Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Shadows & Rust: Unreleased Live Recordings, Summer 2015


Duquesne Whistle - Live - Ljubljana - June 25, 2015
Where Are You - Live - Tubingen - June 21, 2015
Visions Of Johanna - Live - Lorrach - July 16, 2015
Tangled Up In Blue - Live - Cordoba - July 9, 2015
Full Moon & Empty Arms - Live - Lorrach - July 16, 2015
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight - Live - Locarno - July 15, 2015
I'm A Fool To Want You - Live - Cordoba - July 9, 2015
Early Roman Kings - Live - Ljubljana - June 25, 2015
Sad Songs & Waltzes - Live - Mainz - June 20, 2015
'Til I Fell In Love With You - Live - Mainz - June 20, 2015
Lucky Old Sun - Live - San Sebastian - July 11, 2015
Soon After Midnight - Live - Bamberg - June 23, 2015
To Ramona - Live - Tubingen - June 21, 2015
Long & Wasted Years - Live - Ljubljana - June 25, 2015
Autumn Leaves - Live - Bamberg - June 23, 2015
Love Sick  - Live - Cordoba - July 9, 2015
Find yourselves a comfortable seat and get ready to listen to the definitive collection of Bob Dylan's unreleased recordings from his European Tour of Summer 2015. These were expertly taped by a variety of the great fans and generously published online for us all to enjoy.

More concerts than usual are represented in this set, since so many tapes were available in excellent quality. Even the most compromised of these, Cordoba and Tubingen, were marvelous articles. In particular, many have asserted that Cordoba affords the greatest performance of the tour; though the tape is marred by an enthusiastic crowd (all the better in person, to be fair), the performance overwhelms this concern. Tubingen, on the other hand, has an intriguing ambiance provided by heavy rain, which occasionally present a somewhat less distinct picture of the events onstage. Nonetheless, these are minor quibbles indeed once your ears hear the quality of the material presented at these shows.

Bob Dylan continued his strikingly excellent performance quality of the past couple years, marrying it to some new songs and the return of some older songs. Shadows In The Night is very well-represented, accounting for five of the sixteen songs here. Tempest is also prominent, providing four of the tracks. Of the remainder, one is a never-before-performed cover (Willie Nelsons' "Sad Songs & Waltzes") and the rest come from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1990s.

Noteworthy arrangements include a propulsive, jovial piano-driven rendition of "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight," a slick salsa-like performance of "To Ramona," and the jazzy "'Til I Fell In Love With You." I'm not sure the last constitutes a distinct arrangement, but the loose performance speaks of Dylan's recent Sinatra influences - dig the repeated final words.

Stalwarts from past tours include "Duquesne Whistle," with an extended instrumental opener reminiscent of its studio recording, "Tangled Up In Blue," "Early Roman Kings," now with one less guitar and four more maracas, "Soon After Midnight," a slightly re-written "Long & Wasted Years," and the outstanding "Love Sick," moved to a closing spot. 

It's worth noting that this compilation presents a vision of the songs that is not especially rooted in the order they were played in concert. "Duquesne Whistle" functions as an ideal opener, but it was consistently played midway through the first set. No concert featured nearly this many songs from Shadows In The Night, and most shows featured more uptempto songs. For this collection, I wanted to focus primarily on the more jazz-like elements of the show. This presents a more cohesive set, but the purist will undoubtedly want to seek out a few of the complete concerts. I recommend Mainz, Bamberg, Cordoba and Lorrach for the best representation. The set changed significantly over that period as well, moving from a set heavily dependent on Tempest to one that featured more old classics like "All Along The Watchtower," "Desolation Row" and "Blind Willie McTell."

I hope you enjoy the compilation!

This release should get you European listeners ready for Bob Dylan's upcoming 2015 Fall Tour; for all the rest of us, it'll have to tide us over until the man and his band return to our own concert halls.

Next month will feature 1992's live recordings. These will be an interesting comparison to the 2015 performances, since the Fall Tour of 1992 also presented a remarkably jazz-like aesthetic. Until then, keep yourself healthy and listen to some good tunes.



  1. Seconded. And--my pleasure--thirded.

  2. Holy word! Is that Barry Gibbs hitting a falsetto note on the opening of Duquesne Whistle? Or some of Charlie's guitar magic? I've definitely heard the man conjure sounds I never knew were attainable on a guitar a few times in the past...

    1. Haha, nice catch - it seems to be an enthusiastic audience member. You know, I actually had an edit that was a little shorter, but the result was that the song basically faded in to that guy shouting, and I didn't want that to be the first sound you hear turning on the record. So you've got a ten second longer CD due to that :)

    2. I love it. Such a great opening. Really gets the energy going right when the song kicks in. And you can hear a guy two or three songs in hollering Play it Bobby! Little things like that add so much. Thanks again for another great collection. I have most of the Summer shows, but I hadn't heard Cordova or Ljubljana yet, so a lot of this one is new to me.

  3. Thanks for this. I'm seeing Bob in Cardiff in October, and I've been listening to a few of the recordings from the summer tour, and they sound like he's in great form.

  4. thank you - great to Mainz represented - I made it to that concert, from Singapore, and I was thrilled at the performance and the set changes / song debuts - all from a front row seat, thanks to a generous Dylan fan that I met along the way.

  5. Wow, this really is some strong medicine. You've done a fantastic job of pulling out some strong rarities and highlights and sequencing them so wonderfully. A really smart way of presenting stuff from the 2015 shows without it being a repetition of the 2013 and 2014 collections. Bravo.

    1. Thanks for noticing. Therein lies the biggest challenge in compiling recent years, to the extent that I had not planned a 2015 one before Dylan pulled out a bunch of new songs and some that had not been played to any great extent since pre-2013.

  6. Hi. Many thanks for this compo. I'm missing Zaragoza and San Sebastian. Any links you can give me ??

  7. This is just terrific!! Thank you!

  8. Many thanks.... again. Great job and great selection.

  9. Excellent work I come via Electric Ladyland after downloading this comp. on there.

    I was going to bypass this year as I had plenty of recordings from the last few years. As for the latest album I found it hard to believe that Dylan would be able to improve on the recorded studio arrangements.
    The master of surprises always defies the odds and I'm A Fool To Want You and Til I Fell In Love With You have immeasurably great arrangements on these live performances.
    Many thanks and keep on rolling down the road for many years to come.

    1. I was just as shocked, assuming incorrectly that Dylan's excellent studio vocals were a result of ideal studio conditions and that the arrangements were too precise to be workable in a live setting. "I'm A Fool To Want You" is an absolute triumph here, though I was quite impressed with "Autumn Leaves" as well.

  10. This is outstanding. Thank you!

  11. This is outstanding. Thank you!

  12. If you get some more good recordings from this tour, I'd love to hear them. I saw him in Cardiff on 10/29, and it was a great show.

    1. There may be something brewing. I'm trying to collect all of the performances of his recent covers for a potential "Shadows In The Night"-related project.

    2. That would be great. While I really wanted to hear Desolation Row, and Visions of Johanna - which he did play in Germany - I was delighted to hear his covers. I'd love to even see him do an entire show of that material, though I'd prefer it to be an a venue that is a bit more intimate than the arena in Cardiff.

  13. This looks great - many thanks - but I have tried to download several times, and always get a Network Error message. Any advice most welcome. Thanks again.