Monday, April 28, 2014

One More Night: Unreleased Live Recordings, 1961 - 2014 (Volume Two)

One More Night: Unreleased Live Recordings
1961 - 2014
Volume Two
God Knows – April 8, 2006
I Believe In You – July 10, 1981
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat – May 14, 1966
Hazel – April 29, 2005
Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues – June 16, 2008
Gypsy Davy – 1961
Cry A While – November 27, 2005
Slow Train – July 25, 1981
Huck’s Tune – April 4, 2014
Oxford Town – October 25, 1990
Weary Blues From Waiting – April 18, 1976
Watching The River Flow – September 12, 1993
Pancho & Lefty – June 11, 2004
That Lucky Old Sun – February 24, 1986
Million Miles – February 5, 1999
Answer Me, My Love – October 17, 1991
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – July 23, 1981


I Don’t Believe You – September 3, 1965
Tangled Up In Blue – December 10, 1978
Every Grain Of Sand – June 30, 1984
Moon River – August 27, 1990
Absolutely Sweet Marie – April 8, 2006
Heartbreak Hotel – August 16, 2009
Let Your Light Shine On Me – July 19, 2013


As with Volume One, you’ve got a varied and excellent set of songs here strung together by nothing but their common glimpses of poetic beauty and outrageous fun.

“God Knows” opens the collection, and is as fine a rendition of the song as you’ll hear. It’s the last performance to date as well, which is interesting. The reading of “we’ll get all the way from here to there if we have to walk a million miles by candlelight” sounds like the singer means it! An appropriate way to begin this journey through the years.

“I Believe In You” brings the tone down, but the kicking organ and drums keep this from moving into fully laid-back territory. There’s almost a reggae tone to the proceedings, which will be echoed in the compilation’s final song. This performance of “I Believe In You” comes from the period that Paul Williams describes as sounding like the singer was singing as if his life depended on it. Dylan’s truly committed to this one.

A positively raucous “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” picks things back up, with Robbie Robertson providing solos. The mic distortion works to this songs advantage, only really presenting on the singer “Yes I” at the start of chorus.

“Hazel” is tender, Dylan wringing out every bit of its torch ballad character – the highlight is clearly the phrase “you got something I want plenty of.” You’ve never heard him sing it like this.

“Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” appear with the same arrangement you will find on the Rockin’ In Rio cut from the Down The River record. Here, though, the singer and band really get into the groove of the song, as it gets more spirited with each verse. This song has always been a favorite of mine, and the arrangement from 2008 stands up alongside arrangements from years past.

“Gypsy Davy” is among the earliest recordings in this collection, apparently being sung at the home of Sid Gleason in East Orange. It was almost relegated to ‘bonus track’ status, but its connection to Dylan’s career clinched its inclusion – he would revisit the folk standard on 1993’s World Gone Wrong LP, and would rework it into a new creation on 2012’s Tempest. The singer sounds unsure of himself on this one, though even here you can hear him reworking phrases while telling the tale. His voice is quite warm and pleasant as well.

“Cry A While” is, in many ways, the opposite of the preceding track. Loud, in your face, and leaning heavily on an inventive start-stop rhythm for effect, it’s almost surprising that both songs were recorded by the same artist. Yet, as this collection demonstrates, an artist can contain multitudes. This was a song that was edged out of my Thousand Hearts & Eyes compilation, since it was performed a few days after the Brixton Residency.

The next song, “Slow Train,” has long been a cherished unreleased performance. Truly the most fire-and-brimstone performance the song has ever received, it ends abruptly as the power is lost. Despite being fragmentary, the song cries out with all the fury of Dylan’s 1966 heydey, exhorting listeners to keep their eyes on that ‘slow train coming up around the bend.’

One of the most recent songs in this collection, “Huck’s Tune,” could not have been excluded once heard. As beautiful as the breezy studio recording of this song is, the live performance is heartbreaking. The readings of “the river is wider than a mile” and “you're in your girlish prime” are spine-tingling with the presence of love and loss; you really come to understand that what the narrator cherished was beautiful but fleeting, and has been lost for now. We are blessed to live in a time when this kind of performance art is available to us as the click of a button.

“Oxford Town” is a rare one-off rendition from 1990 in, of all places, Oxford, Mississippi. Played as a request, it is surprisingly fully formed and comes across as part of a fairly carnival-like atmosphere. More than simply a rarity, this song is a pleasant surprise.

“Weary Blues From Waiting” is another one-off. It was performed as a duet with Bob Neuwirth on the second Rolling Thunder Revue, and both put themselves fully into this Hank Williams lament.

The next track, “Watching The River Flow,” is not a notable performance. It is, however, absolutely a blast to listen to. The 1973 song has rarely sounded more alive, with its arrangement very reminiscent of Johnny Cash’s great Sun Records recordings. Please note that it has been slightly truncated to fit the run time of the CD; seek out the original recording if you would like to hear the extended fills in the last couple of minutes.

“Pancho & Lefty,” much like “Huck’s Tune,” is just gorgeous. This Townes Van Zandt classic has been performed by Bob Dylan several times over the years, beginning in 1989, but never with the depth of sorrow echoed here. You can see the dusty prairie, feel Cleveland’s cold, and weep alongside the singer.

“That Lucky Old Sun” is another cover, frequently associated with Ray Charles though performed by a vast array of artists. Considered an American standard, Dylan has knocked it out of the park each time he’s performed it. You can find other renditions on the Series of Dreams and Keep Humming compilations in the Thousand Highways Collection.

“Million Miles” is one of my favorite blues songs by Bob Dylan, and he frequently performs it with panache. Though this performance does not match those of 2003, it is excellent in its own right. Note the delightful ad-libbing of “well maybe just a few” after the singer confesses he’s “done so many things [he] never did intend to do.” You just can’t help but crack a smile.

The penultimate song, “Answer Me, My Love,” was a song that the singer would perform several times throughout 1991, sometimes claiming that it would be his next single. You have to wonder if this was just a laugh, or if there is a lost studio take of this sitting in the vault. Regardless, the recording here, though marred with some feedback, is a tender addition to Dylan’s catalog of American standards.

Finally, “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” concludes the set in a jaunty reggae arrangement. It sounds like a more polished, and more lively, take on the 1978 version. It’s got some new lyrics, but the harmonica and guitar really steal the show on a final jam. This closed many nights of the 1981 tours, and I think it does a marvelous job here as well.

Of the bonus tracks, it’s worth remarking that “Tangled Up In Blue” is performed with the biblical re-writes of late 1978, and that “Moon River” was performed as a tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan in 1990. “Absolutely Sweet Marie” is just great fun, and though the sound quality’s not great on “Let Your Light Shine On Me,” it’s a fine reminder of Dylan’s commitment to country gospel music.

I hope this set is as nice as the last, and those to come. Enjoy, everybody! And until next time, keep yourself healthy and listen to some good tunes.

Ever yours,

Update: Anyone who downloaded this in the first 24 hours is missing the lossless version of Track 5, "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues." The problem in the complete download link has been corrected, but I am including a link here for those who would just like to download that one song.


  1. take it easy - you bring joy in our listenings. I catch this delay as just a chance to send you my thanks

  2. echo Alexan's comments
    You're a fuckin legend

  3. Worry not - you do sterling work, and it's very much appreciated.

  4. Just adding my thanks here. Don't worry, you already gave us so much—incredible work and quality… take the time you need, we'll wait gladly listening to some of your previous compilations!

  5. Ditto to all the above. To paraphrase dear old Larry 'Lambchop' Eden, 'we don't fuckin' deserve you'.

  6. Add my voice to the chorus of thanks. Until I heard the material you have collected here, the post 2000 live Dylan was closed to me. 'Desolation Row' 2003 got to me and rest followed... Wonderful stuff.

    1. This is really nice to hear. Developing this collection has led to me make some discoveries too. It's really remarkable that a single artist's music could contain so many unique dimensions. Glad you enjoy it!

  7. your very good man..Thanks ...have a nice weekend Bonne

  8. Wowser! what a great 3CD set these two and th bonus tracks make!