Dylan writes; John sings. But it feels like it’s more than that. We learned how Dylan challenges himself when writing a new song by choosing elements he wants to include, such a topic, a chord change or a musical genre. As John pointed out this isn’t a new technique, but Dylan is doing a high wire act with his choices and number of challenges per song. Sounds like this leads to songs that in turn bring an exciting challenge to John to sing. They raise the bar for each other.
Dylan brings the linguistic gymnastics and John brings the groove.
It leads to some great tunes. Only Smoke is a song originally written as part of a musical theater project called Princess Pam. It’s a project that stagnated but gave birth to Munson-Hicks Party Supplies. It’s a song that draws from Dylan’s personal experience but speaks to John’s history as well, going back to a University trombone tryout. It’s an interesting story you can hear on the full interview. And it’s made even more intriguing watching the video, created by Jennifer Davis and Joshua Sundby with John as Medusa in a bikini. (His observation, not mine!)