Bob Dylan photo by Vince Bucci/Invision/AP
With his Never Ending Tour temporarily grounded and his compelling new album “Rough and Rowdy Ways” in stores, Bob Dylan is resurrecting his “Theme Time Radio Hour” on SiriusXM.
On Monday, he will broadcast a new episode in the series in which he delivered 100 shows from 2006-09. Each featured a theme – baseball, weather, presidents, etc. – with songs and commentary about the particular topic.
The new episode is about whiskey, inspired by the bard’s own brand, Heaven’s Door, which he introduced in 2018.
Instead of the usual hourlong program, Dylan delivers a double shot – two hours – of songs, poems, recipes and chatter about whiskey.
There are boozey tunes sung by Van Morrison, George Jones, Thin Lizzy, Tom Waits, the Stanley Brothers and Julie London, by old blues figures including Byllye Williams and Wynonie Harris, and, of course, by Frank Sinatra.
Allison Janney calls into Dylan’s program. And Sarah Silverman and Penn Jillette offer station IDs.
Like a veteran DJ, Dylan riffs extensively, offering history of songs, corny jokes and tidbits about whiskey and hangovers. He even introduces an unfamiliar word – sprechstimme, which means half-sung, half-spoken. “I use that [approach] sometimes myself,” he says.
Much credit goes to Emmy-winning Eddie Gorodetsky, the producer, writer and force behind this radio series as well as Dylan’s top-notch research team.
The whiskey episode will premiere at 11 a.m. Monday on SiriusXM channel 27 (“Deep Tracks”). Thereafter, various old shows of “Theme Time Radio Hour” will be broadcast on that channel until 2 a.m. Sept. 28.
The whiskey episode will also be available on bobdylan.com and streaming services starting on Sept. 25.