If you follow Dylan's life and career then you know that things like the motorcycle accident that sent him into seclusion and his "going electric," a circumstance that virtually got him ostracized from the hip at the time folk community, are important albeit ancient milestones. Obviously this recording was made in 1963, but to give you a mental picture of where Dylan was career-wise at the time, both of the aforementioned events were still a couple years in the future and his second album, The Freewhelin' Bob Dylan, was not yet in stores (it would be two weeks later.) Nothing from his debut album is performed here but four songs from Freewheelin' are previewed, including a show-opening take on "Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance" that's joined in progress as if the person who was supposed to turn on the tape recorder was caught sleeping. The recording is otherwise without flaw, capturing an especially playful version of "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues," the ominous hill-country "true story" of "Ballad of Hollis Brown" and the somber classic, "Masters of War." The Woody Guthrie-influenced "Talkin' World War III Blues" and "Bob Dylan's Dream" round out the set and the lyrically light-hearted "Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues" closes the show. Fans of Dylan's early music will find this offering a nice addition to their collection.
Bob Dylan - In Concert: Brandeis University 1963
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