OA: Rock Cesario Column November 07, 2008

High praise for Dylan’s latest release

Bob Dylan’s newest CD release, “The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs, Rare and Unreleased 1989–2006,” is incredible.

It is a testament to the man that this is the eighth volume of two-CD sets in this continuing Bootleg Series.

With 27 tracks on two CDs and all but three previously unreleased, this set is a gem, especially for Dylan’s fans.

But it also shows how vital and extraordinary Dylan remains as a songwriter.

The liner notes for this set were written by Larry “Ratso” Sloman in New York City in June 2008.

What I would like to do is present to you my favorite songs from this set and what Sloman had to say about them.

“Red River Shore,” unreleased from “Time Out Of Mind”

From the first time that I heard this song it definitely caught my ear.

Sloman had this to say: “In interviews after album was released, session musician Jim Dickinson complained that in leaving ‘Red River Shore’ on the cutting room floor, they left the best song off of the record. He has a point. This is one of those amazing gems that makes this whole Bootleg Series worthwhile.”

“Huck’s Tune,” from “Lucky You” soundtrack

This song caught my attention when I heard it on the movie trailer while I was looking for another film to watch. I bought the soundtrack so I could play the song on Acoustic Sunday.

Sloman wrote: “If Huck Cheever’s character was drawn as surely as Dylan does in this song, ‘Lucky You’ might have done better at the box office. With his work in the last few years, Dylan has become the master of the film soundtrack and this song is no exception.”

“Tell Ol’ Bill,” alternate version from “North Country” soundtrack

Sloman wrote: “Dylan’s song, as is often the case, transcends the motion picture vehicle and happily takes on a life of its own. Working off an old Carter Family song, ‘I Never Loved But One,’ Dylan’s rollicking piano takes to the forefront in this alternate take and propels the narrator throughout this woeful journey of lost love.”

I have seen that movie twice and I think that this take is better than the original from the movie.

“Marchin’ To The City,” unreleased from “Time Out of Mind”

Sloman wrote: “Another unreleased gem, on an order with ‘Red River Shore.’ Starting with Dylan’s gospel piano, the song builds up enough momentum, buoyed along by Augie Myer’s stirring organ, that you can visualize the singer storming the gates of heaven. Once again it’s jarring to hear familiar line that Bob would use in the service of other songs pop up here and there.”

I couldn’t agree more.

“Cross the Green Mountain,” from “Gods and Generals” soundtrack

This is my favorite song, right now, from this incredible set.

This is what Sloman had to say about it: “Ted Turner’s greatest move, aside from pushing buffalo burgers, had to be hiring Dylan to write a song for this epic TV film about the Civil War. As we learned in Chronicles, Dylan spent hour after hour in the N.Y. Public Library reading contemporary accounts of the civil war. And all that preparation shines through on what might be his finest hour as a songwriter.”

Those are just five of the 27 incredible tracks on this two–CD set.

Imagine all of the surprises that await you when you pick up this set.

Rock Cesario owns Triple Play Records, 530 Main St., and hosts “Acoustic Sunday” from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday on Drive 105.3 FM. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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