Crazy Sorrow (Thinman-113/114)
Houston Gym, Sports Arena, Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY – May 11th, 1996
Disc 1 (55:02): Drifter’s Escape, Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power), All Along The Watchtower, Disease Of Conceit, I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, Silvio, Mr. Tambourine Man, Masters Of War
Disc 2 (54:14): Friend Of The Devil, Jokerman, This Wheel’s On Fire, Highway 61 Revisited, Alabama Getaway, The Times They Are A-Changin’, Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35
Thinman have been expending much time and resources the past year manufacturing releases from Bob Dylan’s gospel period. Given how poorly represented those shows are on silver they have been making a noticeable impact. But very quietly Thinman have also focused upon another legendary period, the tours in the mid nineties. This was when he was going through his second period of significant writer’s block before he came back with his strongest original material in years with Time Out Of Mind. Crazy Sorrow contains an excellent stereo audience recording of the May 11th, 1996 appearance in Buffalo New York.
Dylan and the band deliver an energetic, bordering on wired, performance in windy Buffalo that night beginning with the swagger of “Drifter’s Escape.” The intonation of the words suggests plenty of attitude and determination before leading into the slower, but no less potent, “Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power).” The only real let up in the first half is the relatively calm “Disease Of Conceit,” but Dylan’s delivery is colored with anger and regret.
The band hammer the blues chords in “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight.” “Silvio,” which was played relatively mellow the previous year, returns to the stage thumper of earlier tours with the band joining Dylan on the chorus. Jackson plays a Jerry Garcia-like guitar first guitar solo (reminiscent of “Dark Star” among others) and his second solo is simply whacked out.
A long and happy version of “Mr. Tambourine Man” starts the three song acoustic break in the middle of the set. “Masters Of War” is likewise very long and deliberate, a long voice protesting the insanity of the military-industrial complex. The Grateful Dead’s “Friend Of The Devil” ends the acoustic interlude and is the first of two covers. The shimmering of the acoustic guitars playing off of one another produces a haunting glow in contrast to the starkness of the vocals. It’s a brilliant performance and one of the highlights in Buffalo that night.
“This Wheel’s On Fire” is another notable performance in the set. Given a slight country twang Dylan delivers the words while Jackson plays games with melody with Baxter on slide. The arrangement and performance are majestic. Before the final song Dylan introduces the band, saying:
“Thanks everybody! I want to introduce the guitar player tonight. I know you’ve been dying to know who he is, J. J. Jackson from Memphis! On the drums, give him a big hand, from the Windy City… Yeah, it’s pretty windy here too, Winston Watson! On steel guitar there Bucky Baxter. Bucky left a while back, about a year ago, to join the FBI, but he’s back now. And on bass guitar tonight, Tony Garn… he does have nice hair don’t he (now talking about Bucky Baxter again who recently dyed his hair blonde). That’s the color of my hair too, mine’s dyed! Ha-ha! I have to fix my color too, and he’s not the only one.”
The three song encore set begins with the second Grateful Dead cover “Alabama Getaway.” A ten minute long acoustic version “The Times They Are A-Changin'” emphasizes the waltz time of the piece very well. The final song of the evening is a very short reading of “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.” Crazy Sorrowis packaged in a double slimline jewel case with inserts with era appropriate photographs and is another strong release by Thinman from a legendary Bob Dylan tour.