Sing Me Back Home (Tambourine Man Records TMR-094/095)
Paramount Theater, Seattle, WA – March 7th, 2005
Disc 1: Drifter’s Escape, The Man In Me, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Moonlight, It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding), I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met), Queen Jane Approximately, Cat’s In The Well, Sugar Baby, Watching The River Flow, Mr. Tambourine Man (new arrangement)
Disc 2: Honest With Me, Like A Rolling Stone, All Along The Watchtower, Sing Me Back Home (song by Merle Haggard). Bonus tracks, Paramount Theater, Seattle, WA – March 8th, 2005: Highwater (for Charlie Patton), This Wheel’s On Fire, You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere. Paramount Theater, Seattle WA – March 9th, 2005: I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, Floater (Too Much To Ask), Ballad Of Hollis Brown
The March 7th tape from Seattle is Bob Dylan’s first concert of this year’s first tour and the latest release from the Dylan specialist label Tambourine Man Records. Merle Haggard joined Dylan on this round and the tour wrapped up on April 30th at the Beacon Theater in New York. The label obtained an excellent and very detailed complete audience recording. The show begins with a spirited version of “Drifter’s Escape” and contains, as expected, a mix of folk, blues and country. “Stuck Inside Of Mobile” earns the first ovation of the night, and the audience is hanging on every note in the new arrangement of “Mr. Tambourine Man”. This well-known track is played as a country ballad with very soft slide guitar, fiddle and piano under Dylan’s careful recitation of the words. At the end the crowd roar with approval. The set also includes the seldom played “Moonlight” and “I Don’t Believe You”.
The encores include “Like A Rolling Stone” in CW style, a very heavy and loud version of “All Along The Watchtower”, and a sweet cover of Haggard’s “Sing Me Back Home”. Included as filler on disc two are excerpts from the following two concerts in Seattle in the same excellent quality as the first show. The bulk of the review from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is included in the liner notes. Observations from the review include: “If fans can count on anything, it’s Dylan’s ability to reinvent his music and keep them guessing about his next move. The folk-rock icon opened his latest cross-country tour Monday night at the Paramount Theatre, playing keyboards instead of guitar in a 90-minute set that borrowed songs from his long-running Love and Theft tour, but featured new arrangements and a new band lineup that added a country twang to many classic songs.” All this is presented in TMR’s usual tasteful packaging on high quality paper and appropriate photographs. Sing Me Back Home is another Dylan title worth having.