Here is a recent music review I was asked to write. That’s the kind of thing I do every now and then.
Gun for hire.
Doodler of small words…
The first track on Bob Dylan in Concert: Brandeis University 1963 is an incomplete recording of “Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance” (Henry Thomas, 1927), a tune – like all the songs on the disc – Dylan had just recorded for his sophomore release The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. In the song’s first discernible line, Dylan cries out “Honey, just allow me one more chance/To do anything to you!”. By the time the driving ditty comes to an end the audience’s enthusiastic response makes it clear that the young man won’t be asking permission for anything again for a very long time.
Recorded just before the release of Dylan’s breakthrough album, the Brandeis University disc is a once-in-a-lifetime-document of a cultural icon in the last shadows of anonymity. Seventeen days after the show, “Blowin’ in the Wind” would be released as the first single off his new record. Two months after the concert he’d make his historical, national debut at the Newport Folk Festival. However, if not for a fortuitous chain of events, this record may have never been released.
Wanting to document the Brandeis First Annual Folk Festival on May 10, 1963, the university arranged for a tape machine to be set up and Dylan – along with a roster of other acts – were all recorded for posterity. Dylan’s performance passed through a number of hands before ending up in the audio archives of legendary critic and late Rolling Stone magazine co-founder Ralph J. Gleason. The tape – simply labeled “Dylan Brandeis” – was recently discovered by collectible record expert, appraiser and vendor Jeff Gold.
In addition to the tape’s rarity and historical importance, its stereo-recorded quality and Dylan’s seven song performance make this a CD worth hearing – and not just talking about. At turns witty, sarcastic, evasive and chilling, Dylan’s mercurial song-cycle takes listeners from the exuberant opener, through the sarcastic jibes of “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues” and into the bleak sorrow of “Ballad of Hollis Brown.”
Read the rest at American Songwriter.
Joe Nolan <3