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August 03, 2009


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It's an interesting point you make about the fine line between inspiration and mere derivation. If you were hardline about it you could argue that Woody Guthrie fans may have been singular unimpressed by an upstart "copyist" going by the name Bob Dylan.

I guess the elusive quality that makes an artist transcend their influences is the ability to put familiar building blocks together in a way that sounds fresh.

Artists with their own voice can steal straight from their heroes and we love them for it. It makes us relisten to the people that influenced them with new ears.

When that crucial element is missing you're just left with that slightly deflating "heard it all before" feeling.

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