Reggae Artists Offer Up Tribute to Dylan
'Is it Rolling Bob?' Puts Jamaican Spin on Protest-Era Classics
There's a new CD out that, at first glance, looks like a re-issue of the old Bob Dylan album, Bringing it All Back Home. A closer look at the cover reveals some differences: The woman in red seated behind Dylan is posed the same way, smoking a cigarette, but she's Jamaican with dreadlocks. And the Time magazine cover at her elbow doesn't display Lyndon Johnson; it's a November 1930 cover of the emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie.
The music inside is all Dylan, but it's performed by reggae artists. It's a tribute CD to Dylan, called Is It Rolling Bob? The CD is the brainchild of record producer Gary Himmelfarb, a.k.a. Doctor Dread.
"I'd always wanted to marry Bob Dylan lyrics with reggae music," he says. "Bob Dylan was a protest singer and reggae is protest music." NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Doctor Dread about the CD and his work with the reggae artists who helped create it.