I Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
To New Jerusalem” Well I traveled through East Texas
Where many martyrs fell I can tell you one thing nobody can sing the-blues-like-Blind-Willie-McTell
Great version of this masterpiece from the 2002 Europe spring tour.
“Blind Willie McTell” was the most interesting performance of the night.
It used to be like that:
“No-one can sing the blues …
like Blind Willie McTell”
but tonight it went like this:
“I’ll tell you one thing …
nobody can sing …
The more astute amongst you will have noticed that the third line of this new version is quite long and doesn’t fit too well. Several times I thought the line wouldn’t fit but Bob managed to squeeze it in, just in time.
~Andy Jenkins (from the archives over @ boblinks.com)
Manchester Evening News Arena Manchester, England 9 May 2002
Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
Charlie Sexton (guitar)
Larry Campbell (guitar, mandolin, pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar)
“…his fall 1979 concerts. “What Can I Do For You?”, “Solid Rock”, “Saving Grace”, “Covenant Woman” and “In The Garden” as performed at these shows are some of the finest work in Dylan’s oeuvre, but you’d never know that from listening to “Saved”, the 1980 studio album that features these compositions.
…….you’re awareness and appreciation of Dylan’s greatness is incomplete until you hear these songs (and “When He Returns”) as performed live in the fall of 1979..
~Paul Williams (Bob Dylan: Performing Artist, Vol 2: The Middle Years 1974-1986)
“….this gospel show explodes with vocal passion to be found in few other Dylan periods.”
The November shows @ Warfield in 1979 are by many fans (& collectors) considered to be the highlight of the “Gospel Tours”. Nov 6,7,11 & 16 are the shows I’ve been listening to…. and Nov 16 is my personal favorite. It is an amazing concert… … it’s actually one of my absolute fav Dylan concerts, top 10 for sure.
Fox Warfield Theatre San Francisco, California 16 November 1979
Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
Fred Tackett (guitar)
Spooner Oldham (keyboards)
Tim Drummond (bass)
Terry Young (keyboards)
Jim Keltner (drums)
Regina Havis , Helena Springs , Mona Lisa Young (background vocals)
Maybe he had some problems, maybe some things that he couldn’t work out
But he sure was funny and he sure told the truth and he knew what he was talkin’ about
~Bob Dylan (From the lyrics of “Lenny Bruce”)
Here’s a song I wrote a while back about a guy who died pretty miserably actually. I figured I didn’t write this song, nobody would so, somebody had to write it. There’s a great American playwright named Tennessee Williams. He said, “I’m not looking for your pity, I just want your understanding. No, not even that, but just your recognition of me and you and time, the enemy in us all.” Anyway, he died pretty miserably too. So this is a man who got no recognition really during his lifetime. But he laid down a lot of road for a lot of people to walk on. People still walking on that road, making lots of money, living in fine houses. Have plenty of women and eating good food. And he didn’t have none of them things.
~Bob Dylan (before “Lenny Bruce” @ Nippon Budokan Hall – Tokyo, Japan – 10 March 1986)
@ #148 on my list of Dylan’s 200 best songs. A song about the great stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce.
The original version from “Shot Of Love” is a very good song.. but there are many live versions that are superior…
Here is a great example:
Live @ Kooyong Stadium – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia – Feb 1986