The fellow who arose into the music world in the 1960s and is still kicking cannot be duplicated, cloned, or replaced. There can be no replacements, but there can be The Replacements. The ‘Mats (as the band is nicknamed) have little in common with Dylan, but there are some resembling characteristics of its lead singer in a broad sense. Ever since I heard Paul Westerberg, I could tell he was holding the gift of songwriting that Dylan had. Like Robert Zimmerman, he has explored and avoided the polytomy of genres. Without being a Bob soundalike, Paul has paved his own musical path with Dylan as one of many references. There is a twenty year gap between when these artists first faced the world with their guitars.
With these thoughts in mind, I was surprised (or at least interested) in reading an article I stumbled on after developing my own personal connections. For the most part, the author of the article (Bob Mehr of The Chicago Tribune) gets the facts pretty straight. Although I do question that Bob Dylan told a shocked Joan Baez that he wrote “Masters of War” to cash in. I have followed both Paul Westerberg and Bob Dylan history pretty closely (just short of stalking), and I have never found Bob Dylan “selling out” in my casual research.
Not enough people know about Westerberg. Even some of my more experienced friends in the underground music scene haven’t heard his name. At least some of them have at least heard of the Replacements, but I’m convinced that Paul has matched and even outdone the work of his former band. He’s definitely worth a minimum of two of your ears. I’d give him credit and I’m not a Credit Card Company.