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The man behind the Tambourine Man

The man largely responsible for Bob Dylan’s interest in folk music is coming to Arlington Arts on Saturday, July 14. Spider John Koerner was a contemporary of Dylan’s and it’s well documented that the young Bob may well have skirted around traditional American music if it wasn’t for Spider’s influence.
In his autobiography Chronicles Volume One, Dylan talks of their first meeting saying:

"With my newly learned repertoire, I then went further up the street and dropped into the Ten O'Clock Scholar, a Beat coffeehouse. I was looking for players with kindred spirits. The first guy I met in Minneapolis like me was sitting around in there. It was John Koerner and he also had an accoustic guitar with him. Koerner was tall and thin with a look of perpetual amusement on his face. We hit it off right away. ... When he spoke he was soft spoken, but when he sang he became a field holler shouter. Koerner was an exciting singer and we began playing a lot together"

He is widely held as one of America’s truest musical originals and one of their greatest practitioners of their traditional song.He started out in the 50s and 60s playing blues music but then quit playing “forever” in 1972, when he married a Danish woman and moved to Copenhagen. However, after briefly enduring a boring job, Spider decided to take up music again but he didn't want to play blues or his own compositions. Instead, he embraced the long and deep tradition of American folk music. For years, he played only traditional American folk songs, which helped bring these great compositions back to life. But they also inspired Johim, as he could relate to the themes in these songs. In later years he has made peace with his old songs, so his inspiring and eclectic live performances feature repertoire from across his broad range of interests. Playing alongside Spider John is long time collaborator Chip Taylor Smith, who has played fiddle with him for over 30 years. Opening the show is Dave Peabody, who last appeared at Arlington Arts opening for David Honeyboy Edwards.
Tickets are priced £13 in advance visit


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