Tom Jones – yes, Tom Jones – is a Bob Dylan nut: ‘You can’t compare him to anybody else’

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Though Tom Jones has long worked as an interpretive performer, using a distinctive baritone to reshape songs written by the likes of Paul Anka, Lonnie Donegan and Burt Bacharach. JOnes revealed something deeper, however, by including Bob Dylan’s “What Good Am I” as the opening cut on his 2010 album Praise and Blame.

It might seem, well, so unusual, but Tom Jones is actually a Bob Dylan nut.

“Bob Dylan is a one off,” Jones enthuses in a recent interview. “You can’t compare him to anybody else. He’s a unique singer-songwriter. The music that he makes is fantastic — and he’s been going as long as I have, which is a long time! [Laughs.]”

A whole new demographic — that is to say, Bob Dylan fans — had a chance to witness Tom Jones’ passion when he earned a surprise invite to the Dylan-curated MusiCares Foundation concert. Held as Bob Dylan was honored as the 2015 MusiCares Person of the Year last month in Los Angeles, the event found Jones breathing new life once more into “What Good Am I,” originally found on Dylan’s 1989 Oh Mercy studio project. Jones earned the evening’s first standing ovation.

“For Bob to have liked my recording,” Jones says, still marveling over the compliment. “You never know when you sing somebody else’s songs — which I’ve done a lot of — whether the person that wrote it likes it or not. I didn’t know, until I got the invite to do the show. So, I thought, ‘Well, he must like it.’ I was thrilled with that, you know.”

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