Category Archives: Music Calendar

October 6: Bootleg series vol 8 Tell Tale Signs by Bob Dylan was released in 2008


 Altars are burning, the flames far and wide
The foe has crossed over from the other side
They tip their caps from the top of the hill
You can feel them come, more brave blood to spill

– ‘Cross the Green Mountain

The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 – Tell Tale Signs: Rare and Unreleased 1989–2006 is a compilation album the official “bootleg series” of rare and unissued recordings. It was originally released as a double, and (limited edition) triple album. It was later released as a single album, consisting of disc one of the double set. The three-disc version of Tell Tale Signs includes a detailed 56 page book annotating the recordings by Larry Sloman, and a book of photos of “The Collected Single Sleeves of Bob Dylan” drawing on Dylan releases from around the world, plus a 7″ vinyl single with two tracks from the set: “Dreamin’ Of You” and “Ring Them Bells”.

The bootleg series—the commentary to the canon—did finally catch up to the latter phases of his recorded output. Again it was a revelation and a fantastic collection of alternative versions and outtakes. It is a strong confirmation of the sky-high quality of Dylan’s latter-day production.

Continue reading October 6: Bootleg series vol 8 Tell Tale Signs by Bob Dylan was released in 2008

September 7: Tempest by Bob Dylan was released in 2012


September 7: Tempest by Bob Dylan was released in 2012

Shine your light
Movin’ on
You burned so bright
Roll on, John

Three years have gone since we was offered Tempest from Bob Dylan, it still sounds great.

Tempest is the thirty-fifth studio album by Dylan, released on September 7 to 11 (different countries and continents), 2012 . The album was recorded at Jackson Browne’s Groove Masters Studios in Santa Monica, California. Dylan wrote all of the songs himself with the exception of the track “Duquesne Whistle”, which he co-wrote with Robert Hunter.

Tempest was very well received by contemporary music critics, who praised its traditional music influences and Dylan’s dark lyrics. The album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200.

The album’s title initially spurred rumors that it would be Dylan’s final album, based on its similarity to the title of Shakespeare’s final play.
Dylan later responded:

“Shakespeare’s last play was called The Tempest. It wasn’t called just plain “Tempest”. The name of my record is just plain Tempest. It’s two different titles.”

Some facts from Wikipedia:

Released From September 7 to September 11, 2012
Recorded January–March 2012 at Groove Masters Studios in Santa Monica, California
Genre Rock, folk rock
Length 1:08:31
Label Columbia
Producer Bob Dylan

Here are three tracks from Tempest (with my analysis, sort of…):

Tin Angel 
“For me, after listening to it for two days, the most obvious masterpiece on Bob Dylan’s new album is the murder ballad, Tin Angel. It’s a story-song, the kind Dylan has done so magnificently many times before. Cross the Green Mountain, Tweeter and the Monkey Man and  Brownsville Girl springs to mind. They are extremely cinematic songs and they tell a story over many verses.  Another song that pops up in my head is the wonderful story of Spanish Jack by Willy DeVille, not very like in sound but in tone.”  Read More…

Pay in Blood
“Bob Dylan says the stigma of slavery ruined America and he doubts the country can get rid of the shame because it was “founded on the backs of slaves.”

Bob Dylan told in a recent interview with Rolling Stone Magazine that in America “people are at each other’s throats just because they are of a different color, it will hold any nation back.” He went on to say that black people know that some white people  “didn’t want to give up slavery.””  Read more…

Scarlet Town
“The song feels like a mash of several songs, and that’s actually what it is. He draws inspiration from the old ballad Barbara Allen, but he just uses it as a framework to tell an even more sinister tale. The new parts of the song also feels like a split between two different songs, one set in biblical times and the other addressing the state of USA/The Western world today.”  Read more…

Continue reading September 7: Tempest by Bob Dylan was released in 2012

August 13: Bob Dylan @ Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – 2002 (audio)

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Corel Centre
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
13 August 2002

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
  • Charlie Sexton (guitar)
  • Larry Campbell (guitar, mandolin, pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar)
  • Tony Garnier (bass)
  • George Recile (drums & percussion)

Continue reading August 13: Bob Dylan @ Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – 2002 (audio)

August 11: Charlie Sexton was born in 1968


August 11: Charlie Sexton was born in 1968

Charles Wayne Sexton (born August 11, 1968) is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter best known for the 1985 hit “Beat’s So Lonely” and as the guitarist for Bob Dylan’s backing band from 1999 to 2002 and since 2009. His style of playing has varied and he has been associated with artists in the blues, folk, rock and punk genres.

I first saw Charlie Sexton in the 80s and I have his first two vinyls in the attic (I don’t play vinyls anymore). He was promoted as this wonder kid, a new guitar god and he sounded and looked great. He was good then and he has gotten better. His first records suffered by that “eighties sound” but there are some good songs on them, and the guitar playing is tremendous.

On the two concerts in Norway 2014, Charlie really did shine, he had a more prominent role and his guitar was more evident in Dylan’s live set. Looking forward to see him in Oslo in Oktober.

US legend Bob Dylan (R) performs on stag

Association with Bob Dylan:

In 1999, Sexton was hired by Bob Dylan to replace Bucky Baxter. Sexton had previously played with Dylan during a pair of Austin, Texas, concerts in 1996, and on some demos recorded in the fall of 1983.

Sexton’s residency with Dylan from 1999–2002 brought him great exposure, with many critics singling out the interplay between him and Larry Campbell, who was also a guitarist in Dylan’s backing band. Hailed as one of Dylan’s best bands, the group recorded a number of studio recordings, including Things Have Changed (from the 2000 film Wonder Boys) and 2001’s critically acclaimed album, Love and Theft. He also performed and appeared with them in 2003’s Masked & Anonymous.

In October 2009, Sexton rejoined Dylan’s touring band, replacing Denny Freeman.

Continue reading August 11: Charlie Sexton was born in 1968

August 10: Bob Dylan released Shot of Love in 1981


August 10: Bob Dylan released Shot of Love in 1981

I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other times it’s only me
I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man
Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand

Shot of Love is Bob Dylan’s 21st studio album, it was released by Columbia Records in August 1981.

It is generally considered to be Dylan’s last of a trilogy of overtly religious, Christian albums. Also, it was his first since becoming born-again to focus on secular themes, from straight-ahead love songs to an ode to the deceased comedian Lenny Bruce. Arrangements are rooted more in rock’n’roll, less in gospel than on Dylan’s previous two albums. So maybe it is more of a new start than a gospel-tinged end?

Bob Dylan France 1981

Continue reading August 10: Bob Dylan released Shot of Love in 1981