Among his ten weakest albums, but it includes the brilliant “Brownsville Girl“.
Bob Dylan’s best songs – Brownsville Girl – #18
Well, in the course of life you find yourself with different people in different rooms. Working with Sam [Sheppard] was not necessarily easier, but it was certainly less meaningless. In every case writing a song is done faster when you got someone like Sam and are not on your own.
~Bob Dylan (Oct, 1997 – press conference)
it is ‘a masterpiece, a song that must rank among the five or six best songs Dylan has ever written.’
When Dylan is working at this level of creativity—a level that puts him head and shoulders above everyone else—there’s a magic evocativeness about everything he writes that gives the words enormous possibilities..
~ Nigel Hinton
@ #18 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. It was originally recorded as “New Danville Girl” @ Cherokee Studio, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California 6 December 1984. Overdubbed May 1986 for the “Knocked Out Loaded” album.
It’s an amazing song with cinematic lyrics co-written with Sam Sheppard.
New Danville Girl (recorded 1984-12-06):
Lyrics to “New Danville Girl” added down towards the end of the post..
Dylan has only performed it once, on August 6, 1986 @ Mid-State Fairground – Paso Robles, California:
Altogether, the delivery is astonishing. Not a false moment, not a foot wrong. Keeping up a curious tension between the very measured, slightly too slow musical accompaniment and the urgency of his voice, he gives a faultless performance, infinitely fluid and expressive, from beginning to end a plausible, intelligent and immensely humane persona and narrator, alert to the turbulent complexities of every moment. It’s a long tour de force not a moment too long, and the Dylan who incandesces through it is the full Bob Dylan of genius and generous intelligence, fully engaged.
~Michael Gray (The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia)
Well, we crossed the panhandle and then we headed towards Amarillo
We pulled up where Henry Porter used to live. He owned a wreckin’ lot outside of town about a mile
Ruby was in the backyard hanging clothes, she had her red hair tied back. She saw us come rolling up in a trail of dust
She said, “Henry ain’t here but you can come on in, he’ll be back in a little while”
~Brownsville Girl (from: Knocked Out Loaded)
Amarillo /æməˈrɪlɵ/ is the fourteenth most populous city in the state of Texas, the largest in the Texas Panhandle and the seat of Potter County. A portion of the city extends into Randall County. The population was 190,695 at the 2010 census (105,486 in Potter County, and 85,209 in Randall). The Amarillo metropolitan area has an estimated population of 236,113 in four counties.
Amarillo, originally named Oneida, is situated in the Llano Estacado region. The availability of the railroad and freight service provided by the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad contributed to the city’s growth as a cattle marketing center in the late 19th century. Amarillo is the regional economic center for the Texas Panhandle, and is economically important to Eastern New Mexico and the Oklahoma Panhandle.
The city was once the self-proclaimed “Helium Capital of the World” for having one of the country’s most productive helium fields. The city is also known as “The Yellow Rose of Texas” (as the city takes its name from the Spanish word for yellow), and most recently “Rotor City, USA” for its V-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft assembly plant. Amarillo operates one of the largest meat packing areas in the United States. Pantex, the only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility in the country, is also a major employer. The attractions Cadillac Ranch and Big Texan Steak Ranch are located adjacent to Interstate 40. U.S. Highway 66 also passed through the city.