Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fiddle & Bow: Unreleased Live Recordings, Spring 2005

Fiddle & Bow
On Tour - Spring 2005

Absolutely Sweet Marie - Live - Detroit - April 12, 2005
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue - Live - Seattle - March 8, 2005
Stuck Inside Of Mobile - Live - Seattle - March 7, 2005
Hazel - Live - Mashantucket - April 22, 2005
Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee - Live - Oakland - March 14, 2005
Senor - Live - Chicago - April 3, 2005
Under The Red Sky - Live - Detroit - April 12, 2005
I'll Remember You - Live - Detroit - April 12, 2005
Cat's In The Well - Live - Seattle - March 7, 2005
Moonlight - Live - Seattle - March 7, 2005
Honest With Me - Live - Oakland - March 14, 2005
Mississippi - Live - Reno - March 18, 2005
All Along The Watchtower - Live - Seattle - March 7, 2005

This is a truly superlative set of songs. In the Spring of 2005, violinist Elena Fremerman had joined Bob Dylan's band for a tour of the United States, and she contributed significantly to the overall sound of the band. At the same time, recording technology had progressed to the point of capturing audience recordings that often surpassed the soundboard tapes of previous decades. These factors combined to offer one of the most coherent, compelling compilations yet presented on The Thousand Highways Collection.

Highlights include the best renditions of "Absolutely Sweet Marie," "Honest With Me," and "Mississippi" ever played outside of a studio setting. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" is played with a vocal unrivaled since it had been played in the mid-1990s. The collection also includes a rare outing of "Hazel," including a pleasant violin interlude. Outside of these highlights, the remainder of the songs prove quite strong as well - "Stuck Inside of Mobile," "Moonlight," and "Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee" are enhanced not by violin solos, but rather by the presence of a violin on their rhythmic sections, propelling the tracks along delightfully.

A handful of tracks didn't make it past the cutting room floor. "Folsom Prison Blues" was played to great acclaim in Reno, but I didn't think the vocals measured up to past outings of this classic. Similarly, "Sing Me Back Home" is an extraordinary song, but I didn't think it quite came together in the performances. I hope you'll forgive these omissions.

While Fremerman would depart the band at the end of this brief tour, the violin sound lingered on, thanks to the presence of multi-instrumentalist Donnie Herron. Never again, though, would it have such a prominent role. Luckily, due to our community's generous tapers, we've been left with extraordinary documentation of this unique period in Bob Dylan's performance career.

This will be the last entry in the chronological set of compilations that made up the second series of The Thousand Highways Collection, but I should have a set of remaining odds and ends to release next month as a 'best of the rest' affair. Until then, keep yourself healthy and listen to some good tunes!

Thanks for listening,


  1. what great timing. Just adding all your past compilations to my library when this post shows up! Thank you so much for you continued work!

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  3. Thanks again !
    Just noticed that the dates for Honest With Me and Cat's In The Well are not the same in the text and on the cover though ; which one is correct ?

  4. Oh and it seems that the Senor file is corrupted !

    1. Hahaha, that's what happens when you rush something out ahead of a vacation! So many little problems on this one... I'll be back to my computer soon, so a set of corrections will be forthcoming

  5. Looking forward to this - not particularly familiar with this tour. Thank you for a wonderful "Part 2" !

  6. Thanks for these, again very nice, live recordings

  7. Many thanks, once again .... looks good and I'm quite sure it will sound superb. Cheers.

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  9. I love this thesis and once again you tantalise with these ideas for compilations. Violin wouldn't have occurred to me, not a favourite instrument for me in the rock music genre as t'were but looking forward to this as Elana Fremerman is the exception that proves the rule. Thanks CWS as ever

  10. Was present for Elena Fremerman's addition to Bob's band during their show at the Eagles Ballroom. I have never seen him or his band as happy as during this one performance. Bob was smiling, dancing, nodding constantly, and doing "bang-bang" gun gestures with his hands at audience members. He was very much in sync with the crowds positivity. He gave Elena so many turns at solos --I felt like that this was going to be Desire...Part 2. I later learned through acquaintances that Bob let her go-- because she choose to go ahead with a planned recording session with Willie Nelson that was set prior to being officially brought into the band. Bob found out and gave her the ultimatum of "you're either in my band or you're in his." Still pretty cool that this and a handful of recordings in studio survived of this particular incarnation. Much thanks for all the time, effort, and enthusiasm put into each one of these sets---documenting what might be overlooked or forgotten moments but not lesser works of live performance. Thank you.

    1. I had thought it was a family wedding that went down and she stuck to her guns. I LOVE Elana...she's one of Austin's best musicians and her smile lights up the room.

      I'm gonna burn this and give it to her next month. CWS, you SLAY me! Can we get you to take care of the vault? ;) Bravo, hoss!
      -charley in Austin, TX

    2. These are all interesting details - I wonder which story is true? In any case, I remain confident that Elana was one of the best additions to Bob Dylan's Never-Ending Tour and that her absence was clearly felt in the following years. Hope she enjoys the disc!

  11. I am so digging this version of Honest With Me...absolutely rocking!