Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Bob Dylan - Live At Woodstock (1994)


Recorded live at Woodstock in 1994

This is one of the now legally available, radio broadcasts of live shows. They proliferate the market these days, particularly as downloads. The sound quality on them is wildly variable. However, this one is pretty good, with relative clarity and a warm bass sound. Bob Dylan finally made it to Woodstock, twenty-five years after snubbing the initial festival.

The opener, Jokerman suffers a bit from muffled-ish sound, but thereafter the sound improves and we are treated to some lively performances from a Dylan still worth the ticket price. Highlights are a bluesy, rocking It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry, a committed, solid, Just Like A Woman, a slowed down, mysterious It's All Over Now, Baby Blue and an atmospheric Masters Of War. Dylan changes his vocal delivery considerably on these performances from their originals, singing a lot of them in the style he would use on Dylan: Unplugged a year later.

A real rarity is the inclusion of the heavy thump of God Knows from Under The Red Sky. I Shall Be Released is a delight - dignified and guitar-driven with a great, characterful vocal from Dylan. Excellent guitar/drum/piano interplay near the end. Highway 61 Revisited rocks, an ageing Bob could still rock out at this point. The guitar is searing on here. I have never been a fan of Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 but it is great at this show, full of bluesy rock verve. Dylan sounds as if he is really enjoying himself, something that can not always be said. It Ain't Me Babe is given a laid-back, bassy makeover, with acoustic guitar interjections, a different version to the one Dylan played in the seventies' Rolling Thunder era, which was reggae-ish. Here it is about the gently melodic bass. Then, at the end, we get a harmonica/guitar solo. Great stuff indeed.

A lot of these "unofficial but legal" releases are quite poor, but this one is worth checking out. It is packed full of excellent, lively performances.


1. Jokerman
2. Just Like A Woman
3. All Along The Watchtower
4. It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry
5. Don't Think Twice, Its Alright
6. Masters Of War
7. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
8. God Knows
9. I Shall Be Released
10. Highway 61 Revisited
11. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
12. It Ain't Me Babe