Music News: Bruce Langhorne, Dylan collaborator and 'Mr. Tambourine Man' inspiration, dies at 78


Bruce Langhorne
Bruce Langhorne (courtesy of the artist)

Guitarist Bruce Langhorne has died of kidney failure at age 78. Langhorne performed with a wide variety of musicians — including accompanying Odetta at the 1963 March on Washington — but he was best-known as a Bob Dylan collaborator on the classic 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home. Langhorne played guitar on several tracks on that album, including "Mr. Tambourine Man" — a song Langhorne himself inspired, Dylan later said, when he arrived at the studio one day carrying a Turkish drum that had bells on it.

Langhorne's distinctive technique — often playing counterpoint rather than lead — was due in part to the fact that he lost two fingers and part of the thumb on his right hand in a fireworks accident when he was 12 years old. Langhorne, who had been training as a classical violinist up to that point, switched to guitar and found a unique voice on that instrument. "If you had Bruce playing with you," wrote Dylan in his memoir Chronicles Volume One, "that's all you would need to do just about anything." (New York Times)

Coachella news

At the first weekend of Coachella, there were no big shockers, but a few welcome surprises — and one or two unwelcome surprises as well.

In the former category, Lorde played her first full concert in nearly three years at Pappy & Harriet, a small California club where Paul McCartney played a similar surprise show in 2016 and where Babes in Toyland had their reunion in 2015. At the show, she premiered a new song called "Sober." (Rolling Stone)

In other Coachella news, Bon Iver played a set heavy on material from their new album 22, A Million. (Pitchfork) Radiohead encountered some technical issues that Thom Yorke blamed on aliens. (Billboard) Lady Gaga debuted a new single, "The Cure," and said she was happy to be filling in for a pregnant Beyoncé. (Billboard)

Monterey Pop to return

The Monterey International Pop Festival, the star-studded 1967 event that's considered the first true rock festival, will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a reprise festival held on the very same spot — the Monterey fairgrounds #8212; over the exact same three-day span, June 16-18, when the festival was held in 1967. Lou Adler, one of the organizers of the 1967 event, is also behind this year's festival. Along with contemporary artists including Gary Clark Jr., Father John Misty, and Jim James, this year's event will feature Phil Lesh — who played the 1967 festival as a member of the Grateful Dead. (New York Times)

Glen Campbell announces final album

Glen Campbell, the pop-country legend who retired from live performance in 2012 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's, has announced what he says is his final studio album. Adiós, out June 9, will feature covers of songs that Campbell always loved but never got a chance to record" previously. Among them: Bob Dylan’s "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" and a duet with Willie Nelson on Nelson's "Funny (How Time Slips Away)." (Pitchfork)

Loretta Lynn celebrates the big 8-5

Loretta Lynn turned 85 on Friday, and she spent her birthday night onstage at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. In a show that Rolling Stone calls "fiesty, funny and sweetly nostalgic," Lynn was joined onstage by her sisters Crystal Gayle and Peggy Sue Wright, as well as surprise guest Martina McBride. (Rolling Stone)

Harry apes Mick

The musical guest on this weekend's Saturday Night Live was One Direction alumnus gone solo Harry Styles, who proved during a Family Feud sketch that he can do a mean Mick Jagger impression. (Billboard)

comments powered by Disqus