Bob Neuwirth

Welcome to the evolving home page of Bob Neuwirth with information regarding Bob's work in music, film and painting.

 

Bob NeuwirthBob can be heard on the recently released, Rogue's Gallery, Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys on Anti Records singing Haul on the Bowline, as well as the recent Smithsonian CD/DVD box set of the Harry Smith Project, The Anthology Of American Folk Music Revisited. He can also be heard on the Peter Case tribute, A Case for Case on the song he co-wrote with Peter entitled, Power, Lust and Money. Bob also contributed to the Alejandro Escovedo tribute, Por Vida with a version of the Escovedo song, Rosalie. The most watched TV show of 2005 was a special two-hour Quentin Tarantino directed episode of CSI that featured Bob's song, Lucky Too (Christmas in Las Vegas) from the CD, Look Up.

 

Some paintings done in 2005 in his studio in New York City's meatpacking district can be

seen in the Gallery section.

 

Over the past 45 years this singer, songwriter, producer, performer, painter, improviser, collaborator, and instigator has proven himself to be an artist unconcerned with any barriers of style or medium. He has found himself at the epicenter of one artistic upheaval after another.

 

Neuwirth went to art school in Boston and was part of the burgeoning Cambridge blues-folk scene, where he learned firsthand from such urban blues legends as Lightnin' Hopkins, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Mississippi John Hurt and the Rev. Gary Davis. The other end of the transcontinental hitchhiking axis lay in California's Bay area, where Neuwirth entertained in folk clubs in Berkeley and in the bohemian bars across the bay in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood.

 

From Cambridge to Berkeley to Paris in the '60s, from the Newport Folk Festivals to the Monterey Pop Festival and from Woodstock to the Rolling Thunder Revue, from SoHo to Nashville, Neuwirth has quietly plied his trade, made his mark and assembled a bewildering array of colleagues and creative partners.

 

Some of Neuwirth's mid-'60s years were spent working and traveling with Bob Dylan, including the chaotic tours documented in the movies "Don't Look Back" and "Eat the Document. " As part of the New York underground film scene of the time, he filmed the Monterey Pop Festival, went to Woodstock and traveled to Nashville with a then-struggling songwriter named Kris Kristofferson. He would later teach Kristofferson's song Me and Bobby McGee to his old friend Janis Joplin, with whom Neuwirth had co-written the song Mercedes Benz.

 

In the 70s, Neuwirth put together the band for Dylan's acclaimed Rolling Thunder Revue, which helped launch the careers of T Bone Burnett, J.S. Soles and David Mansfield, among others. During this period he was also featured in the film "Renaldo and Clara" and had several other acting adventures.

 

In the 80s, he recorded two solo albums: Back to the Front and 99 Monkeys, produced such artists as Burnett and Vince Bell and saw his songs recorded by the likes of Concrete Blonde, k.d. lang, Peter Case, Robert Earl Keen Jr., Kris Kristofferson, Tom Russell and others. During this period he toured Europe often, sometimes alone and other times with artists such as John Cale, Warren Zevon, Howe Gelb and Sid Griffin.

 

In the 90's he partnered with Cale on the visionary album, Last Day on Earth(1994). Two years later Bob recorded Look Up (1996), part one of the "on the road" series with a unique album cover drawn by legendary underground comix artist, Gilbert Shelton. The album consisted of live recordings done in various spots around the world: Patti Smith's bedroom in Detroit, Elliott Murphy's living room in Paris, Bernie Leadon's cabin in Tennessee and visits to Texas, California and New York. In 1999 the album, Havana Midnight took him to Cuba to work with famed Cuban composer and arranger, Jose Maria Vitier ("Fresa y chocolate," Misa Cubana).

 

More recently Bob was asked to participate in the much-lauded Harry Smith Anthology concerts with famed producer Hal Wilner, appearing at Royal Festival Hall in London and at St. Ann's Church in Brooklyn, New York as well as UCLA's Royce Hall. Bob produced a documentary movie by D.A. Pennebaker entitled "Down from The Mountain" that was filmed at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. It features the music of John Hartford, Ralph Stanley, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, The Fairfield Four, The Cox Family, The Whites, Chris Thomas King, Colin Linden and others who performed the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers film, "Oh Brother Where Art Thou." When the "Down from the Mountain" phenomenon went on the road Bob served as musical director for the shows which played to sold out houses across America. This was followed by the equally successful "The Great High Mountain" tour, which added the music from the film, Cold Mountain.

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