If we’re getting technical, the first record I actually bought would’ve been either Robert Johnson or Furry Lewis. I was around 12 or 13 years old, and my dad had given me the Howlin’ Wolf box set for Christmas. That sparked my interest so I jumped into exploring more of the blues, and obviously that has been influential on who I am as an artist.
But I want to talk about a record that came just a little bit after those. I still consider it my first record because it was the first one that I sort of discovered on my own — I found it, or it found me. It was a double-disc set, Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits. I was in the seventh grade, and this was the album that piqued my interest in songwriting for the very first time.
I just remember that when I listened to that record, it was the first time that music made me feel a certain way. My emotions would change with the mood of the song, and even at that early age I was just completely infatuated with Dylan’s way of thinking. It opened up this world of wonder for me. I wondered if all these things he was writing about, if he felt the way I felt — I was so interested in everyone’s individual perceptions of these songs and how it could be completely different for one person and the next person and for me.
It’s probably funny for some people to hear me talk about Dylan like that because most of my songs — well, the stuff people have heard — don’t sound anything like Bob. But I do have tons of singer-songwriter style material, and at some point this spring the plan is to put out a more acoustic record. And when you hear that, you’ll hear it. You’ll hear the impact of that first Dylan album coming through.
There wasn’t a song on it that I didn’t love, but “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right” I would say is the one that still resonates the most of my experience with that record. I remember driving in my dad’s car, sitting in the front seat on the way to Florida and just playing that song over and over again. It was the songwriting, yes, but it was also the music, it was everything about it — that song made me want to make music.
“I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” and “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” stick out, too, but there’s literally not a song on that record that I didn’t love, that didn’t impact me as a musician, and as a person.
Patrick Dodd fronts Memphis blues-rock outfit The Patrick Dodd Trio. You can catch them several nights each week at The Blues Hall and The Rum Boogie Cafe on Beale Street, and they’ll be celebrating the release of their debut EP Future Blues on Saturday at The Blue Monkey in midtown. Listen to Future Blues here, and head to Facebook for details on Saturday’s show.