Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., Dec. 21, 2007
Bob DylanThe Other Side of the Mirror: Live at the Newport Folk Festival, 1963-1965 (Columbia/Legacy)
A restless generation looked into the mirror and saw Bob Dylan reflected back, brilliantly articulating its social concerns, moral outrage, and dreams of a better world to come. That was 1963. Two short years later, when his fans looked in that same mirror, the voice of their generation was already on the other side – leather-clad, electrified, personalized. Thankfully, filmmaker Murray Lerner captured the intimacy of these signature Dylan performances at Newport in beautiful black-and-white. It's fascinating to see the bard as a shy, earnest, almost bucolic naif in a work shirt singing an ode to Minnesota miners ("North Country Blues") transformed into an electric guitar-wielding rebel blasting out "Maggie's Farm," presaging the decade's forthcoming societal turmoil and changing the course of popular music. In between are stunning acoustic versions of "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Chimes of Freedom," and the apropos encore, "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue."