Artistic Director, Producer, Music Supervisor
The Blood On The Tracks Project
The Blood On The Tracks Project
In 2004 David Spelman was hired to curate and produce The Blood On The Tracks Project, a concert celebrating the 30th anniversary of Bob Dylan's landmark album Blood On The Tracks. The sold-out event took place at New York City's Merkin Concert Hall and was broadcast live on WFUV and later as a two-hour radio special, syndicated to over fifty NPR affiliates.
A distinctive roster of singer-songwriters, bands and instrumentalists performed their own arrangements of the album’s ten songs, as well as instrumental interludes. Featured artists included Joan Osborne, Citizen Cope, Jesse Harris, Vernon Reid, Chocolate Genius, Toshi Reagon, Alex de Grassi, Ollabelle, Jeffrey Gaines, Brandon Ross, Richard Barone, Tony Visconti, Joel Harrison, and Buddy Cage.
Located in the vibrant Lincoln Square business district just north of Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall is well known for its unparalleled acoustics and has been hailed as an ideal venue for chamber music since its opening in 1978. Merkin Hall was twice awarded first prize for Adventurous Programming by ASCAP/Chamber Music America.
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"In 1974 Dylan released his high-gear live concert collaboration with the Band, Before the Flood, and Bobby was once 'in' again. His follow-up, Blood on the Tracks would be what many considered one of his bests. Songs included 'Tangled Up in Blue,' 'Idiot Wind,' and 'Shelter From the Storm.' Tonight nearly 30years later, some of today’s more eclectic artists such as Vernon Reid and Toshi Reagon revisit this classic." – The Village Voice
"Career-spanning tributes are usually mish-mash retrospectives, diving all over the map. New interpretations of a specific album have a much better chance of coming off—which is why the upcoming Blood on the Tracks concert at Merkin Hall on June 29 (dedicated, of course, solely to Bob Dylan’s ruminative 1975 romantic-breakup masterpiece) looks like the rare tribute that honors its subject rather than paling alongside it. The Dylan-less yet still beefy roster of participants—including Joan Osborne, guitarist Vernon Reid, and alt hip-hoppers Citizen Cope—prompts a question: Who’ll get to take on “Tangled Up in Blue”? – New York Magazine
"In celebration of the upcoming 30th anniversary of its recording, Bob Dylan's landmark album 'Blood on the Tracks' will be feted with a live rendering in New York on June 29. The event, at Merkin Hall, will feature various artists each performing a song from the set in order. Slated to participate are Joan Osborne, Vernon Reid, Toshi Reagon, Jeffrey Gaines, Citizen Cope, Jesse Harris, Ollabelle, Marc Anthony Thompson, Brandon Ross, Richard Barone and Tony Visconti. The show, proceeds from which will benefit the venue, will be broadcast live on local public radio outlet WFUV. In addition, Mary Lou Lord will be on hand to perform Dylan's 'Up to Me,' which was originally recorded for 'Blood on the Tracks' but not released officially until 1985, when it appeared on the Dylan boxed set 'Biograph.' Although 'Blood on the Tracks' was released in January 1975, the tracks were recorded the prior September in New York and December in Minneapolis. Coming at a time when Dylan's marriage was unraveling, the album features such mournful songs as concert favorite 'Tangled Up in Blue' and 'If You See Her, Say Hello.' It topped the U.S. pop albums chart for two weeks in February/March, and has become the benchmark against which all subsquent Dylan albums are compared. — Billboard
"He just received an honorary doctorate in music from Scotland's oldest university. Now, this Tuesday, to mark the 30th anniversary of Bob Dylan's 'Blood on the Tracks' – the haunting masterpiece that chronicled his crumbling marriage – musicians such as Joan Osborne, Ron Sexsmith, Vernon Reid, Mary Lou Lord and more will perform their own takes on Dylan's personal torment. " – New York Post