The Genuine Supper Club Soundboards: 17th November 1993 – First Show (SC-BD-93-4)
The Supper Club, New York, NY – November 17th, 1993 (early show)
Ragged & Dirty, One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below), Blood In My Eyes, Queen Jane Approximately, I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, Disease Of Conceit, I Want You, Ring Them Bells, My Back Pages, Forever Young
The DAT audience recordings have provided collectors with excellent documents of Bob Dylan’s at The Supper Club in mid-town Manhattan. However, the surfacing last year of three complete shows caused a stir, beginning with (And It Ain’t) In The Seats Of A Supper Club (Liberator) and the three-discs of The Genuine Supper Club Soundboards. Liberator included three tracks, “Ragged And Dirty,” “One More Cup Of Coffee,” and “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” from this show on their release but finally the entire set has surfaced in the same amazing quality recording as the other shows. The Genuine Supper Club Soundboards: 17th November 1993 – First Show (SC-BD-93-4) has the same style artwork and as the other three making it fit nicely with the others.
These shows occur about three weeks after the release of World Gone Wrong, the second consecutive album of covers with the emphasis upon rural folk and blues songs beginning with “Ragged & Dirty.” “Absolutely Sweet Marie” opened the first show but this cover served as the opener for the rest of the set. “Ragged & Dirty” is most known by its 1942 Willie Brown recording, but the dates back to the twenties with a recording by Blind Lemon Jefferson under the title “Broke And Hungry.”
The surprise of the night occurs with the second song “One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below)”, making its only appearance. The sad and romantic chords are clearly articulated on the opening acoustic guitar and the steel guitar plays the violin melody adding an almost prog rock flavor to the arrangement. Dylan sings it complete with its “Hebraic cantillations” and is one of the more remarkable performances of the piece. This is followed by the second performance of “Blood In My Eyes” and the set list for the rest of the show is identical to the early show from the previous evening.
The highlight of this show is the rare performance of “Ring Them Bells” from Oh Mercy. This song has not been even a semi-regular inclusion in set lists in the past twenty years which is unfortunate because it is one of the last overtly Christian songs from his pen. He delivers the words with wonderful sincerity punctuated by the final verse where he sings, “Ring them bells St. Catherine / From the top of the room, / Ring them from the fortress / For the lilies that bloom. / Oh the lines are long / And the fighting is strong / And they’re breaking down the distance / Between right and wrong.” The equally obtuse “My Back Pages” and the uplifting “Forever Young” close the performance. For Dylan collectors this is an obvious title to have and continues the incredibly strong string of releases in the past couple months.