It’s hard to imagine a world where Bob Dylan doesn’t exist. With more than half a century of published work in his discography, Dylan has made music longer than friends like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Tom Petty. He came up in the Folk scene with the likes of Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and Peter, Paul and Mary, but it’s Dylan who has continued to actively make music and push product 57 years later.
It’d be easy to say that most of that has to do with the fact that Dylan has also outlived many of his contemporaries (including some of those aforementioned pals), but that’s the easy way out. With 38 studio albums under his belt and a seemingly bottomless vault of previously unreleased work, Dylan is one of the most prolific musicians of our lifetime. And his impact on culture extends beyond the medium of music.
This fall alone Dylan has dabbled in everything from books to music and beyond. Earlier this month, fashion label Barking Irons worked in collaboration with Dylan to release a limited edition Rolling Thunder collection. Inspired by Dylan’s own sense of fashion and with its fair share of “vintage-inspired” T-shirt reissues, the collection allows fans the ability to look just like they were on the cover of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. (You didn’t need this month’s paycheck anyway, right?)
Next up is Dylan’s release of Travelin’ Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15 which releases on November 1. The newest in the Bootleg Series might turn out to be one of his most popular yet, as it features his work with another music icon — Johnny Cash. You haven’t lived until you hear Dylan and Cash play through “You Are My Sunshine.” Travelin’ Thru also features other material Dylan famously made in Nashville, including during sessions for his albums John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, and Self Portrait.
As if that isn’t enough to keep Dylan’s fans holiday season especially lovely and folky, his 1966 book Tarantula will be released on audio for the first time in early December.
So, yeah. Dylan remains a pretty busy dude. Along with his multiple Grammys and chart-toppers, our guy also has a Nobel Prize, a Pulitzer Prize and Presidential Medal of Honor. At 78, Dylan is halfway towards an EGOT — though isn’t having a GONP (Grammy, Oscar, Nobel, Pulitzer) even more impressive? — and he shows no signs of stopping or slowing down, somehow remaining a tireless road dog with a relentless touring regimen.
Dylan and his band play the BB&T Arena on Northern Kentucky University's campus this Friday, Nov. 8. Tickets ($50-$85) and more show info: thebbtarena.com.