The road that led Monique diMattina’s road to the music of Bob Dylan
Dao: ‘way’, ‘road’, ‘path’, ‘course’, ‘speech’ or ‘method’
The concept of ‘dao’ indicates a ‘way’, the act of wayfaring or traveling down a road, or even the act of way-making by leading someone down or constructing a road.
Before she reprises musical highlights from her cult 3RRR radio segment The Dao Of Dylan with Rebecca Barnard in April, singer-songwriter and radio presenter Monique diMattina describes the road that led her to the music of Bob Dylan.
“Dylan crept up on me like the friend who is always there, unnoticed for years, gradually, insidiously worming their way into your affections until you wake up one morning and realize they have quietly become your great one and only true love. A friend dragged me to see him at a stadium in 2002. At this stage of my musical life, I was still in denial. I hadn’t woken up to Dylan being my great, one and only true love. Admittedly at the time, it all sounded raspy and same-same-y and I couldn’t hear the lyrics. I actually fell asleep. I’ve seen him many, many times since. And I only fell asleep that one time.
“My first Dylan purchase was ‘Time Out Of Mind’, ‘Oh Mercy’ and ‘Infidels’, all at once, at Greville Records shortly after the sleepy stadium incident. Before I nodded off, amongst the raspy sameyness (yes I just made that word up – Dylan would) I’d heard something that made me feel something and I wanted to pick the scab. For some reason I was now ready to hear and to listen, and those three records took me over like an alien invasion – one in which you welcome your new alien overlords and, having been conquered, say ‘hey aliens – do you have cousins and friends that would like to live here too?’. Those three albums we could consider the search party. Now, I’m well and truly colonised.
“‘Time Out Of Mind’ would certainly be my favorite album, as would ‘Blonde on Blonde’, ‘Another Side to Bob Dylan’ and ‘Oh Mercy’. I also have many favourite songs but I a special mention goes to ‘All I Really Want To Do’, which I play in my upcoming concert with Rebecca Barnard. I covered it on my latest album, and I have held it close and dear ever since I walked down the aisle to it the one time in my many lives when I got married. The marriage didn’t last but I kept the song.
“Some of Dylan’s live shows have enraptured me, others not quite so much. I’m invested in the music of Dylan for his lyrics, and one doesn’t always hear Dylan’s lyrics at a stadium or at a festival. One will hear Dylan’s lyrics in the pristine acoustics of the Salon, however.
Monique diMattina’s story:
Singer/songwriter, boogie-woogie barrelhouse basher, composer of crystalline piano miniatures, radio personality and in-demand session pianist, Monique diMattina’s cred as a mature and versatile artist is well deserved. In 2000 diMattina received prestigious Fulbright and Queens Trust awards for Masters Study in New York City (NYC). Over four years in NYC, Monique worked with Lou Reed, Bjork, Jimmy Cobb and the bands of Peter Gabriel, Suzanne Vega and Norah Jones, and recorded her 1st album ‘Live at the 55’ at the iconic 55 Bar in Greenwich Village. She completed her Masters thesis on Miles Davis pianist Wynton Kelly, played recitals for dignitaries including Bill Clinton and Vaclav Havel, ran the New York Marathon, maintained an addiction to Gus’s Dill Pickles and participated in wild Obama victory celebrations. Monique’s new album ‘Nola’s Ark’ was recorded in New Orleans at the famed Piety Studios with an all-star line-up of musicians featured in HBO’s ‘Treme’ series, including trumpeter Leroy Jones (Harry Connick Jnr band) and bass/sousaphone man Matt Perrine (Dr John, Jon Cleary). The album features original songs written on Monique’s 3RRR segment ‘Shaken Not Rehearsed’ alongside much-loved standards such as ‘Young at Heart’ and Fats Waller’s ‘Numb Fumblin’.
Monique diMattina plays The Dao Of Dylan with Rebecca Barnard on Friday 21 April 7pm in the Salon.