SCARLET RIVERA, the legendary violinist of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue and a key player in Dylan’s album ‘Desire’, presented a really memorable show at ‘Loco Club’ in Valencia featuring Dylan repertoire & accompanied by talented New York songwriter Bradley Lauretti. Scarlet Rivera has a place in rock history as a pioneer of the electric violin. Starting from a classical background, she broke the rules by experimenting with all genres of music. She was a revolutionary from the start and Bob Dylan recognised her genius by inviting her to the legendary Rolling Thunder Revue tour and to the recording of ‘Desire’, chosen by Time magazine as one of the five best albums of Dylan’s career. As the first female member of Dylan’s band, Scarlet appeared on four additional multi-platinum albums. She is also known for countless recordings and performances with the most influential artists of our time; she has performed at Carnegie Hall, with Duke Ellington’s orchestra and at the Kennedy Center. Her new album, ‘All of Me’, has received stellar reviews worldwide. Scarlet continues her journey of expression and creativity performing with legends such as Indigo Girls, Tracy Chapman, David Johansen and five-time Grammy winner Cindy Cashdollar.


24/7 VALENCIA: Could you tell us something about each track on your latest album, ‘All of Me’ ?

SCARLET RIVERA: “All of Me” is a self-portrait of the winding road of my life journey…Its ups and downs…accomplishments and disappointments and how it all has forged who I am.

“Lady Liberty” is about the fragile state of Democracy in the United States and the dark forces we are up against.

“Sacred Wheel” takes us around the circle of life, the wheel of Dharma or karma where sometimes we win, sometimes we lose.

“Songbird” is about and for my friend Joni Mitchell…whose life is like a painting that is inspiring and never fades.

24/7 VALENCIA: Describe the magic of the violin…  

SCARLET RIVERA: There are infinite possibilities in the sound of a violin, and it is one of the most evocative instruments in the world. I spent my life exploring and expanding the versatility of the violin in many genres and have been told I have a signature, iconic sound.  From a humble beginning in a small town outside Chicago, the violin has taken me on a magical journey around the world to work with master artists and places I never dreamed I would see.

24/7 VALENCIA: What has been your impression of Valencia and Spain? 

SCARLET RIVERA: I am deeply impressed with the sense of culture of Valencia and the people. I am inspired by the beauty of the sea and landscapes throughout Spain that have not been destroyed and the forest lands that are still intact and saved from overdevelopment.  The audiences are very special as it’s clear they really love and appreciate art, beauty and music.  They have been very passionate about my performances and embraced my voice and story

24/7 VALENCIA: In your opinion, who is Bob Dylan and what does he mean to you?  

SCARLET RIVERA: The words and profound messages of BD awakened me socially while I was still in high school, but I never dreamed I would meet and be chosen to perform with as his right hand person a few years later.  He has been the most singular and important voice to awaken generations of people around the world.  My life and times with BD, which lasted long after the ‘Desire’ album and the Rolling Thunder tour… continue to inspire me and set a high bar for me to live up to as an artist. 

24/7 VALENCIA: Could you share with us some of your best memories of the Rolling Thunder Review?

SCARLET RIVERA: An incredible experience every day and night. I was able to perform with Bob and other great artists on that legendary bill. You can see a glimpse of what it might be like if you watch the Martin Scorsese film. The live footage is riveting.

24/7 VALENCIA: How do you find living and working in Los Angeles as a musician?

SCARLET RIVERA: In Los Angeles, I am fortunate to work with many wonderful virtuoso instrumentalists, producers and film directors.  I do a great deal of recording sessions in LA and for artists around the world, and now moving into film scoring and I will be on the upcoming film score of a Viggo Mortensen film that he wrote, directed and is starring in, so for me it is a vibrant and artistic centre.

24/7 VALENCIA: What are your hopes for the future of the United States?

SCARLET RIVERA:  Listen to the words of my song “Lady Liberty” which is a cautionary tale of dark forces that threaten the very foundation of Democracy …shake its windows and rattle its walls.

24/7 VALENCIA: You are of Irish and Sicilian descent. What does Ireland and Italy signify to you?

SCARLET RIVERA:  I love the history of Celtic music and folklore, traditional songs and culture of Ireland, which has led to me composing albums of original Celtic music.

I was close to my Sicilian Italian family and grandparents who were born there. I hope to see Sicily and deeply love the culture and history of Italy and the people, food and culture is wonderful.  I am returning to Italy to perform more concerts and have recorded a song ‘Hotel Supramonte” by Fabrizio De André to honour this great Italian icon and his legacy.

Interview by Will McCarthy

Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’

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