Art Works Podcast: Sean Wilentz
This week’s music-filled podcast marks the 70th birthday of Bob Dylan in the first of a two-part interview with his biographer, Sean Wilentz. Wilentz is a cultural historian with musical chops: he’s received a Deems Taylor award for musical commentary and a Grammy nomination for his liner notes to Bootleg Series, Vol. 6: Bob Dylan Live, 1964: The Concert at Philharmonic Hall. His book, Bob Dylan in America, places Dylan’s music both within the context of its own time and within a stream of American culture that reaches back to Aaron Copland, Woody Guthrie, and Blind Willie McTell. Wilentz couples a lifetime of passion for his subject with a thorough understanding of Dylan as a cultural figure, one who is deeply connected to a musical past even as he carved out new musical territory.