Music Industry News Network [07-08-2003]





Entertainment Editors
NEW YORK-- (Music Industry News Network)—July 8, 2003—

Nearly a quarter-century ago, Bob Dylan released two albums whose songs testified to a strong belief in the message of the Gospels.

Now, all these years later, GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY: THE GOSPEL SONGS OF BOB DYLAN (Columbia/Integrity), featuring an all-star cast of modern and contemporary gospel singers is being hailed for strongly making the case that Dylan is a great gospel songwriter.

“This is a showcase of Dylan as one of our great gospel songwriters -- albeit 25 years after the fact…if you buy one gospel record in 2003, let this be it,” 4-1/2 stars -All Music Guide

“A successful bridge of genres, GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY is a fun, moving, and inspired tribute to the songs of faith by one of the great American songwriters” -Christianity Today

Dylan songs “seem like gospel standards now, especially when performed by the genre greats who grace this set” -Billboard Magazine

…not only entertaining but also fascinating. …another corner of American music has, appropriately, claimed Dylan as its own. -Associated Press

Clearly, the artists who contributed to the compilation were drawn to the project by the depth of the material. “I just like Bob, and I like his style. And I like where his heart’s coming from, where his soul is,” says Aaron Neville, who adds about the song he sings, “Saving Grace,” that “It definitely hits home, like there go I before the grace of God.”

First lady of gospel Pastor Shirley Caesar, commenting on her recording of the title track, states, “It’s a very true song, it’s a powerful song. It’s a known fact that you have to serve somebody. Now, it’s got to be God or the devil, but as for me and my house, I made up my mind that I’m gonna serve the Lord.”

Gary Hines director of Sounds of Blackness calls “Solid Rock,” the song his group sings, “The core and essence of what gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ, is all about. Dylan’s poetic treatment of it, saying, I’m hanging on; it’s not pretty. It’s intense, it’s real life.”

“Ultimately, GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY was created as a straight-up gospel recording that any fan of gospel, Christian or American roots music would appreciate,” says executive producer Jeffrey Gaskill.

A featured highlight of GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY is the new duet by Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples on a raucous, rewritten version of “Gonna Change My Way of Thinking,” which Gaskill says “came as an amazing complete and total ‘gift’.” Not surprisingly, Rolling Stone recently listed the uncommon Dylan duet on their Editors Hot List.

Perhaps Dottie Peoples, who sings “I Believe in You,” sums up the project best, commenting, “I love the song ‘I Believe in You’ because I believe in our Maker -- the one who made us. ‘When black turn to white... white turn to black,’ that lyric lets everybody know that if you believe in God there’s nothing you can’t do, nowhere you can’t go. There is no difference in our color or creed; it’s just all about God.”

Entertainment Weekly hails GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY thusly: “Even agnostics may now agree there was something nearly supernatural about Dylan’s mastery of an unlikely idiom -- black gospel.”

1. Shirley Caesar, “Gotta Serve Somebody”
2. Lee Williams and the Spiritual QCs, “When You Gonna Wake Up”
3. Dottie Peoples, “I Believe in You”
4. Fairfield Four, “Are You Ready”
5. Sounds of Blackness, “Solid Rock”
6. Aaron Neville, “Saving Grace”
7. Helen Baylor, “What Can I Do For You?”
8. Chicago Mass Choir, “Pressing On”
9. Mighty Clouds of Joy, “Saved”
10. Rance Allen, “When He Returns”
11. Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples, “Gonna Change My Way of Thinking”

For further information on GOTTA SERVE SOMEBODY, please contact:
Burning Rose Productions, Ltd. 718-875-2679



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