In August of 1966 Bob Dylan disappeared from the folk/rock scene for eight years. During that time he started a journey that he would keep returning to for the rest of his career: exploring the roots and traditions of American music. He and The Band spent two years making some of the most revolutionary/traditional music of the modern era (The Basement Tapes.) The Band continued this exploration with their music. Dylan’s music from the 1970s on has continued to explore these themes. In the course we will explore this music and its importance in understanding the threads and richness of these traditions and their influence on contemporary music.