Dylan Leblanc, 33, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana. A city and region located at the epicenter of American music, right in the middle of the cauldron that saw the flourishing of folk, blues, country and early rhythm and blues. It's as if he was born in the center of the world. He grew up with a musician father in the town of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, home to not one but two of the biggest studios in America. It was in the first of them, Fame, that he recorded his fourth album, Coyote. Almost a concept album, in any case a cycle of songs which tell the story of Coyote, an outsider who lives in the underworld and tries to get out. A story of redemption that turns out well or badly, Leblanc lets the listener decide.
The quality of the thirty-year-old's compositions has never been as good as on this disc on which the songwriter surpasses himself. We are hooked on the story of this outcast, through songs that borrow the best from a folk-rock inherited from that of the pioneers. We often think of Neil Young for this intimate song and this ability to draw extraordinary destinies. Coyote marks its author's first foray into production. With its careful climates, and its ample textures (beautiful arrangements of strings), the decor is superb. Drums, bass, piano and panoramic guitars complete this landscape with great grace. Dylan Leblanc, certainly one to follow, signs here the greatest success of his young career
Coyote (ATO Records/Fargo)
In 1978, Bob Dylan began what was only his second world tour, twelve years after the first, which scandalized the guarantors of academic folk. It starts in Japan, in Tokyo, on the stage of the legendary Tokyo Budokan. For the first time, the musician appears with a group expanded to eight musicians and three African-American singers. Barely two years after the bohemian atmosphere of the Rolling Thunder Review, it was too much for the fans, who cried foul and criticized Dylan for thinking he was in Las Vegas. We feel that the star takes pleasure in destabilizing the public and the critics with certain overly busy arrangements of his most emblematic songs.
For the first time, and forty-five years after the release of the controversial live album, Columbia broadcasts two recorded concerts in front of Japanese audiences. That's 58 songs, 36 of which are unreleased. We remain cautious about certain choices, such as these somewhat dripping saxophone and guitar choruses (and this flute!), and the very professional atmosphere of these concerts, but we already understand the breadth of Dylan's repertoire and his ability to be twisted in all directions. From there, the future Nobel Prize winner will have fun adapting these songs in all possible ways, with various successes. But it is undeniable that this series of concerts marks a turning point in Dylan's career, which will devote the next phase of it to devoting itself to religious music.
The Complete Budokan 1978, un coffret 4 Cd (Legacy/Sony Music)