Though Bob Dylan moved away from his role as a ‘protest singer’ long ago — we saw Another Side by his fourth album — his name will forever be associated with social activism. The international human rights organization Amnesty International rose out of the same turbulent era as Dylan, forming in 1961, the year Dylan recorded his first album. Fitting, then, that in celebration of their 50th birthday, Amnesty would call on artists to contribute their Dylan covers to the massive four disc set Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.
Most bands touring their first album find themselves in the role of supporting act with barely enough time to squeeze in the songs from their debut. Not the case when your band consists of Ben Harper, Dhani Harrison (George’s son) and Joseph Arthur. Trio Fistful of Mercy released As I Call You Down last October, following it up with brief – okay, very brief – North American and European headlining tours.