Dylan opens the year with one of the most remarkable performances of the “Never Ending tour,” despite still visible suffering the after effects of the bug (at several points he sits on the drum rise, scrunched up in some discomfort)… the shock of the evening is not in his song selection.. but the fact that he performs almost the entire show without a guitar.. harmonica in hand, making strange shadow-boxing movements, cupping the harmonica to his mouth on nearly every song, blowing his sweetest harp breaks in years.
~Clinton Heylin (Bob Dylan: A Life in Stolen Moments Day by Day 1941-1995)
Concert # 641 of The Never-Ending Tour. First concert of the 1995 European Spring Tour. First concert in 1995.
Prague, Czech Republic
11 March 1995
Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
Bucky Baxter (pedal steel guitar & electric slide guitar)
March 11: Déjà Vu (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young album) released in 1970
One of the most hotly awaited second albums in history — right up there with those by the Beatles and the Band — Déjà Vu lived up to its expectations and rose to number one on the charts.
~Bruce Eder (allmusic.com)
My favourite Bob Dylan bootleg 1995: Prague 3 nights in March
“Anyone who has watched a sunrise over the ancient city of Prague will feel they have visited a city of magic & wonder. Anyone who has heard Dylan’s performance on the 11th will have felt a similar sense of awe”
~Andrew Muir (One More Night: Bob Dylan’s Never Ending Tour)
The first leg of the Europe 1995 tour picks up the NET after the MTV Unplugged sessions in November, 1994 and a three-month break from performing live. Dylan played two months in Europe in 95. He began with three shows in Prague and ended on April 11 in Dublin. Dylan returned for a second leg with a month in Europe in the summer of 1995.
Right before the Prague dates Dylan came down with the flu, this meant that all three to be pushed back one night. Dylan did these shows without playing guitar but focusing on singing and on the harp.
Usually the show at the 11th gets picked as the best of the three Prague shows, I don’t think it’s that simple. There are lots of bootlegs that has songs from these three incredible nights. Many collectors place these Prague shows among the very best Dylan ever performed. All three are legendary performances. I’m hard pressed to pick one so I’ll recommend a few boots.
Bob Dylan sang in a style that reminds me of crooning these nights and maybe this gave him the idea of making an album with Frank Sinatra songs.
Recorded at the Fillmore East concert hall, the storied rock venue in New York City, on Friday and Saturday March 12, 1971–March 13, 1971, the album showcased the band’s mixture of blues, southern rock, and jazz.
[it] remains the pinnacle of the Allmans and Southern rock at its most elastic, bluesy, and jazzy.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)
March 12, 1971–March 13, 1971
Fillmore East, New York
Blues-rock, southern rock
At Fillmore East is a double live album by The Allman Brothers Band. The band’s breakthrough success, At Fillmore East was released in July 1971. It ranks Number 49 among Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and remains among the top-selling albums in the band’s catalogue. The original album was released in both conventional two-channel stereo and four-channel quadraphonic mixes. This album has been certified as platinum by the RIAA as of August 25, 1992.
Recorded at the Fillmore East concert hall, the storied rock venue in New York City, on Friday and Saturday March 12, 1971–March 13, 1971, the album showcased the band’s mixture of blues, southern rock, and jazz. The cover of Blind Willie McTell’s “Statesboro Blues” which opens the set showcases Duane Allman’s slide guitar work in open E Tuning. “Whipping Post” became the standard for a long, epic jam that never lost interest (opening in 11/4 time, unusual territory for a rock band), while the ethereal-to-furious “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”, with its harmonized melody, Latin feel, and burning drive invited comparisons with John Coltrane (especially Duane’s solo-ending pull-offs, a direct nod to the jazz saxophonist).
In Memory of Elizabeth Reed:
..these shows — recorded in New York on March 12th and 13th, 1971 — remain the finest live rock performance ever committed to vinyl. .. At Fillmore East captures America’s best blues-rock band at its peak.
~Mark Kemp (rollingstone.com)
“Statesboro Blues” (Will McTell) – 4:17
“Done Somebody Wrong” (Clarence L. Lewis, Bobby Robinson, Elmore James) – 4:33
“Stormy Monday” (T. Bone Walker) – 8:44
“You Don’t Love Me” (Willie Cobbs) – 19:15 (“Joy to the World” medley in the ending portions)