Category Archives: Music Calendar

August 11: Happy 50th Birthday Charlie Sexton!

Charles Wayne Sexton (born August 11, 1968) is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter best known for the 1985 hit “Beat’s So Lonely” and as the guitarist for Bob Dylan’s backing band from 1999 to 2002 and since 2009. His style of playing has varied and he has been associated with artists in the blues, folk, rock and punk genres.

I first saw Charlie Sexton in the 80s and I have his first two vinyls in the attic (I don’t play vinyls anymore). He was promoted as this wonder kid, a new guitar god and he sounded and looked great. He was good then and he has gotten better. His first records suffered by that “eighties sound” but there are some good songs on them, and the guitar playing is tremendous.

US legend Bob Dylan (R) performs on stag

Charlie Sexton Interview


Association with Bob Dylan

In 1999, Sexton was hired by Bob Dylan to replace Bucky Baxter. Sexton had previously played with Dylan during a pair of Austin, Texas, concerts in 1996, and on some demos recorded in the fall of 1983.

Sexton’s residency with Dylan from 1999–2002 brought him great exposure, with many critics singling out the interplay between him and Larry Campbell, who was also a guitarist in Dylan’s backing band. Hailed as one of Dylan’s best bands, the group recorded a number of studio recordings, including Things Have Changed (from the 2000 film Wonder Boys) and 2001’s critically acclaimed album, Love and Theft. He also performed and appeared with them in 2003’s Masked & Anonymous.

In October 2009, Sexton rejoined Dylan’s touring band, replacing Denny Freeman.

He is also an actor and did a very fine role in Richard Linklater’s masterpiece, Boyhood. He is also set to play Townes Van Zant in Ethan Hawke’s biopic about Blaze Foley, Blaze.

Continue reading August 11: Happy 50th Birthday Charlie Sexton!

July 26: Listen – Bob Dylan Performing “Visions of Johanna/Madonna” @ Tramps, NYC 1999

bobdylan1999

On the 26th of july, 1999, in a club in Manhattan, Bob Dylan delivered one of his greatest performances ever of his well-loved 1966 epic “Visions of Johanna.” As if to acknowledge and signal his awareness of the power and freshness of this latest reinterpretation, the singer-bandleader effectively changed the title of the song halfway through, by starting to sing the chorus as: “And these visions of Madonna are now all that remain/ … have kept me up past the dawn.”
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist Volume 3: Mind Out Of Time 1986 And Beyond)

Tramps
New York City, New York
26 July 1999

  • Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
  • Charlie Sexton (guitar)
  • Larry Campbell (guitar, mandolin, pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar)
  • Tony Garnier (bass)
  • David Kemper (drums & percussion).

Continue reading July 26: Listen – Bob Dylan Performing “Visions of Johanna/Madonna” @ Tramps, NYC 1999

July 25: Bob Dylan Goes Electric at Newport in 1965





dylan-guitar-1965

Joseph Hass: Can you explain why you were booed at the Newport Folk Festival last summer when
you came on stage with an electric guitar and began singing your new material?
Bob Dylan: Like, I don’t even know who those people were. Anyway, I think there’s always a little boo in all of us. I wasn’t shattered by it. I didn’t cry. I don’t even understand it. I mean, what are they going to shatter, my ego? And it doesn’t even exist, they can’t hurt me with a boo.
(Joseph Hass interview – Nov 1965)

“They certainly booed, I’ll tell you that. You could hear it all over the place. I don’t know who they were… they’ve done it just about all over… I mean, they must be pretty rich to go some place and boo. I mean, I couldn’t afford it if I was in their shoes.”
~Bob Dylan ( San Francisco press conference in December ‘65)

“The reason they booed is because he only played for fifteen minutes, when everybody else played for forty-five minutes or an hour. They were feeling ripped off. Wouldn’t you? They didn’t give a shit about us being electric. They just wanted more.”
~Al Kooper

On July 25, 1965, Dylan performed with a rock band at the Newport Folk Festival. Some sections of the audience booed Dylan’s performance. Leading members of the folk movement, including Irwin Silber and Ewan MacColl criticised Dylan for moving away from political songwriting, and performing with an electric band. (wikipedia)

bob dylan newport 1965

Freebody Park
Newport, Rhode Island
25 July 1965
Newport Folk Festival

Continue reading July 25: Bob Dylan Goes Electric at Newport in 1965

June 8: Bob Dylan released Self Portrait in 1970

 

June 8: Bob Dylan released Self Portrait in 1970

Please read our post on Bootleg Series 10: Another Self Portrait from 2013 to get some more details and a more insightful description of what it could have been.

I fuckin’ hope so, man, because it’s a great album
Ryan Adams
(in 2002, when asked if he didn’t fear burning out and ending up making albums such as “Self Portrait”)

Maybe not Bob Dylan’s proudest moment, but there are good songs on the record.

Here are our 6 best songs from the album:

  • Copper Kettle (The Pale Moonlight)
  • Days of’ 49
  • Early Mornin’ Rain
  • Let It Be Me
  • Living The Blues
  • In Search of Little Sadie
  • Like a Rolling Stone (great with the re-mastered sound!)

“Well that was a joke, that album was put out at a time I didn’t like the attention I was getting. I never did want attention. At that time I was getting the wrong kind of attention for things I hadn’t done. So we released that album to get people off my back, so they would not like me anymore, that’s the reason the album was put out, so people would stop buying my records, and they did. “ – Bob Dylan (press conference 1981, Germany)

I think he was playing tricks with the journalists, there are interviews that tells about why he released the album to pay tribute to songwriters that he liked. But he also repeated the need he had to get away from “the fandom”. Last year it got re-released with better sound, that helped a lot. The one to buy is the box-set, Bootleg series vol.10: Another Self Portrait. You get outtakes, the Isle of Wight concert and the re-mastered album.

“I said: “Well, fuck it I wish these people would just forget about me. I wanna do something they can’t possibly like, they can’t relate to. They’ll see it and they’ll listen and they’ll say: “Well let’s go on to the next person. He ain’t sayin’ it no more. He ain’t givin’ us what we want,” you know? They’ll go on to somebody else.” But the whole idea back-fired. Because the album went out there, and the people said, “This ain’t what we want”, and they got more resentful. “ – Bob Dylan (Rolling Stone Magazine, 1984)
Continue reading June 8: Bob Dylan released Self Portrait in 1970

May 10: Tony Garnier was born in 1955 – Happy Birthday!




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Great photo taken by Frank Beacham in a small club in New York City in 2009

On stage he is always the lieutenant, ready for anything, clocking everything with equanimity, passing on to other musicians his accurate interpretations of Dylan’s often inscrutable nods and narrowings of eyes, yet at the same time smiling at fans and giving every appearance of a contented man who still enjoys his work…. By the end of 2007, he had played at 1900 Bob Dylan concerts, Uncannily, he doesn’t look a day older than when he played his first.
– Michael Gray (Bob Dylan encyclopedia)


Tony Garnier (born Saint Paul, Minnesota, May 10, 1955) is best known as an accompanist to Bob Dylan, with whom he has played since 1989. He is Dylan’s longest-running side-man, and has sometimes been characterized as his “musical director” as well.

In addition to his work with Dylan, Garnier has recorded with Tom Waits, Loudon Wainwright III, Paul Simon, Marc Ribot and Eric Andersen, and was a member of Asleep at the Wheel (from 1976–78) and The Lounge Lizards. He also played with Robert Gordon in the early 1980s. He was also a long-time side-man for David Johansen in his Buster Poindexter persona, and was also briefly a member of the Saturday Night Live house band.

 

Here are Dylan & Garnier @ the 70th birthday of Apollo Theater – A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke):

Continue reading May 10: Tony Garnier was born in 1955 – Happy Birthday!