan is Jewish. But, as it turns out, I'm not Jewish. I'm not really anything, though I can claim to being the great-grandson of a failed Mennonite.
Dylan seems very obviously Jewish to me. The Jewish culture is very musical, very intellectual and there's also that history of radical thought. Dylan fits the bill on all of that. Also, the Old Testament was a source for his lyrics since the early 60's.
Above photo of band members Glenn Buhr, Daniel Roa and Gilles Fournier (Jennifer Buhr)
Above photo of Bob Dylan (youtube)
Above photo of Margaret Sweatman (Frederick Ford)