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Bob Dylan – Sauget 2009 (Tambourine Man Records TMR 174/175)

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Sauget 2009 (Tambourine Man Records TMR 174/175)

GCS Ballpark, Sauget, IL – July 2nd, 2009

Disc 1 (52:04):  Intro., Watching The River Flow, Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right, The Levee’s Gonna Break, Spirit On The Water, Things Have Changed, Just Like A Woman, Honest With Me, Forgetful Heart

Disc 2 (79:05):  Highway 61 Revisited, This Dream Of You, Thunder On The Mountain, Like A Rolling Stone, Jolene, All Along The Watchtower.  Bonus tracks, Chuckchansi Park, Fresno, CA – August 14th, 2009:  You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere, Things Have Changed, The Levee’s Gonna Break, Spirit On The Water, Love Sick, Workingman’s Blues #2

The second show of Bob Dylan’s summer minor league tour with John Mellencamp and Willie Nelson was at the home of the Gateway Grizzlies in Sauget, Illinois.  Sauget 2009 presents a very good to excellent but slightly muffled audience recording of the entire show.  It doesn’t have the clarity of many of the tape circulating from recent Dylan concerts but it is still a very enjoyable listening experience and it documents an exciting show.  

It begins with the heavy blues “Watching The River Flow” followed by the more quiet “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright,” both featuring Dylan on guitar.  He switches to keyboard for the quick tempo “The Levee’s Gonna Break” in which he gives strangely jolly injections in the lyrics like when he sings, “Some of these people gonna strip you of all they can take” punctuated by an “ahhhhhhhhhhh!”

The audience don’t respond much to “Spirit On The Water.”  A chaotic and rather limp version of “Things Have Changed” follows.  After “Honest With Me” Dylan plays several songs from Together Through Life.  He moves to center stage with harp for “Forgetful Heart.”  It was given its live premier the previous evening in Milwaukee and it still sounds a bit tentative.  But the arrangement is gorgeous with the play between Herron’s mournful violin and Dylan’s harp.  Is also sounds as if Garnier is bowing the bass.

After “Highway 61 Revisited” he moves to guitar for “This Dream Of You” from the new album played live for the first time.  It lacks the accordion from the studio recording and it sounds like it’s in an embryonic live state.  It could develop into something more interesting (or it could be dropped).   A long “Thunder On The Mountain” and “Like A Rolling Stone” close the show.  “Jolene” from the new album has been in the encore set for months now and sounds fantastic, like it’s been there for years.  Dylan introduces the band before the final encore “All Along The Watchtower.”

Six weeks after Sauget in Fresno is the source for the bonus tracks.  The come from a very good to excellent audience source almost identical in timbre to Sauget.  “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” is played for only the forth time this year after having been out of the live repertoire for two.  “Things Have Changed” is much better this night than Sauget (and is perhaps the reason why TMR included the track twice).

The final two songs, “Love Sick” and “Workingman Blues #2″ both are very powerful in this show and are very good inclusions as bonus tracks.  TMR package Sauget 2009 with very thick inserts with common looking photos from the tour.  It is nothing flashy but is good enough as a basic release from the tour.  Overall, since it has the debut of a new song, it is a good title worth having.   

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Bob Dylan - Sauget 2009 (Tambourine Man Records TMR 174/175), 2.5 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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