The newest live Bob Dylan release is up on Rhapsody, it's Volume 6 in his growing Bootleg Series. Live 1964 was recorded on Halloween night at New York's Philharmonic Hall, is Bob Dylan's first all-acoustic live record. This is the peak of pre-electric Dylan, he's happy and charming and personable on stage, his acoustic guitar and harmonica accompanied by only Joan Baez on four tracks. Live 1964 includes the infamous "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues", which inspired Dylan to stroll off the set of The Ed Sullivan Show earlier that year (network officials wouldn't let him play it on-air) and didn't earn official release until 1991. Dylan, mocking McCarthyism, mumbles, "It's a fictitious story," before jovially belting about his induction into the John Birch society, wherein he scours his sofa, rose bush, chimney, and toilet bowl for "commies," and finally indicts both himself and Betsy Ross (who mistakenly included red stripes in the American flag). This show is a perfect snapshot of Dylan, just before he sheds his folk skin at Newport, taken just before he revolutionizes rock and roll. An important chapter for one of the true masters, and worth a listen. If you'd prefer to sample some Dylan across the ages, click on the
Bob Dylan Sampler that I whipped up with somethin old, something new and 'Tangled Up in Blue'. - TK

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