Bob Dylan

Travelin' Thru, 1967-1969: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 15 (Sony Legacy)

Books, Box Sets & Reviews

Fresh off Ken Burns' Country Music revisiting a bearded and reverent Bob Dylan sidling next to Johnny Cash for a groundbreaking television appearance performing "Girl From the North Country," a full disc of unreleased Zimmy/Man in Black duets in Tennessee promises a jackpot. Sadly, familiar streams – "Matchbox," "That's All Right, Mama," "Big River" – don't yield any gems. Constant studio chatter and fumbled lyrics frustrate rather than charm, and even when duetting, Dylan and Cash's aw-shucks mutual admiration smothers artistic collaboration. Disc three's bonus content with banjo legend Earl Scruggs fares better behind both men biting down on a bluesy "To Be Alone With You." (Woe to the interviewer who asks Scruggs if he's nervous about playing with Dylan.) The revelation, then, is the first disc's alternate John Wesley Harding tracks, wherein varied tempos illuminate the austere brilliance of "As I Went Out One Morning" and "All Along the Watchtower." It's a powerful reminder of post-motorcycle accident Dylan's deceptively simple parables. He may have just passed through, but with inspired lyrics framed by Nashville sessionistas' spare and empathetic instrumentation, Dylan's Music City creations like "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine" rank among his best.

***

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Bob Dylan
Top 10 Box Sets of 2018
Bob Dylan
More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 (Record Review)

Kevin Curtin, Dec. 7, 2018

Heart-Shaped Box Sets
Bob Dylan
Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 8, 2017

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Kinky Friedman
Resurrection (Record Review)

Rick Weaver, Jan. 3, 2020

More by Scott Jordan
Gift Guide: Grateful Dead
Gift Guide: Grateful Dead
American Beauty 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Warner Bros./Rhino)

Dec. 4, 2020

Texas Platters
Rod Melancon
Pinkville (Record Review)

May 3, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Bob Dylan

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle