The Levee's Gonna Break - Live - Philadelphia - November 18, 2006
She Belongs To Me - Live - Birmingham - April 30, 2006
Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee - Live - Las Vegas - April 7, 2006
Mr. Tambourine Man - Live - Sun City West - April 8, 2006
'Til I Fell In Love With You - Live - Boston - November 21, 2006
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll - Live - Sun City West - April 8, 2006
High Water - Live - Stockton - April 3, 2006
Masters of War - Live - Sun City West - April 8, 2006
Workingman's Blues #2 - Live - San Francisco - October 16, 2006
Cat's in the Well - Live - Auburn Hills - November 2, 2006
Every Grain of Sand - Live - Boston - November 21, 2006
Thunder on the Mountain - Live - St. Paul - October 29, 2006
Nettie Moore - Live - Philadelphia - November 18, 2006
Ain't Talkin' - Live - New York City - November 20, 2006
Cold Irons Bound - Live - Fairfax - November 17, 2006
Down Along The Cove - Live - Sun City West - April 8, 2006
High Water (Extended) - Live - Stockton - April 3, 2006
Joey - Live - Denver - October 24, 2006
Never Gonna Be The Same Again - Live - Reno - April 1, 2006
New Morning - Live - Gelsenkirchen - July 2, 2006
2006 is not generally a year of touring beloved by the Bob Dylan fan community. Even so, I think there are quite a few gems.
Specifically, the Modern Times LP was published in the fall and gave rise to quite a number of new songs that the singer had clearly been wanting to try out on the road. Most were debuted early in the subsequent tour and only grew in stature as the year continued, though a handful were still popping up for the first time at the last couple of concerts (including "The Levee's Gonna Break" on this CD).
Other warhorses were performed with semi-unique arrangements this year: note the deep resonance of the last line in each verse during "She Belongs To Me," as well as a circular "Mr. Tambourine Man" that recalls 1997's rendition of "Pretty Peggy-O." "High Water" and "Cat's In The Well" had rarely sounded better, while "Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee" gets an especially spirited rendition here.
The elephant in the room, of course, is the introduction of an electric organ. Bob Dylan had been playing a keyboard since late 2002, but fans were startled to find that he'd changed the settings between Fall 2005 and Spring 2006. Nothing on this collection is going to change your mind if you dislike it, but I think the organ is actually pretty engaging since it provides an ambient backdrop to all of the songs that fattens the sound. Though Bob Dylan is no Al Kooper or Jimmy Smith, I'm of the opinion that every track here benefits from its presence.
As ever, thanks for listening! Until next time, keep yourself healthy and listen to some good tunes.
Update: Lest ye be disappointed at the omission of some of the year's more surprising one-offs and surprising setlist selections, I've added a few bonus tracks to sweeten the pot. These include the debut of "Ain't Talkin'," rare appearances of "Never Gonna Be The Same Again" and "New Morning," an arrangement of "Cold Irons Bound" played exclusively during this year's touring, and great outings for "Joey" and "Down Along The Cove." Finally, I've also included an extended recording of "High Water" from Stockton. Please look forward to an updated version of Pool of Tears: 2006-2009 next month, which will replace the 2006 tracks now shifted to this CD with additional songs from 2008, 2009, and 2010!