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New Bob Dylan reggae remix made at Prairie Sun Recording Studios in Cotati

Well-known reggae record producer Doctor Dread of Calistoga has created a new 12-inch vinyl disc, released July 17 by Sony, featuring two reggae remixes of Bob Dylan’s 1983 track “Jokerman.”

Doctor Dread spent two days last February at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati working on the project, said the studio’s founder and owner, Mark “Mooka” Rennick.

While there was no visit from Dylan himself, Rennick and his crew relished working with Doctor Dread, who has collaborated with legendary reggae stars such as Bob Marley, Black Uhuru, Jimmy Cliff, Steel Pulse, The Wailers and Bunny Wailer.

“Doctor Dread was a breath of fresh air, between his beret and wry grin. He’s full of stories,” Rennick said in his Prairie Sun blog. “We did multiple takes in different styles to focus in on what the track needed.”

Rennick added in a phone interview this week that the project came to him when Doctor Dread and his current collaborators found travel difficult because of the pandemic. “The pandemic gave me a great opportunity,” Rennick said.

The original “Jokerman” recording features work by star guitarists Mark Knopfler and Mick Taylor, which is still audible in the remix, Rennick said. The disc also includes two reggae remixes of Dylan’s “I And I” from 1998.

The original versions of both tracks appeared on Dylan’s ‘Infidels’ album with Sly & Robbie as the rhythm section. The two “I And I” remixes were previously released on ‘Is It Rolling Bob: A Reggae Tribute To Bob Dylan’ (2003) while the ‘Jokerman’ remixes are newly commissioned and previously unreleased.

A limited number of the discs were made available to the Next Record Store in Santa Rosa, with widespread digital release from Sony expected by July 31, said Bryce Dow-Williamson, publicist for the project.

Rennick acted as the studio engineer for the project, with help from his assistant engineer, Max Hein.

Founded by Reninck in 1978, Prairie Sun has hosted a long list of top talent, including Tom Waits, Van Morrison, Greg Allman, Kate Wolf, Mickey Hart, Primus, Faith No More, the Melvins, Ramblin’ Jack Eliot and Dick Dale.

You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at dan.taylor@pressdemocrat.com or 707-521-5243. On Twitter @danarts.

Dan Taylor

Arts & Entertainment, The Press Democrat

Do you take fun seriously? I know I do. Tell me what you want to know about arts and entertainment in the North Bay to make the best use of your leisure time and money. As a longtime local arts journalist, I have learned where to look and who to ask.

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