Writing about Writing

When Hurricane Katrina leveled Peter Holsapple’s house, he left town and hasn’t been back nearly often enough. He has, however, been blogging on songwriting for The New York Times. In today’s posting, “Thank You, Bob,” he talks about aging, making peace with collaboration and Bob Dylan’s Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8:

Dylan’s latest record, “Tell Tale Signs,” features three more versions of his song “Mississippi” that are considerably different from the version from “Love and Theft” that we’ve all known and loved for several years. It’s exciting to hear someone else going through the winnowing and polishing process, especially an acknowledged master like Bob Dylan. The confidence, the element of surprise, the ability to make an entire set of lyrics come alive in a whole ‘nother way simply by wholesale revision of the band’s arrangement… that’s what this new Dylan record represents to me, license for change.