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Hear Oscar Brand's Interview With Jakob Dylan

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Jakob Dylan, Coming Full Circle

Jakob Dylan, Coming Full Circle

Hear Oscar Brand's Interview With Jakob Dylan

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/126312153/126304807" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jakob Dylan at WNYC. Gregg Gasperino/WNYC Radio hide caption

toggle caption Gregg Gasperino/WNYC Radio

Oscar Brand (left) with Jakob Dylan. Gregg Gasperino/WNYC Radio hide caption

toggle caption Gregg Gasperino/WNYC Radio

Oscar Brand (left) with Jakob Dylan.

Gregg Gasperino/WNYC Radio

In 1961, Bob Dylan made his radio debut on Oscar Brand's Folksong Festival on WNYC. Almost 50 years later, Brand comes full circle and starts an interview with Bob's son, Jakob Dylan, on the same topic: Minnesota. But Jakob Dylan has few ties to his father's now-mythic tales about Duluth.

Brand does remember Bob Dylan dragging around a young Jakob. According to the former Wallflowers frontman, he took to music-making the same way a young boy takes to farming after growing up in the fields.

"I don't feel like I chose to do music as much as I made a decision to not stop doing music," Dylan says.

No Place For Thin Skin

With a career spanning 60 years, Oscar Brand certainly knows the dangers of the music industry. In this interview, Brand notices how Dylan has managed to avoid the stereotypical pitfalls. For his part, Dylan says it's no place for thin skin, and that he makes music for his fans and to support his family.

"I'm in an area where I want to make music that I thrilled with, but, you know, I do have to worry about putting food on the table," Dylan says. "I'm in that position where I cannot always be gauging what things might become. I have to look ahead, because I'm cautious."

In Dylan's music and presentation, Oscar Brand hears his old friend and music-mate, Woody Guthrie. It's a high compliment, for sure. Dylan says he appreciates it, but he wonders how Guthrie translates now.

"I don't know that if we had a Woody Guthrie today, I don't know how you'd hear [his songs] or how they'd get across," Dylan says. "I don't know many people that have that kind of ambition. It just seems too elusive and out of reach. That's encouraging. I'm glad you hear something like that reminds you of his music."

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