God Knows Everything (TMR-109/110)
Maricopa County Events Center, Sun City West, AZ – April 8th, 2006
Disc 1: Introduction, Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine), Mr. Tambourine Man, Down Along The Cove, This Wheel’s On Fire, Absolutely Sweet Marie, Masters Of War, Watching The River Flow, The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll, God Knows
Disc 2: Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright, Every Grain Of Sand, Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, Like A Rolling Stone, band introduction, All Along The Watchtower. Bonus tracks, BJCC Arena, Birmingham, AL – April 30th, 2006: Positively Fourth Street, Till I Fell In Love With You, Visions Of Johanna
God Knows Everything is TMR’s first release of a tape from 2006 and a great one it is. It is a stereo audience recording but extremely detailed, powerful and one of the best tapes they’ve ever released. Every instrument is clearly audible and well balanced and the audience is not intrusive except for one guy close to the taper obsessed with Desire and begs for numbers from that album (” Mozambique”, “Joey” and “One More Cup Of Coffee” are his favorites). Sun City West on the Catch The Live cdr label is another release from this concert although it isn’t clear if it is the same tape source or another one. Six songs, “Mr. Tambourine Man”, “Down Along The Cove”, “This Wheel’s On Fire”, “Absolutely Sweet Marie”, “The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll”, and “God Knows” appear as filler on the 2cdr set Bournemouth 2006 (Trial-156). Dylan favors an organ sound on his keyboard in these shows which gives the arrangements a cross between mid-sixties Garth Hudson and a church organ.
The use of this sound works very well with the exception of “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” where it seriously clashes with the melody. Since this show comes from the very first week of the tour he is in great voice, the best he’s been in years. He stretches his vocal chords on a dynamic version of “Down Along The Cove” where he sings: “down along the cove / I feel as hiiiiiggggggghhhhhhh as a bird”. TMR include a lengthy review of the show written by Brian Doyle who observes: “The new sound was just so extraordinary that even I was caught a little off guard. Bob on the organ is a great blend, and add me to the fan list of the change of things happening here and unfolding nightly. The Maricopa Events center, formerly the Sundome, is set back on RH Johnson road in sort of a residential area just down the road from Bell Street. The venue is quite nice, sort of a Spanish flair to it, with an outdoor veranda, and great southwest décor…’ Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)’, resonated, a great opener and one not expected. It was clear that Bob, looking ever so dapper and fitting into the Southwest with his ‘costume’, would tear the walls of the place into ruins.
“The fire was burning and the wheel of fortune, storyteller, band director, organ grinder, carnival roadie, Mr. Dylan was out front in the vocals and being very careful to sing, yes, SING, his voice his better than ever and though some disparage the new arrangements you just have to hear them. Then, Mr. Dylan suddenly switches gear and released the strongest performance of ‘God Knows’ that I have ever bore witness to. The Old Testament is not gone, but the new one is on the horizon, and it’s POWERFUL. The place rocked and the pillars were about to crumble in the temple, clear and strong Mr. Dylan was in fine form on this one!” The bonus tracks are taken from the April 30th show at BJCC in Birmingham and are slightly distant from the stage but still excellent. It’s a shame the venue was less than half full (many came to see Merle Haggard) since this contains a sublime version of “Visions Of Johanna”. God Knows Everything is a strong effort by Tambourine Man Records and is worth having. (GS)If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)