Ok, so it seems I’m in a Dylan phase…then again, Dylan has always been part of my life, from an early age when his harmonica blared in the backseat of my parent’s car as we made what seemed like the endless drive from Connecticut to NYC to visit our relatives who still lived there then.
Without getting into too many details, I want to explain how this single came to be, and why I would tackle a song that has been covered literally hundreds (if not thousands) of times, including one of the all-time covers of any song, by the one and only Jimi Hendrix.
The short version is that a few years back (before he won the Nobel Prize), I started an album of Dylan songs – songs I knew I could do in my own way. That album will hopefully be done by the Fall, but I can’t promise anything – Inshallah!
The album is like a world-music disc covering vastly different genres, but it holds together due to the voices, instrumentation and other “red threads” to borrow a Swedish expression. 😀
This song – Watchtower – is a song from that album, but it’s quite different from the others due to the dance vibe…that’s why I chose to focus on finishing it first and releasing it as a single (plus the instrumental version).
The song has gone through a couple of incarnations and as you can imagine, it has been a group effort. On the track you hear my voice and acoustic guitars, an original beat I created, but also analogue drums played by maestro James Bradley Jr, the drummer I’ve worked the most with over the past decade. The fantastic electric guitar work is by virtuoso Edwin Ziberg. Vocals by the illustrious Elin Jakobsson. Keyboards by the incomparable Alexander Baginski Ekroth. Initial mix by multi-instrumentalist, composer and production wizard Jonathan Segel, of Camper Van Beethoven. Finally, the one to turn it into the dance-track that it has become as you hear it, a drummer who seems to be able to play literally any genre (including his own brand of live drum-and-bass), virtuoso and production mastermind Marque Gilmore!
My thought in making the track was to create something that would stay true to the original Dylan track from 1968 when it first appeared on the mystical album John Wesley Harding, plus as an homage to Hendrix’ immortal cover which was released only 6 months later – one which Dylan himself much admires and who he himself has come to emulate during concerts (Watchtower is one of his standard encores, that and Like a Rolling Stone).
Lastly, not that Dylan really needs it, but I see my rendition as a way of introducing his music to “the next” generation…
In short, a Watchtower of the times, for the people and to better times ahead. <3
A couple weeks ago, I was interviewed by Pod Dylan – a pod based out of New Jersey that explores Dylan one song at a time – about one of my favorite songs of his, As I Went Out One Morning, from the album John Wesley Harding (also one of my fav albums). After the interview, I gave it a try, my way…enjoy! Listen to the interview here: As I Went One Morning
Film and edit by Hjalmar Bergom Larsson!
So, despite the extreme weather conditions this summer in Sweden (the hottest, like ever), the beauty remains and the dream of recording this song outside at Rosenhill was finally realized, so glad!
Dan Arvefjord on bass, Hanna Francis on harmonies, and Edith Lundahl on mandolin.
Filmed and edited by Hjalmar Bergom Larsson.
Legendary is a word I tend to avoid. When I hear it used I usually roll my eyes, inwardly. But then there a few people that somehow fit that description. Israel “Izzy” Young is one of those people.
Izzy’s record and instrument shop/music venue, the Folklore Center – originally located on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village – was at the epicenter of the Folk Music Revival in the late 50’s and 60’s. It’s where he put on Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell’s first NYC concerts, to name just two of the literally thousands of musicians who played the Folklore Center. Izzy wrote for SingOut! magazine, ran a Jazz radio show, and led the protest against the ban on instrument playing in Washington Square Park to name just a few tidbits from his colorful past. Now, at 90 years old, Izzy’s Folklore Centrum (now located in Stockholm) is still a favorite venue of folkies, local and international.
On Saturday, June 9th at 4 pm, I’ll present some newer and older material together with a string quartet!
Don’t miss this acoustic concert Hemma Hos Izzy, the “Godfather of Folk Music” himself!
Join the event on FaceBook! https://www.facebook.com/events/168120433881739/
On May 22nd, Diipak and band will celebrate 10 years of music at the historic venue, Dramatenbaren! The show starts at 8 PM. Tickets cost 50 kronor and you can pre-order one by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
On July 9th, Diipak will play an acoustic concert at Izzy Young‘s legendary Folklore Centrum, formerly known as the Folklore Center. The FC opened up in Greenwich Village in the 1950’s and is where a plethora of artists played their first NYC shows, including Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell to name just 2. Izzy packed up and moved to Sweden in the 70’s where he re-opened the FC where he continues to run it at 90 years old!(!) Show will start at 4 PM and costs 100 kronor.
So get yer calendars out and don’t miss these 2 unique shows!
Today marks 10 years since my debut as Diipak when I released the self-titled EP with a concert at the historic venue Stampen in the old town of Stockholm, Sweden.
It was a fun evening followed by many more concerts and releases – 5 singles and a full length album, and a few videos.
Sometimes I wish things would progress a little faster, but I am happy with the progress!
Right now I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has helped me along the way – all my co-musicians, concert arrangers, sound-technicians, designers, artists, family and friends, and to anyone who has taken the time to listen to my music at home or live!
The name Diipak was given to me by a very wise and loving yogi, Dada Shambushivananda. He had heard me play a couple of my songs one evening and the next day I asked if he had a spiritual name for me (this was on a retreat and I noticed everyone else had received a name). He meditated for a minute, then wrote down Diipak on a small piece of paper and gave it to me. Then I asked him what it meant: “The flame which enlightens others.” Wow, ok…I’ll try!
Now I’m going to try to think of everyone I can who has collaborated directly with my projects – really hope I don’t leave anyone out! If I do, please write to me and I’ll add you.
Ananda Marga & Dada Shambu, Aino-Maria Kumpulainen, Alexander Baginski Ekroth, Alexander Hofer, Andil Dahl, Annelie Syster Backemo, Arlo Knox, August Sandström, Mikael “Berkan” Mikael Bergström, Brian Burns, Carina Hedlund, Chris Mockrish, Chuck Anthony, Dada Veda, Dan Arvefjord, David Jones, David Lombardi, Derek January, Eduardo Moretti, Emilio Bobadilla, Jaken Jaken aka Elin Jakobsson, Elin Lindell, Eva Centergren, Félix Kjellberg-Hill, Fredde Granberg, Fredrik Hellberg, Fredrik Damberg, Fredrik Schützler, Frida Appelgren, Greger Lindeberg, Hanna Francis, Hawta Magid, Henrik Norbeck, Herman Caroan, Hjalmar Bergom Larsson, Isabella Johansson, Isabelle Andö, Jair-Rohm Parker Wells, Jason Glasser, James Bradley Jr, Joaquim Joakim Ceder, Jonas Fogelström, Jonathan Glasser, Jonathan Segel, José Figueroa, Katja Skog, Klara Kazmi, Krydda Sundström, Kyra Matustikk, Larry Lyons (RIP), Leah Harris, Leon Kuhn, Lou Marshall Gould, “Loughy” Kieran O Loughlin, Magnus Malmross, Marcos Colmenero Lopez, Maria Carlman, Marque Gilmore, Mats Burman, Mats Frisk, Mattia Disisto, Mia Törngren, Miguel Pavez Acevedoo, Mikael Wiehe, Niklas Alexandersson, Pancho Chin A Loi, Pelle Vallgren, Per Johansson, Peter Moring, Robin Siwe, Sandra Rosa Bergman, Santiago Jimenez Borges, Sebastian Paco Dahlstrand, Stefan Kayat, Steve Wadidiz Morris, Stian Grimstad, Tabla Suranjana Ghosh, Tore Jarlo, Troy James, Ulf Bejerstrand, Ulrika Björnsdotter, Urban Danielsson, Victor Ahlin, Ville Danielsson, William Prado
I wouldn’t be here – literally or figuratively – without the love and support of my parents, so thanks! Also, thanks to my first music teachers Barbara Vaughn, Benita Rose, Stan Renard and Nigel Coxe.
And to the Greenest Grass I know, thank you for all the love, support, feedback, patience, and help! Mitt livs kärlek
Concert celebrating 10 years coming soon – heads up!
Here comes the original release 10 years later:
Excited to share a new song and video!
Apple Of My Eye – written and performed by Diipak
Filmed by Hjalmar Bergom Larsson & Anna Stenholm
Edited by Hjalmar Bergom Larrson
Music recorded by Nicklas Kempe
Music mixed by Kieran “Loughy” O Loughlin
Filmed at ScenKaskad