Commentary on each Bob Dylan album and other related recordings.
Thursday, December 28, 2017
Bob Dylan Live At Carnegie Hall 1963
Released November 15, 2005
In 2005, Columbia Records released a six song EP composed of songs from Dylan's Carnegie Hall concert that took place on October 26, 1963. The year had witnessed Dylan's meteoric rise with the release of the The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan and his historic debut at the Newport Folk Festival. "The Times They Are-A-Changin'" opens the disc in a sedate, but earnest, call to arms for the new generation. "Ballad of Hollis Brown" followed; a version that matched the stark intensity that would appear on the LP The Times They Are-A-Changin. Dylan introduced the melancholy "Boots of Spanish Leather" as a song about "settling for less." Next "Lay Down Your Weary Tune", which according to Dylan's official website is the sole live performance. The version here is slower and more meditative than the studio recordings available on the Bootleg Series. It's deeply moving and effective. Then "North Country Blues," a song that paints a portrait of the mining industry's decline in Dylan's hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota. Interestingly, Dylan wrote the song from the perspective of a miner's wife who watches her family come apart after the company decides to close the mine because in South America people "work for almost nothing." An intriguing song to compare with Dylan's 2006 track from Modern Times "Workingman's Blues #2" as a foreshadowing of globalization. The EP concludes on "With God On Our Side." War's always been a fascination with Dylan, in his memoir he credited Von Clauswitz's On War as an influence on his songwriting. Few songs better encapsulated the horror of 20th Century conflict (and the scourge of Cold War propaganda). Overall, a worthwhile record of Dylan performing his early songs as he was finding his voice as an artist.