Rain Unraveled Tails (Tambourine Man Records TMR-096/097)
Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA – April 15, 2005
Disc 1: To Be Alone With You, Hazel, It’s All Right Ma (I’m Only Bleeding), If Dogs Run Free, Tough Mama, Shelter From The Storm, Cold Irons Bound, Tomorrow Is A Long Time, Highway 61 Revisited, Chimes Of Freedom.
Disc 2: Summer Days, Mr. Tambourine Man, Mississippi, All Along The Watchtower. Bonus tracks, Orpheum Theater – April 16th, 2005: Forever Young, If You See Her Say Hello, Lenny Bruce, Blind Willie McTell
Bob Dylan is given an introduction typical of the tour: “Poet laureate of rock…found Jesus…was written off as a has-been in the late 80’s…now has hit a peak again in the late 90’s…Bob Dylan!” He played three shows over that weekend in Boston, April 15th – April 17th. This new release on TMR documents the first show in its entirety with bonus tracks from the following evening. The other new TMR release, Beginning To Hear Voices, contains even more bonus tracks from the third and final show in Dylan’s Boston engagement (and will be covered in that review).
Dylan’s tour with Merle Haggard can be called “the keyboard tour” since he doesn’t play guitar. Reviews from these shows convey the only time he really moves are during his occasional harp solos. It is also his C&W tour since every song has the slide guitar tinge to it. The big exceptions in this show are “Summer Days” which is 1940’s big band era bebop, and “All Along The Watchtower” which closes every show. You can definitely detect a strong nod to Jimi Hendrix’s cover of the song. The biggest reaction of the night comes for “Shelter From The Storm” and makes me wonder what the weather was like. This show from Friday night is one of the hardest rocking Dylan concerts from the tour.
The bonus tracks from the following evening are from a similar excellent DAT recording. It isn’t as loud as the other but still excellent. “If You See Her Say Hello” is played up-tempo. “Lenny Bruce” makes an appearance and sounds great. I only wish “Maggie’s Farm”, which opened the show, was included since by all accounts it too was excellent. “Blind Willie McTell”, played much slower than usual, was the first encore this evening and is likewise great. Like all of the other tapes from this tour, Rain Unraveled Tales contains an excellent DAT recording. It has a bit more echo than the Seattle tape but is still very enjoyable and is a release worth having. (GS)If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)