Jakob Dylan

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Jakob Dylan
Jakob Dylan Minnesota.JPG
Jakob Dylan performing in 2014
Background information
Birth name Jakob Luke Dylan
Born (1969-12-09) December 9, 1969 (age 44)
New York, New York, U.S.
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Rock, Folk, Americana
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano, bass guitar
Years active 1987–present
Labels Columbia
Website JakobDylan.com

Jakob Luke Dylan (born December 9, 1969) is an American singer and songwriter who is best known as the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band The Wallflowers, with which he has released six albums since 1992. He has also released two solo albums; Seeing Things in 2008 and Women + Country in 2010. With The Wallflowers, Dylan has won two Grammy awards.

Early life[edit]

Jakob Luke Dylan was born in New York City on December 9, 1969 to Bob Dylan and his wife Sara. Both of Jakob Dylan's parents are Jewish.[1] The youngest of five children, Dylan spent the early years of his life in Greenwich Village. Around the age of three, he moved with his family to the Los Angeles area.[2] Growing up, he listened to English rock records from his older brothers' record collection, including The Clash, The Jam and the Buzzcocks. Dylan was particularly impressed with The Clash. This inspired Dylan to begin playing music himself.[3] During high school, Dylan played guitar in various bands. It was during his time that he started to write songs and began shifting his focus from guitar playing to songwriting. Upon graduation from high school, however, Dylan decided to move to New York City to attend Parsons School of Design to study art. Dylan subsequently dropped out in his first semester and moved back to Los Angeles.[4]

Career[edit]

1989–2005: The Wallflowers[edit]

Main article: The Wallflowers

Upon moving back to Los Angeles, Dylan and childhood friend Tobi Miller formed a new band called The Apples around 1989. Dylan and Miller recruited Barrie Maguire on bass, Peter Yanowitz on drums, and Rami Jaffee on keyboards to fill out the rest of the band.[5][6] The Apples changed their name to The Wallflowers and began playing clubs in Los Angeles. They were eventually signed to Virgin Records.[7] In 1991, The Wallflowers began recording their debut album. Dylan wrote the songs and the album was recorded live in the studio with minimal to no-overdubbing. The Wallflowers' eponymous debut was released on August 25, 1992.[8] The album was met with mostly positive reviews but did not do well, commercially, with a reported 40,000 copies sold.[9] Despite low sales, The Wallflowers began touring nationwide, mostly as an opening act, for several bands including the Spin Doctors and 10,000 Maniacs.[10]

Upon return from a tour in 1993, The Wallflowers learned that management at Virgin had shifted, leading to the removal of Jeff Ayeroff and Jordan Harris, who had been the ones to sign The Wallflowers to the label. The new executives at Virgin were not pleased with The Wallflowers' slow sales and the band did not feel they had a future with the label, so they asked to be released from their contract; Virgin complied and The Wallflowers were left without a label.[11] The Wallflowers went back to playing clubs in Los Angeles and looking for a new label. During this time, the band went through a number of personnel changes. Maguire and Yanowitz were either asked to leave or left on their own accord in 1993 and 1994, respectively. To replace Maguire on bass, Dylan's former high school classmate, Greg Richling, was asked to joined the band in 1993. After Yanowitz's departure, The Wallflowers caught the attention of Tom Whalley and Jimmy Iovine of Interscope Records, who signed the band in 1995.[12]

The Wallflowers began recording their second album, Bringing Down the Horse in 1995. Around the time they began recording, however, founding member Tobi Miller left the band.[13] Bringing Down the Horse was produced by T Bone Burnett and the songs were written by Dylan. The album was released on May 21, 1996.[14] In promotion release of Bringing Down the Horse, The Wallflowers toured extensively through the rest of 1996 and through 1997. The Wallflowers now included drummer, Mario Calire and guitarist Michael Ward, in addition to Dylan, Jaffee and Richling. The band performed shows as headliners, as well as openers for acts such as Sheryl Crow in early 1997 and Counting Crows in the summer of 1997. They also opened for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in January 1997, as well as for The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan in November 1997.[15] On June 12, 1997 Dylan was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. In the accompanying interview with the cover, Dylan talked at length about his lineage for the first time.[16]

After touring for nearly two years, The Wallflowers took a short break before returning to the studio to record their third album, (Breach). Dylan approached the songwriting process differently this time than he had for The Wallflowers' two previous albums, explaining that he didn't want to avoid the subject of his personal life, as he had done in the past: "(Breach) was the first record that I realized that it's necessary and I have a right to write about anything that I want to write about. I'm not going to dance around these subjects anymore . . . I don't have any interest in writing songs that are defensive or that address anything that don't come naturally to me but I also realized that I needed to stop this nonsense of pretending that hiding any of this information counts to anybody; it just doesn't really matter anymore."[17]

The Wallflowers entered the studio towards the end of 1999 with producers Michael Penn and Andrew Slater, The Wallflowers manager. (Breach) took about eight months to record and was released on October 10, 2000.[18] The Wallflowers embarked on a tour that lasted through the end of 2000 and into 2001, making stops in Japan and Madison Square Garden in New York for a four-night run, opening for The Who.[19] In October 2000, Dylan was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone for a second time.[20] In October 2001, guitarist Michael Ward announced he was leaving The Wallflowers, citing creative differences.[21]

Dylan began writing for The Wallflowers' fourth album, Red Letter Days in 2001. The band recorded demos while on tour with John Mellencamp that year before getting into the studio in Santa Monica, California. Due to the absence of a lead guitarist during the recording for Red Letter Days, Dylan took on more lead guitar duties than he had previously.[22] Red Letter Days was produced by founding Wallflowers member Tobi Miller and Bill Appleberry. Following the release of the album's first single, "When You're On Top" on August 16, 2002, Red Letter Days was released on November 5, 2002.[23] Following tours in the U.S. and Europe, drummer Mario Calire announced he was leaving The Wallflowers in 2003.[24]

The Wallflowers returned to the studio in July 2004 to record their fifth album, Rebel, Sweetheart. Instead of recording in Los Angeles, The Wallflowers instead opted to record in Atlanta, Georgia; which was where their producer for this album, Brendan O'Brien, was based. To replace drummer Mario Calire, Fred Eltringham joined The Wallflowers just before getting into the studio. In addition to writing the songs, Dylan also painted the cover art for this album.[25] Rebel, Sweetheart was released on May 24, 2005.[26] The Wallflowers toured through the summer of 2005, joined by guitarist Stuart Mathis, on what would be their last tour for 2 years. After 2005, The Wallflowers parted ways with their longtime record label, Interscope Records.

2006–2011: Solo career[edit]

Beginning in 2006, Dylan began playing shows without The Wallflowers, though he did tour with the band on numerous occasions between 2007 and 2009. In May and June 2006, Dylan toured with former Wallflowers producer T Bone Burnett, performing solo acoustic opening sets. In fall of that year, Dylan's song "Here Comes Now" was featured as the theme song for ABC's Six Degrees. Also in fall of 2006, it was announced that Dylan had signed a solo recording contract with Columbia Records.[27]

Seeing Things[edit]

In 2007, Dylan appeared on several tribute albums, including Endless Highway: The Music of The Band and Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur, a charity album consisting of covers of John Lennon songs. On Endless Highway, Dylan performed a cover The Band's "Whispering Pines". For Instant Karma, Dylan performed a cover of Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth", with Dhani Harrison contributing backing vocals on the song.[28][29]

Jakob Dylan performing in 2007

In September 2007, it was reported by The New York Times that Dylan was recording his first solo album at producer, Rick Rubin's home in the Hollywood Hills.[30] Regarding its sparse instrumentation and production, Dylan mentioned that the writing process was different for Seeing Things, compared to writing for The Wallflowers:

A lot of times when you write songs, you’re aware that this line is just going to help you get to the next line and someone’s probably going to do an organ fill right there anyway – you can let those go. But with something like this, it was just three instruments, really; vocals being one of the instruments, which then makes the lyrics being one of the instruments. You’re more aware that things are going to be more exposed and you can’t really let anything go unless you’re confident that this is what you want to say.[31]

Following the completion of recording in 2007, Seeing Things was released on June 10, 2008.[32] The album received generally favorable reviews and peaked at No.24 in the U.S. on the Billboard 200.[33][34] Following the release of Seeing Things, Dylan made several television appearances to promote the album and toured with a backing band called The Gold Mountain Rebels, which consisted of Wallflowers drummer Fred Eltringham, guitarist Audley Freed and bassist George Reif. In the summer and fall of 2008, Dylan and the Gold Mountain Rebels played a combination of theaters and festivals in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, including Farm Aid in Mansfield, Massachusetts and the Newport Folk Festival. In addition to touring with the Gold Mountain Rebels, Dylan and Eltringham also performed several shows with The Wallflowers in 2008.[35]

Women + Country[edit]

In 2009, Dylan visited former Wallflowers producer T Bone Burnett at the studio where he was producing the soundtrack for the film Crazy Heart. Burnett asked Dylan if he had any new songs to show him. The only song Dylan had was one he'd written for Glen Campbell's upcoming album, Ghost on the Canvas, called "Nothing But the Whole Wide World". Burnett was impressed by the song and asked Dylan to come up with fifteen additional songs so they could make an album together. Dylan came back to Burnett six weeks later with the songs and in the summer of 2009, they recorded Dylan's second solo album, Women + Country.[36][37]

Jakob Dylan performing at SXSW in 2010

Women + Country had a decidedly fuller sound than Seeing Things, thanks to the horns, pedal steel and fiddle that were prominently featured on this album. Burnett also brought in Neko Case and Kelly Hogan to contribute background vocals on eight of the album's eleven songs.[38]

After releasing an EP version of the album earlier that year, Women + Country was released on April 6, 2010 on Columbia Records. The album was met with generally favorable reviews and peaked at No.12 on the Billboard 200; the highest position any of Dylan's albums - solo or with The Wallflowers - had peaked since The Wallflowers' 1996 breakthrough album, Bringing Down the Horse.[39][40] In addition to a series of television appearances to promote the album, Dylan and a backing band called Three Legs, toured the U.S., the United Kingdom and Ireland in the spring and summer of 2010. At a stop at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, New York, Dylan was joined on stage by Garth Hudson of The Band for several songs.[41]

Also in 2010, Dylan sang backing vocals on the Court Yard Hounds' song "See You In the Spring". Along with being released on the Court Yard Hounds' eponymous debut album, the song was specially released as a 45 RPM single for the Record Store Day, 2010. Dylan's song "Everybody's Hurting" from Women + Country was featured as the B-side to the record.[42]

In 2011, Dylan was featured on several film and television soundtracks, including A Little Help, for which he wrote three songs, and True Blood: Vol.3, for which he wrote a song with Gary Louris called "Gonna Be a Darkness".[43][44] Dylan was also featured on the 2011 album, The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams; an album featuring various artists covering previously "lost" lyrics by Hank Williams.[45] In August 2011, Dylan and Wallflowers keyboardist Rami Jaffee performed at the Farm Aid benefit concert in Kansas City.[46]

2012–present: Return of The Wallflowers[edit]

On November 1, 2011 it was announced that The Wallflowers would be reuniting to release a sixth studio album the following year.[47] The Wallflowers had toured on and off during their hiatus but had not made an album together since 2005's Rebel, Sweetheart.

The Wallflowers recorded their sixth studio album, Glad All Over in Nashville, Tennessee in early 2012. Shortly before entering the studio, the band replaced drummer Fred Eltringham with Jack Irons. The writing process was different for this album than previous Wallflowers albums; instead of Dylan bringing in completed songs, he brought only lyrics to the studio and as a band, they wrote the music for the songs.[48] The Wallflowers toured throughout the summer and fall of 2012. Glad All Over was released on October 9, 2012 on Columbia Records.[49] In the spring of 2013, The Wallflowers did an an arena tour opening for Eric Clapton.[50]

In 2013 The Wallflowers went through a number of personnel changes, beginning with longtime keyboard player Rami Jaffee. Jaffee played his last show with The Wallflowers to date in 2013 but has since not officially announced that he quit the band. Later that year, longtime bass player Greg Richling and drummer Jack Irons announced that they were leaving The Wallflowers, citing that they wanted to focus on a band they were both in called Arthur Channel.[51] A number of drummers and bass players have since been filling in as The Wallflowers continue to tour through 2014.

Personal life[edit]

Dylan married his girlfriend Paige at his mother's house in 1992.[52] The couple have four sons together and live in Los Angeles.[53]

In 2005, Dylan spoke about his relationship with his father for the first time in an interview with The New York Times. Due to the fact that Dylan rarely speaks about his father, there have been ongoing rumors that their relationship is strained. Dylan rebuffed these claims, speaking of his father as "affectionate" towards him and went on to say the two have a "great relationship."[54]

In May 2011, Dylan was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Idaho State University.[55]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart
positions
US
[56]
US Rock
[57]
UK
[58]
2008 Seeing Things 24 8 106
2010 Women + Country
  • Release date: April 6, 2010
  • Label: Columbia Records
12 2
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sounes, Howard (2001). Down the Highway. United States: Grove Press. pp. 162–163. 
  2. ^ Phipps, Keith; Hyden, Steven. "A Guide to Bob Dylan". A.V. Club. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Wallflowers". iTunes Originals. 
  4. ^ Hirshey, Gerri (12 June 1997). "Jakob's Ladder". Rolling Stone (762): 51–58. 
  5. ^ "Rami Jaffee". Dean Delray's Let There Be Talk. 2013. iTunes.
  6. ^ "The Wallflowers Who's Who: Rami Jaffee". The Wallflowers Network. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  7. ^ Fricke, David (26 October 2000). "The Confessions of Jakob Dylan: A Wallflower's Coming Out". Rolling Stone (852): 45–48. 
  8. ^ "The Wallflowers - The Wallflowers". All Music. Retrieved 26 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "Jakob Dylan". The Patcast podcast. 28 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "The Calendar Archive: 1992". The Wallflowers Network. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Jakob Dylan". The Patcast podcast. 28 September 2014. 
  12. ^ Fricke, David (26 October 2000). "The Confessions of Jakob Dylan: A Wallflower's Coming Out". Rolling Stone (852): 45–48. 
  13. ^ Beviglia, Jim. "Jakob Dylan's Back Pages: Bringing Down the Horse Revisited". American Songwriter. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  14. ^ "Bringing Down the Horse". All Music. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "The Calendar Archive". The Wallflowers Network. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  16. ^ Hirshey, Gerri (12 June 1997). "Jakob's Ladder". Rolling Stone (762): 51–58. 
  17. ^ "Learning That I Have a Right to Do What I Do". iTunes Originals - The Wallflowers. 
  18. ^ "Breach". All Music. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  19. ^ "The Calendar Archive". The Wallflowers Network. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  20. ^ Fricke, David (26 October 2000). "The Confessions of Jakob Dylan: A Wallflower's Coming Out". Rolling Stone (852): 45–48. 
  21. ^ "Wallflowers Part Ways with Guitarist Michael Ward". MTV. Retrieved 12 November 2014. 
  22. ^ "Red Letter Days credits". All Music. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  23. ^ "Reviews for Red Letter Days". Metacritic. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  24. ^ Flans, Robyn. "Ozomatli". Modern Drummer. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  25. ^ "Rebel, Sweetheart credits". All Music. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  26. ^ "The Wallflowers Set to Release Rebel, Sweetheart on May 24". PR Newswire. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  27. ^ "Jakob Dylan Joins Columbia, Writes for TV". Billboard. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  28. ^ "Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur". All Music. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  29. ^ "Endless Highway: The Music of The Band". All Music. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  30. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn. "The Music Man". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  31. ^ "Jakob Dylan: Strength in Starkness". NPR. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  32. ^ "Jakob Dylan: Seeing Things". JakobDylan.com. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  33. ^ "Reviews for Seeing Things". Metacritic. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  34. ^ "Jakob Dylan Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  35. ^ "The Wallflowers Concert Setlists". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  36. ^ "Dylan Performs With Neko Case, Talks "Women + Country"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  37. ^ "Jakob Dylan - Soundcheck". WNYC. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  38. ^ "Women + Country credits". All Music. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  39. ^ "Reviews for Women + Country". Metacritic. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  40. ^ "Jakob Dylan - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  41. ^ "Jakob Dylan and Three Legs perform "On Up the Mountain" with Garth Hudson". YouTube. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  42. ^ "Record Store Day". Record Store Day. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  43. ^ "A Little Help". JakobDylan.com. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  44. ^ "True Blood Vol.3". All Music. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  45. ^ "The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams". All Music. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  46. ^ "Farm Aid Adds More Artists". Farm Aid. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  47. ^ Appleford, Steve. "Jakob Dylan Planning Wallflowers Reunion". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  48. ^ Jackson, Blair. "The Wallflowers". Mix. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  49. ^ "Glad All Over". All Music. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  50. ^ "The Wallflowers Announce 2013 Tour with Eric Clapton". TheWallflowers.com. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  51. ^ Yeatts, Andrianna. "Song Premiere: Arthur Channel, "16 Children"". American Songwriter. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  52. ^ Sounes, Howard (2001). Down the Highway. New York: Grove Press. p. 400. 
  53. ^ "Jakob Dylan interview". Patcast podcast (Episode 61). Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  54. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony. "A Different Set of Chronicles". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  55. ^ "Two-time Grammy Award-winner Jakob Dylan to receive honorary Doctor of Letters from Idaho State University". Idaho State University. 14 March 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2014. 
  56. ^ "Jakob Dylan Album & Song Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  57. ^ "Jakob Dylan Album & Song Chart History: Rock Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-07-26. 
  58. ^ "Chart Log UK: Asher D. – Dyverse". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 18, 2010. 

External links[edit]