Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dylan and the Dead

Dylan and the Dead
Dylan and The Dead is not the place to start your collection of either artist; b) There are better commercially available live albums of each artist individually; and c) keeping those caveats in perspective, this is a ragged, free-wheeling, and ultimately satisfying performance that I will go back to from time to time, because I seek out this type of music for the feel and inspiration it gives me.

Contrary to what I have read, Dylan's vocals are acceptable, and they are intriguing for what he chooses to include and leave out given the generally accepted crossroads he was at in his career. The Dead's sound is unmistakable, and provides an interesting filter to standard and not so standard selections within Dylan's substantial song catalog.

Finally, I find this unique album (it will never happen again with all the same key players present) every bit as listenable as any of the countless live Dave Matthews/Phish/String Cheese Incident/You Name It albums out there that I have heard bits and pieces of but would never be motivated to purchase based on their meandering sound and lack of songcraft.

All and all, a worthy album that you will be surprised by if you are a fan of either artist, given the amount of negative reviews associated with it. Yes it's brief, but no stoned out 60's re-work, here; by and large, well planned, rehearsed, and executed. The set has several things going for it. First, the eclectic selection is an interesting cross section of BD's compositions; second, the musicianship is solid intelligently arranged play to the strengths of both BD and the GD; third, sound quality is very good and well balanced across all the artists. As both a long standing collector of high quality, masterpiece, BD and GD material, I was way too skeptical of the overriding negative reviews; very glad I thought for myself. Vintage, but with style. Uncork and enjoy!!

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