Watch Jason Isbell Play Bob Dylan’s Iconic Electric Guitar at Newport Folk Festival
At this year’s Newport Folk Festival, Jason Isbell was given the chance to play Bob Dylan’s iconic -- and at one time infamous -- electric guitar precisely 50 years after Dylan’s contentious performance with the instrument at the annual Rhode Island festival. Now, the festival has shared footage of Isbell playing the guitar.
Prior to being presented with the guitar, Isbell discusses the legacy and significance of Dylan’s 1965 performance.
“Dylan had a big influence on me and still does,” Isbell says. “When he shifted his focus to rock and roll music -- if it happened now, it wouldn’t scare anybody, but that would be impossible because that was the precursor for that.”
“If that hadn’t happened, there would be two very obvious divisions between people who made electric music and people who made acoustic music -- probably still to this day,” he continues. “So it gives me an opportunity to still sing my sad, narrative, folk-driven songs and still play rock and roll guitar solos, which is kind of my favorite thing in the world.”
Then, Isbell is handed the guitar and -- like any self-respecting fan – absolutely geeks out (“Whoa, that’s neat! Can I hold that?”). See for yourself in the video at the top of the page.