New Pony Records
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  • October 19, 1988 Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY
  • October 30, 1991 Brady Theater, Tulsa, OK
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Liner Notes

1992 was hectic even by Dylan’s “Never Ending Tour” standards. Australia, New Zealand through April and the west coast of the United States through May. Summer and Fall included a dozen shows in Europe followed by a comprehensive tour of North American cities east of the Mississippi River. Dylan took a break in August to record Good As I Been To You. In mid-October, Columbia Records hosted “Bobfest,” celebrating Dylan’s more than thirty years recording for the label, feted by a large cast of prominent musicians. Good As I Been To You hit the streets November 3rd.

Behind the busy schedule, Dylan was making significant changes to his touring band as well. J.J. Jackson was brought on board in mid-1991 after a series of other guitarists were auditioned live in concert. Bucky Baxter on guitar, dobro, and mandolin, was added in early 1992 and a new drummer, Winston Watson, was hired in the late summer. In Jackson, Baxter and Watson, joining Tony Garnier on bass, Dylan has in place a band he will tour with, unchanged, for the next four years.

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These personnel changes represent a significant shift in Dylan’s overall sound as well. Baxter’s guitar playing allows Dylan to focus on acoustic rhythm guitar; his multi-instrumental talents give Dylan a much more nuanced musical palette to work within. By November 2nd, when this recording was made, the band is fully in stride. Dylan’s comfort level with these musicians is evident in their extended jams and the sheer joy in performing apparent in Dylan’s singing. This concert is simply one among a series of strong performances delivered during this period. Alone, it is a consistent, extended pleasure to behold.

The concert begins with two flowing acoustic performances; a broody I Can’t Be Satisfied and a lovely version of If Not For You. The tempo abruptly escalates with a fiery electric All Along The Watchtower commonly found as the third song most nights this tour. Dylan then throws a curve into the mix with a unique performance of Paul Metser’s Farewell To The Gold, a miner’s lament to lost dreams. Dylan’s vocal performance is ageless and the band hovers, doing what it can to support a song apparently unrehearsed and never again repeated.

Other highlights include a subtle, straightforward rendering of I and I; a bouncing version of Mr. Tambourine Man; and Unbelievable, sounding like the embittered successor to Slow Train Coming it always promised to be. Dylan’s wonderful vocals on Times They Are A-Changin escape the anthem weight of the song’s legacy to create a touching, empathetic warning of time leaving us all behind. Another gem this evening is a haunting, seemingly effortless, Shooting Star with Dylan on acoustic guitar, Jackson on electric, and Baxter on dobro, trading solos. Dylan caps the night with an encore on solo acoustic guitar, making It Ain’t Me Babe sound both new and eternal.

The talk of highlights overlooks the essential fact that, in 1992, Dylan emerges with a band which can support and also sustain him musically. His decision to dedicate himself to constant touring and public performance has come to fruition and the music simply flows from this band in a way no prior Dylan tours ever have. The pleasures of those earlier performances -- often incendiary and sometimes heart-stopping – have been succeeded by the pleasures of hearing living music as the performer and his craft become inseparable, a continuous river of music, percolated through the unique genius of Dylan’s songs and his decades of musicianship. This night is a jewel among many, with many more to come.

Disc One
i can’t be satisfied
if not for you
all along the watchtower
farewell to the gold
it takes a lot to laugh
i and i
silvio
mama, you been on my mind
boots of spanish leather
Disc Two
mr. tambourine man
gates of eden
unbelievable
hang me, oh hang me
the times they are a changin’
maggie’s farm
shooting star
rainy day women 12 & 35
it ain’t me babe

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