Jesse Jarnow

bob dylan with the band, 20 january 1968, carnegie hall

“I Ain’t Got No Home” (download) (buy)
“Dear Mrs. Roosevelt” (download) (buy)
“The Grand Coulee Dam” (download) (buy)

As Dylan obscurities go, his one-off 1968 Woody Guthrie tribute gig with the Band (billed as the Crackers) at Carnegie Hall is pretty fantastic. There’s no reason for its rarity, given the fact that it is on an official release from a major label. Though it’s the Band behind him, not the amazing Nashville session cats who populated the then-new John Wesley Harding, the sound still recalls a stately and tantalizing outgrowth of that just-released album, coupled with all the grace found during the long, lazy sessions in the Big Pink basement, concluded a few months earlier. “Dear Mrs. Roosevelt,” especially, sounds drawn from the same landscape as the Biblical parables of JWH. The amphetamine urgency of the thin, wild mercury period is mellowed, not yet shot through with the anti-hope reflected through his mirrored sunglasses that marked his next tour, still six years away. (Thanks to Dr. Mooney for posting.)

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