Wendy Matthews is looking forward to performing the songs of Bob Dylan because the words spoke about “common sense life”.
Wendy is part of ‘Bob Dylan Revisited’, a night of the music of Bob Dylan along with Doug Parkinson, Glenn Shorrock, John Waters and Wes Carr.
“What it has done for me is just brought back his poetry and reminded me so much of this lost sense of common sense in life,” Wendy Matthews tells Noise11.com. “He seemed to be a reluctant leader’s voice in the 60s, just by his perception. There was all sorts of shit going on in the 60s. I was born in the very first month of the 60s. I feel like I watched the whole thing. I think we have lost that general sense of intelligent common sense. He reminds me very strongly of that time”.
It hasn’t gone unnoticed for Wendy that few of today’s biggest stars comment of society through their songs. “Nobody will take it on,” she says. “It’s a totally different animal. Not that he’s musical but Russell Brand, he is just an intelligent guy and yet he is being trashed left, right and centre. Who knows what would have happened in the 60s if they had social media of any kind. There is so much backlash with what you can and cannot say. Nobody is willing to take anything of any depth on and if you do you are totally banned from your art”.
Each of the Bob Dylan Revisited artists got to create a 10 song wishlist. “I went for some obscure ones. He has such an extraordinary catalogue but people will question what’s there or not there but you have to stop somewhere. It is probably wise that they have gone with songs everybody is going to know”.
Bog Dylan Revisited will have a Sydney and Melbourne run. Wendy has her other projects on the boil. “I am doing some writing and recording of my own, which is a real luxury and I have no deadlines for this next record,” she says. “I get inspired by different things and then reconvene. I am really enjoying life and work at the moment. I have some really interesting projects. I am working on something with Grace Knight, just the two of us. We’ve been friends for years and have always thought, “lets go on the road and do something”. I have the Dylan shows and am writing and doing my own shows every weekend. I know what I am doing for June and July and that’s as far as I want to see ahead”.
That Grace Knight project recalls the format of the Kate Ceberano and Wendy Matthews blues project of 1988. “I did a gig last week with her in Newcastle,” she says. “That was quite some time ago. I love that album. It is timeless. They were little projects. I guess the Kate/Wendy Wendy/Kate album was different. I know a lot of people saw me as coming out of nowhere and no-one really comes out of nowhere unless its these days and you have a television program to plummet you from living room to the world. Back then we were all learning our craft. That’s what we did back then”.
Another full circle with Dylan goes back to a very young Wendy. “I met T-Bone Burnett when I was 17 through the Rolling Thunder tour,” he says. “The Alpha Band, who were T. Bone Burnett, Steve Soles, David Mansfield, they were Dylan’s band for the Rolling Thunder tour. As a young thing that’s where I met all those guys in the first place. Talk about full circle”.
Roy Ortuso Presents ‘Bob Dylan Revisited’. Dates are:
10 May, Melbourne, Palais Theatre
24 May, Sydney, State Theatre