Dylan: Album with T Bone Burnett & New Book On The Way

Multiple Grammy-winning producer T Bone Burnett has unveiled the completion of special studio recording sessions with Bob Dylan, during which Dylan revisited a personally chosen set of his iconic songs for the first time in decades. 

Dylan has also revealed the publication in November of a new book The Philosophy of Modern Song, his first book of new writing since 2004’s Chronicles: Volume One — and since winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016.

Dylan reportedly began working on the book in 2010, and is said to offer ‘a masterclass on the art and craft of songwriting’. He writes over 60 essays focusing on songs by other artists, spanning from Stephen Foster to Elvis Costello, and in between ranging from Hank Williams to Nina Simone.

In the new book, Dylan analyses what he calls the trap of easy rhymes, breaks down how the addition of a single syllable can diminish a song and even explains how bluegrass relates to heavy metal. The publicity claims that: ‘These essays are written in Dylan’s unique prose. They are mysterious and mercurial, poignant and profound, and often laugh-out-loud funny. And while they are ostensibly about music, they are really meditations and reflections on the human condition. Running throughout the book are nearly 150 carefully curated photos as well as a series of dream-like riffs that, taken together, resemble an epic poem and add to the work’s transcendence.’
In 2020, with the release of his outstanding album Rough and Rowdy Ways, Dylan became the first artist to have an album hit the Billboard Top 40 in each decade since the 1960s. The Philosophy of Modern Song contains much of what he has learned about his craft in all those years and, like everything that Dylan does, it is a momentous artistic achievement.

The recordings with Burnett have resulted in the creation of Ionic Originals: Newly developed discs that are claimed to advance the art of recorded sound and mark the first breakthrough in analogue sound reproduction in more than 70 years.

Through the creation of the patented Ionic Original, Burnett has built upon his mission as an advocate for the sonic excellence of analogue sound by making unprecedented strides in fidelity and durability of the medium.

By forming a new company, NeoFidelityInc. to record artists across a wide range of musical genres and provide a platform of distribution for Ionic Originals, Burnett is also determined to reset the valuation for recorded music.

As music distribution has shifted from physical to predominantly digital means over the past 40 years, culminating in the streaming economy that defines today’s music industry, excellence in sound reproduction has been greatly diminished. Drawing from the sonic history of recorded music, Burnett has developed an analogue disc that possesses a depth, resonance and sonic fidelity that exceeds that of vinyl, CD, streaming or any other means of experiencing recorded music.

“An Ionic Original is the pinnacle of recorded sound,” says Burnett. “It is archival quality. It is future proof. It is one of one. Not only is an Ionic Original the equivalent of a painting, it is a painting. It is lacquer painted onto an aluminum disc, with a spiral etched into it by music. This painting, however, has the additional quality of containing that music, which can be heard by putting a stylus into the spiral and spinning it.”

“When describing the quality that raises analogue sound above digital sound, the word ‘warmth’ is often used,” Burnett further notes. “Analogue sound has more depth, more harmonic complexity, more resonance, better imaging. Analogue has more feel, more character, more touch. Digital sound is frozen. Analogue sound is alive.”

Multiple Grammy and Oscar winner Joseph Henry “T Bone” Burnett is a producer, musician and songwriter. Burnett most recently released Acoustic Space, the first full-length installment in The Invisible Light trilogy, an experimental song cycle which explores the idea that society has been subject to a programming pandemic which is causing us to lose our ability to differentiate fact from fiction. Burnett also composed and produced the music for critically acclaimed HBO series “True Detective,” and his film work includes the five-time Grammy winning soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou?The Big LebowskiCold MountainThe Hunger GamesCrazy Heart and Walk The Line, among others. He has collaborated with numerous artists including Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and Roy Orbison, and won Album of the Year and Record of the Year Grammy Awards for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand