“Ah, me, I busted out / Don’t even ask me how / I went to get some help / I walked by a Guernsey cow / Who directed me down / To the Bowery slums,” Bob Dylan sang on “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream,” from his seminal 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home. Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, author, and expressive arts therapist Mary Lee Kortes has turned the tables on the former Robert Zimmerman somewhat with her first book, Dreaming of Dylan: 115 Dreams about Bob (BMG, November 2018, $24.99), which she will be launching on January 24 at Joe’s Pub, around the corner from the Bowery. The Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, author, and expressive arts therapist collected and edited 115 dreams about Dylan from a wide range of folks, from a retired Australian postman and a Chicago social scientist to Patti Smith and Scott Kempner, from a Texas plumber and an Israeli poet to journalist Geoff Ward and Sirius XM DJ Meg Griffin. One dreamer is even identified as Henry Porter, but as Dylan sang in “Brownsville Girl”: “The only thing we knew for sure about Henry Porter / Is that his name wasn’t Henry Porter.”
The book is beautifully designed, with the dreams accompanied by related photographs and drawings by Daniel Root, Kevin Walters, and others. Kortes is the leader of Mary Lee’s Corvette, who in 2002 released a terrific song-by-song cover of Blood on the Tracks, which resulted in Mary Lee opening for Dylan. At Joe’s Pub, Kortes, who has released such other records as The Songs of Beulah Rowley, Love Loss & Lunacy, and 700 Miles, will perform songs with her band and read from the book. “I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours,” Dylan sang in “Talkin’ World War III Blues.” Everyone will get the chance January 24 at Joe’s Pub.