Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Non-Music Disclaimer Post

Hello everyone,

In light of the recent news stories about how Prince is handling distribution of his music online, I would like to say once again that if anyone finds this website to be aiding in the distribution of music that should not be accessible, please send me a message or post about it, and I will be happy to remove any or all of the links found here. This blog is not financially detrimental to any artist or record company, because none of this is available for purchase, and I am gaining no profit or recognition from the posts, as there are no ads and my name is not associated with the site. I claim no ownership of any kind over the music presented here, and am only presenting a coherent exhibition of music that is available elsewhere on the internet. As stated above, if this is problematic, or offends any party responsible for this music, I will remove it as soon as I am notified.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Keep Humming: Unreleased Live Recordings, 1999 - 2002

Keep Humming: Live Recordings, 1999 - 2002

Hallelujah, I'm Ready To Go: September 23, 2000
Roving Blade: March 17, 2000 (Late Show)
Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie: July 26, 1999
Satisfied Mind: November 9, 1999
This World Can't Stand Long: November 3, 2001
I Am The Man, Thomas: February 9, 2002
White Dove: April 3, 2000
Lucky Old Sun: June 29, 2000
Wait For The Light To Shine: November 19, 2001
Pass Me Not, O' Gentle Savior: March 21, 2000
Roving Gambler: March 10, 2000 (Early)
Long Black Veil: July 1, 2000
You're Gonna Quit Me: April 8, 1999
Searching For A Soldier's Grave: November 19, 2001
Somebody Touched Me: July 16, 2000
Rock Of Ages: March 16, 2000
Duncan & Brady: September 29, 2000
Rank Strangers To Me: July 16, 2000
Hummingbird: November 3, 2001
Stone Walls & Steel Bars: June 21, 2000
Delia: September 19, 2000
A Voice From On High: October 5, 2002

 Bonus Tracks
Blue Bonnet Girl: November 1, 2000
Dark As A Dungeon: June 21, 2000


Welcome to the show, folks. This is true good old-fashioned music here. Twenty-two tracks of pure bluegrass, gospel, blues and ballads. Many of the songs here date from the early twentieth century, though a few are earlier. As far as I can tell, even the comparatively recent songs sound like they could date from the Civil War era.

Of particular note is this beautiful performance of "Roving Blade," so different in presentation from its 1992 guise. The hymns are especially moving, including "This World Can't Stand Long," "Pass Me Not, O' Gentle Savior," "Rock Of Ages," and "A Voice From On High." Don't think this is a low-key set, though! The band can move, too, and despite their high-minded lyrics "Hallelujah, I'm Ready To Go," "I Am The Man, Thomas," and "Somebody Touched Me" will get your foot to tapping. The secular songs here are of remarkable quality too, including heartfelt performances of the standard "Lucky Old Sun," Blind Willie McTell's "Delia," the postwar ballad "Searching For A Soldier's Grave," and a deeply moving "White Dove." Not all of the songs are equally brilliant, but even the less perfect numbers are classics.

I would like to draw the listener's attention to two tracks, though, to lead you on to another recording. "This World Can't Stand Long" and "Hummingbird" are drawn from a Nashville concert in 2001, and that evening stands as one of the towering records of the Never-Ending Tour. The sound, for one reason or another, is very resonant, providing an almost impressionist interpretation of the show. It almost couldn't have sounded better in person! Seek this show out and you will not be disappointed.

Much as the Golden Vanity record stands as the essential collection of covers from 1988 to 1992, I hope this CD will serve much the same purpose for 1999 to 2002. The only tracks missing are some of the electric covers from 1999 and 2000 that were outside the scope of this acoustic album, including "Folsom Prison Blues," "It's Too Late," "Big River," "Not Fade Away," "Hootchie Cootchie Man," "House of the Rising Sun," and "My Blue-Eyed Jane." A handful of acoustic tracks from 1999 - 2002 are missing as well: "Blue-Bonnet Girl" and "Dark As A Dungeon" are the most prominent, and these are included as bonus tracks, since they just don't match the quality of the tracks presented. I'm sure you won't have any trouble seeking those other songs out if you desire them.

Unfortunately, there really have been no official releases related to this material, besides some obscure used records you can find on Amazon (in particular, the rare Live 1961-2000). If you'd like to hear what Dylan could do with this style in a studio session, check out his duet with Ralph Stanley on The Bootleg Series, Volume 8: Tell Tale Signs and his renditions of "Dixie" and "Diamond Joe" on the Masked & Anonymous Soundtrack

Hopefully you will enjoy this record as much as I do! Put it on for a drive in the country, and you'll have a fine time. Next week we will be exploring the best cuts from Bob Dylan's 2002 Fall Tour, which you may know for the appearance of the keyboard on-stage, or for the great performances of several classic Warren Zevon songs. Either way, it's considered one of his best twenty-first century tours for a good reason! Until then, keep yourself healthy and listen to some good tunes.


Note: The download has been switched to a sinle-link on Mediafire. Let's see if this Mediafire subscription is worthwhile!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Lonesome Valley: Unreleased Live Recordings, 2000

The Lonesome Valley: Field Recordings, 2000

Don't Think Twice, It's Alright - March 15
Tomorrow Is A Long Time - March 10, Early Show
Visions Of Johanna - September 24
Song To Woody - March 16
Fourth Time Around - September 24
Chimes Of Freedom - November 2
 Country Pie - March 10, Late Show
10,000 Men - November 12
I Threw It All Away - November 2
Things Have Changed - March 10, Early Show
Man Of Peace - September 19
If Dogs Run Free - October 1
Tell Me That It Isn't True - March 10, Early Show
Dignity - March 10, Early Show
Tryin' To Get To Heaven - October 3
Wicked Messenger - September 19

Bonus Tracks:
 Blind Willie McTell - November 19
Down In The Flood - September 20
Frankie Lee & Judas Priest - September 25
Gotta Serve Somebody - September 24
My Back Pages - March 10, Late Show

MP3 Links:

Welcome friends,

Though it retained a unique character, the tours of 2000 retained a very similar sound to 1999. The band was perhaps a little tighter, and the sound got a bit more country, but the style was largely the same. One of the major developments was new songs in the setlists. Dig into the performances of songs here from Nashville Skyline, or the jazzy "If Dogs Run Free" and "Tryin' To Get To Heaven," and it becomes apparent that Dylan was working to develop a new, more retro style on these tours. In fact, looking back, you can see where "Love & Theft" came from.

Though the jazz and country rock sounds were fascinating, the acoustic sets were generally regarded as the highlights of the year. To represent that here, you've got the finest tracks of the year: the melancholy "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" and "Tomorrow Is A Long Time," the up-tempo "Visions Of Johanna," the majestic "Chimes of Freedom," and what is almost certainly the finest track of the set - "Fourth Time Around." This song has never sounded better.

I have included a handful of bonus tracks; these consist of recordings that I edited and tried to slot in, but which ended up getting cut from the final release for one reason or another. Those of you with portable music players may enjoy adding them to a playlist, since that does not have the time limitations of a compact disc. 

There are few production notes on this one. Standardizing track volume was very challenging, so it's possible that this may not flow as well as some others. Beyond compression, it is doubtful that much more could be accomplished. I hope it sounds as good to your ears as it does to mine.

If you enjoy this release, you will surely enjoy the original studio renditions of these songs, available to purchase from Columbia Records:

Folks may note the absence of any of Bob Dylan's excellent covers from this period. Worry not – these will be present in next week’s installment, which centers entirely on those songs. It’s a real firecracker! Until then, keep yourself healthy and listen to some good tunes.


Monday, January 13, 2014

The Endless Highway: Live 1999

The Endless Highway - Field Recordings, 1999

Girl From The North Country - February 24
John Brown - July 26
Mama, You Been On My Mind - July 6
Tryin' To Get To Heaven - April 7
Boots Of Spanish Leather - November 18
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues - July 6
Highlands - November 18
Down Along The Cove - November 8
I Want You - October 26 (Evening)
Big River - November 8
Man In The Long Black Coat - November 8
I & I - November 10
Not Dark Yet - July 6

Lossless Links:

MP3 Link:

Greetings Friends,

This is not to be missed. One of the peaks of the Never-Ending Tour, 1999 may be one of Dylan's finest years on-stage. After years of building credibility throughout the 1990s, the performances exploded at the turn of the century. It would be difficult to listen to this "Girl From The North Country" or "Boots of Spanish Leather" and not be moved. Similarly, it would be tough to not laugh at the meandering narrative of "Highlands" or feel a chill at the menacing "John Brown." You can groove along with the country raves in "Mama, You Been On My Mind," "Down Along The Cove," and Johnny Cash's immortal "Big River." The renditions of "I Want You" and "Man In The Long Black Coat" are definitive to my ears, despite other excellent airings of these songs.

The set is '60s-heavy, but only because Dylan was truly in touch with whatever spirit moved him to write these songs more than three decades earlier. Songs of a later vintage are no less impressive, and you can hear on this record the debut acoustic performance of "Tryin' To Get To Heaven." "Not Dark Yet" is truly monumental and an appropriate climax to the record - give it a listen.

Hope you like this one. Words won't do it justice. Don't forget to turn up the sound.

If you enjoy it, and would like to purchase the original studio recordings of these songs, you can find them at the following links:


Next week we will explore the various tours of 2000; this includes the very highly regarded Portsmouth, Santa Cruz, and Anaheim shows, among many other classics. It will be similar in format and sound to this week's release, but with an exciting selection of the very best songs from that year's shows. Until then, keep yourself healthy and listen to some good tunes.


Monday, January 6, 2014

In Prague: Unreleased Live Recordings, 1995


In Prague: Live 1995

Down In The Flood - March 11
Just Like A Woman - March 13
Tangled Up In Blue - March 12
License To Kill - March 13
Boots Of Spanish Leather - March 11
Mr. Tambourine Man - March 13
Desolation Row - March 12
God Knows - March 11
If Not For You - March 11
All Along The Watchtower - March 13
Shelter From The Storm - March 11
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue - March 11

Lossless Links:

MP3 Link:


This is one of the keepers! Collected here are what I believe to be the best performances from Bob Dylan’s three-night residency in Prague during the Spring of 1995. This was a legendary series of concerts, as the vocals are even more engaged than usual. After “Tangled Up In Blue,” the singer notes that he has the flu, but that at least Prague is a fine place to recover from this ailment. Clearly, the recovery is working, as all three nights were truly remarkable.

The first song is a debut of the Basement Tapes-era classic “Down In The Flood.” It would go on to become a mainstay of the live set in the years to come, but at the time this was quite a surprise. Following that are a couple of songs very familiar to the collector of Never-Ending Tour tapes: “Just Like A Woman” and “Tangled Up In Blue.” All are exceptional, with the phrasing on each extraordinary, allowing the listener to hear these words anew. Then, of course, comes the first show-stopper – “License To Kill.” This is a song that is virtually always performed well, but it may be at its best on this tape. Unfortunately, the vocals are a bit low in the mix at times, and while I have edited the track to make them a bit more prominent, they remain intermittently indistinct. It’s really no matter, though, since the feeling comes across with every second.

The beautiful tapestry continues in the acoustic set. “Boots Of Spanish Leather” is relatively up-tempo, but the mournful soul of the song is at the forefront. “Mr. Tambourine Man,” on the other hand, is deeply meditative. Many regard this song as rarely sounding better than in Prague, 1995. The acoustic set wraps up with a majestic rendition of “Desolation Row.” The few lyrical misses in these tracks are unable to dim the fire that comes forth with each verse. There were some minor digital distortions in these files that have been carefully excised to present the songs in a fittingly elegant fashion. Hopefully that has been a success.

The final five songs are again backed by Dylan’s band in a fully electric style. “God Knows” propels the listener forward into a lovely “If Not For You.” “All Along The Watchtower,” again a song that has the potential to feel rote, is rendered with the fire and brimstone suggested by the menacing lyrics. A graceful “Shelter From The Storm” completes the electric collection, undoubtedly the best that the song had sounded since 1987. Finally, the set is completed with a track that many consider one of the most beautiful performances of the Never-Ending Tour: "It's All over Now, Baby Blue." Dylan takes the grace of the 1994 arrangement and achieves a perfect reading of the song.

This has taken some time to compile and remaster, but I think the results speak for themselves. It would be reasonable to quibble with the song selection, as a number of other songs played during the residency are not included here. These include “Man In The Long Black Coat,” “I Don’t Believe You,” “Don’t Think Twice (It’s Alright),” and “Maggie’s Farm,” among others. I just didn’t find that those songs were performed as exquisitely as the thirteen here. There has been some work to balance the volume between tracks, and between instruments and vocals; despite the clarity of the recording, Dylan’s voice was fairly quiet on the tapes. I believe that this was largely, if inconsistently, successful.

I hope this collection stands as a worthy companion to Bob Dylan’s 1995 Prague Residency. It was a legendary series of shows, and deserves to be remembered. If you are wondering where you can buy the original studio versions of these songs, look no further:

Next week, we will be skipping ahead to 1999 for an overview of one of the most spectacular years of Bob Dylan's touring career. Until then, keep yourself healthy and listen to some good tunes.