Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan

82+ min. Michael B. Borofsky, dist. by MVDvisual, www.mvdb2b.com. 2018. DVD UPC 760137084396. $14.95. MUSIC
Produced in 2003, Borofsky's film documents the making of the Grammy-nominated Bob Dylan tribute album Gotta Serve Somebody, which featured a variety of gospel artists reinterpreting songs from the rock legend's 1979–1981 evangelical period. The film interweaves sometimes partial but mostly complete performances from Aaron Neville, Shirley Caesar, the Chicago Mass Choir, Mighty Clouds of Joy, and others with very brief interview snippets with journalists and participants that shed a little light on Dylan's Christian era and on the performers' backgrounds. Dylan appears in the powerful 1980 debut live performance of "When He Returns," but Borofsky wisely showcases the clearly talented cover artists who make these classic songs their own. The technical quality is marginal, suffering from a slightly muddy sound and occasionally grainy visuals. Bonus features include an animated video of Dylan's title track.
VERDICT While the program is unlikely to win over Dylan fans who deride this period in his output, admirers of traditional gospel music will likely find it to be worth their time.
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