Town Hall

April 12, 1963

Ramblin Down Through the World
Bob Dylan's Dream
Walls of Redwing
All Over You
Hero Blues
John Brown
Tomorrow is a Long Time
Dusty Old Fairgrounds
Who Killed Davey Moore
New Orleans Rag
You've Been Hidin' Too Long
With God on Our Side
Masters of War
Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie

This concert, while not nearly complete, is one of the best representations of the classic "protest" Dylan in concert at the peak of his form. The sound on most tapes is excellent because this concert was recorded by Columbia for a possible live album. In fact, several of the songs on this tape were selected for inclusion on the official (but unreleased) Bob Dylan In Concert. Still another song, Tomorrow Is a Long Time, was really and truly released on Greatest Hits Volume II in 1971.

Individually the songs have their ups and downs, but my absolute favorite has to be, get ready, Walls of Redwing! This song is much maligned or dismissed as bland and uninvolving, but I have to disagree. The song lives for me and never fails to leave me with a feeling of remourse, pity, and anger. This chilling song, about a boys reformatory, has a very disturbing final verse that suggests that we will all pay dearly for the cruelty of a few over-zealous disciplinarians. And he says this with an offhand non-preachy tone that is remarkable in its maturity. Dylan's introduction to this song is very humorous - "Redwing is a reform school. They don't have no high-school cheerleaders, though...", or something to that effect.

The other rare songs are a treat too: Dusty Old Fairgrounds has excellent flowing lyrics and strong vivid imagery. New Orleans Rag and Hero Blues are both pretty funny. The weaker songs are Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie (not really a song at all, but a recitation of a labored poem), John Brown (uses a sledgehammer instead of a scalpel), Who Killed Davey Moore (one of Dylan's worst songs), and Ramblin' Down Through the World (really just a throwaway introductory song to show off Bob's harmonica).

This tape is strongly recommended and readily available on a number of bootlegs.



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