Bob Dylan – Don’t Dare Wink (Tambourine Man Records TMR 166/167)

Don’t Dare Wink (Tambourine Man Records TMR 166/167)

Kinnarps Arena, Jönköping, Sweden – March 27th, 2009

Disc 1 (74:02):  Intro., Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright, The Levee’s Gonna Break, Just Like A Woman, It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding), Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine), Million Miles, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, This Wheel’s On Fire, Highway 61 Revisited

Disc 2 (79:08):  Make You Feel My Love, Thunder On The Mountain, Like A Rolling Stone, crowd applause, All Along The Watchtower, Spirit On The Water, band intro., Blowin’ In The Wind.  Bonus tracks:  Globen, Stockholm, Sweden – March 23rd, 2009:  Chimes Of Freedom, High Water (For Charley Patton), Love Sick, Desolation Row, Make You Feel My Love, One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below)

Don’t Dare Wink documents Bob Dylan’s fourth show of the latest European tour in Jönköping, Sweden.  TMR utilize and excellent stereo audience recording, as clear as we’ve come to expect from this label and from the Dylan taping circle in general.  It is good in picking up the dynamics of the performance and has close to perfect balance between music and audience noise to present a nice “live” sound.  One is able to not only enjoy the music but to enjoy Dylan’s interaction with the normally reserved Swedish audience.  

After the standard introduction he begins the set with “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat.”  Dylan seems to be settling on an appropriate opener for this tour and each of the first six shows has a different song.  It isn’t until the March 31st show in Hanover, where he plays “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” again, that he duplicates and opener.  Since Dylan has been favoring a country flavor in his arrangements the heavy blues rhythm of the song is bearley discernible under the twang.  He comes out from behind the keyboard to center stage for the second song, “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” and plays guitar on the following song “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright.”

“The Levee’s Gonna Break” is the first song to really get the audience moving and in the following song “Just Like A Woman” the audience sings along in the chorus.  “Million Miles” is played for the first of four times in Europe, sung with hurt and pain in his voice.  It’s a brilliant performance.  He plays another rarity later with “This Wheel’s On Fire.”  This is the first of two performances on the tour (the second time will be on April 21st in Strasborg, France).  He chooses again to sing the song, not from the keyboard or behind the guitar, but in center stage with harp.  

The rest of the show is occupied with more common fare like “Highway 61 Revisited” and a rocking version of “Thunder On The Mountain.”  “Spirit On The Water,” the second song of the encore set, is being played much faster lately than when it was first introduced to the live set after the release of Modern Times.

As a bonus TMR has six songs from the second show of the tour at the Globen in Stockholm.  Again using an excellent sounding audience recording, there are several interesting choices from the show.  “Chimes Of Freedom” is played for the first of four times on the tour and, in general, is a song that receives only  handful of performances each year.  The real surprise is the inclusion of “One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below).”  Rarely performed, it’s been almost two years since he last played the song live and one of a handful this decade.  Dylan’s wavering voice is an adequate substitute for the original cantillantions and although this playing isn’t a masterpiece, it is good to hear songs from Desire.  Overall Don’t Dare Wink is an excellent title on TMR and like the other two in this batch comes with an obi strip outside the jewel case.

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