Monday, May 18, 2015

Spotlight on Jim Hall, Featured Performer in the Acoustic Salute

Tears of rage, tears of grief
Must I always be the thief?
Come to me now, you know
We’re so low
And life is brief

I first became acquainted with Jim Hall when I was a Wednesday regular at the Thirsty Pagan in Superior. Jim plays with a trio called the Little Big Band, which on a couple occasions welcomed me to join them on harmonica for a a few Dylan tunes. In fact, quite a few times after that Jim would ask if I brought my harmonicas when I showed up.

This coming Saturday Jim is performing in the Dylan Fest event An Acoustic Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan. In the past he has performed on our Blood on the Tracks Express and wherever he plays he is a special favorite among local Dylan fans.

EN: How did you first become interested in the guitar and in performing?
Jim Hall: it was a way of getting’ away from depression. when i was a baby i used to throat sing can’t say why for sure but my father didn't treat me in a loving way. there are ways the universe teaches us to help us cope, all we have to do is listen. then we sing and dance.

EN: You seem to have been significantly influenced by the music of Bob Dylan. How did that come about?
JH: bob and me are born from the same rock spirit we relate on that level. his honesty in his voice makes up for what ever else he lacks, plus his chords are mostly simple, like woody's

EN: Why is Dylan still significant?
JH: the river of wisdom is always changing.

EN: What prompted you to choose the two songs you're playing for the Salute, "Tears of Rage" and "It' All Over Now Baby Blue"?
JH: they're both old songs i keep going back to. i like the melodies and the words can take on any meaning i need at the time. though i might do 2 of mine instead, i got a new one i've been workin' on for over 30 yrs. i hope to finnally finnish.

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This interview was conducted previous to a last minute change in the final song selection for Saturday's Acoustic Salute. (Tickets Here)

Photo credits
Top right: Courtesy AAMC, photographer Dan Swanson
The other two: Courtesy AAMC, photographer Michael Anderson

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