Bob Dylan – The Day Of Wine And Roses (Godfather Records GR 801/802)

The Day Of Wine And Roses (Godfather Records GR 801/802)

Collisioni, Barolo, Italy – July 16th, 2012

Disc 1 (76:07):  Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat, It’s All Over Now Baby Blue, Things Have Changed, Tangled Up In Blue, Honest With Me, Spirit On The Water, The Levee’s Gonna Break, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, High Water (For Charley Patton), Simple Twist Of Fate, I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, Highway 61 Revisited

Disc 2 (70:15):  Forgetful Heart, Thunder On The Mountain, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Like A Rolling Stone, All Along The Watchtower, Blowin’ In The Wind. Bonus tracks, Festival de Nimes, Nimes, France – July 15th, 2012: Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright, Rollin’ And Tumblin’, Visions Of Johanna. Arènes de Bayonne, Bayonne, France – July 20th, 2012: Love Minus Zero / No Limit, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, Make You Feel My Love

Bob Dylan’s only visit to Italy this past summer was on July 16th at the “Collisions” initiative in Barolo.  Drawing together the most important names in the worlds of literature, music and culture, “Collisions” is the most prestigious summer event in the Langhe.  The theme of this year’s event was “The Wind.”  Dylan’s participation is appropriate because “Blowin’ In The Wind,” the most obvious contribution to the theme was recorded on July 9th, 1962, almost forty years and a week before.    

The Day Of Wine And Roses on Godfather utilizes an excellent stereo audience tape of the entire set.  Dylan awarded the Bartolo audience by extending the set from seventeen songs to eighteen with the tour debut of “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight.”

A review of the show on Bobs Links states that “The statue of an Oscar with two bracelets hanging down particularly inspires Bob or maybe it’s the wine of my country or something like that, but he was in a really great mood….I say again, the band was perfect nearly over all the show.  I’ve always regretted I couldn’t see the Rolling thunder review’ shows, but honestly I complain also who couldn’t be in Piemonte last night, to be honest.  Unfortunately there was too much tension among the crowd and the location wasn’t probably fit to such a concert. But the wine and nice landscape compensate it for.  And Bobster.”

The tape begins right before the opening song.  “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” is the first song.  Dylan forgets some lyrics but they complete the song very well.  “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” played as a slow ballad with the addition of grand piano, and “Times Have Changed” as a fast country tune are in familiar arrangements.  

Some of the songs are played in slightly new arrangements.  None as radical as in the past, but little noble emphases which bring out something slightly different than in the past.  In “Tangled Up In Blue”the piano nicely accompany the guitar flourishes.  “The Levee’s Gonna Break” sounds more swing than before and “Highway 61 Revisited” has more boogie woogie in the blues chords.

“Forgetful Heart” is slow, ponderous, and quite sublime.  “Thunder On The Mountain” is reduced to a light swing number and “Ballad Of A Thin Man” is still the set closer.  Dylan begins the song center stage with harmonica before moving to the grand piano and then returning to center stage.  It is one of the more dramatic performances of the night and a fitting closer.

“Like A Rolling Stone,” the band introduction, “All Along The Watchtower” and finally a gentle “Blowin’ In The Wind” featuring a beautiful violin melody close the show.

Godfather include three tracks each from two French shows, one before and one after the Collisions Festival and both from excellent stereo audience tapes.  All of them show the continued development and incorporation of Dylan’s piano in the arrangements.  Some, like “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” from Nimes, betray a country/ western influence.

The Day Of Wine And Roses is another tremendous Dylan release on Godfather.  The sound quality of all the tapes are excellent, the performances are interesting, and the bonus generous selection of bonus material has no duplication with the main show offering over two hours of unique songs.  The live shots on the artwork are also excellent, illustrating the new group dynamic on stage for his “cowboy band.”    

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