Monday, September 28, 2009

ROTHBURY pt.9 - Sunny Sunday

Well, all good things come to an end, but not before one last day of music! The weather at Rothbury seemed to just get hotter and hotter, and by Sunday we were baking - not just in the warm glow from all the music we'd taken in. And to think there was still more to come...
Toots Hibbert gave the most beautiful Sunday sermon in the form of a soulful reggae set. His version of Country Roads was a nod to Willie who would appear on the same stage later that afternoon. 54-46 got the crowd singing and topped off this feel-good love-in of a set. Toots' energetic performance and moving messages were a call for unity... the perfect embodiment of the Rothbury mandate. On Sunday morning it felt like worship: we danced blissfully, giving thanks for a great communal weekend together.
Heading over to the Sherwood Court, we found the only piece of shade and caught a very energetic performance by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I was keen to see her, having just caught on to her many talents. I was also motivated because she was one of few female performers at Rothbury, let alone fronting her own band. Don't let the Josie & the Pussycats look here fool you - she's not just a pretty face.
Grace is an accomplished B3 player and her singing is gutsy and soulful. Kudos for choosing the best instrument and for being dedicated enough to haul it around on tour!
Here's Willy - he's got the sad expression because I didn't make it out to his show. Too bad! I heard from the fans that it was a fine performance, as usual. I'm sure I'd have appreciated it, but I'll have to catch him another time... cause you know he'll still be singing well into his 100s...
Dear Ani,
It's a good thing I've seen you before because I couldn't make it to your set either! But my pal did and he had a blast. Great review from a very critical listener. I enjoyed your past performances and I hear you're still givin'er... Here are some very energetic shots...
And here is the panoramic view of Dylan's crowd from the VIP area - magnified I can spot my best friend =) Couldn't have asked for a more beautiful evening.

Okay, now I've seen Bob many times since the early nineties, and I've heard some pretty questionable performances, and some amazing, moving, and musically exciting ones as well. This was my 12th Dylan show and I'm going to say it for the record, folks...

Dylan is officially now way past his due date. He came back there for awhile, had a great band in the mid-nineties when he actually sang again... but now, in recent times, it's back to the croak. And worse than before. He used to get stuck alot on two notes in rhythmic loops, but at least he sang some semblance of a melody, whether original or improvised. Now the frog is permanently trapped in his vocal chords and it's hopping incessantly, trying to escape. Just listen to Tangled Up In Blue from any YouTube clip from this show...

I love Dylan. I love his work, his spirit, even his voice through its many evolutions over the years. I'm convinced that few people deliver his songs as well as he does. But this show, as well as shows from the past year, are evidence that it's not working anymore. And there is no one in his entourage or in the industry who can stop him from touring. At this point he's driving away many more fans than he's attracting at his live performances... I hate to be the one to tell a man to stop touring, but maybe it's time to consider it, Bob...

Or maybe it's just that I miss Larry Campbell so much. I'll have to catch him with Levon's band.

Still looking good, though, Bob...

I'm surprised that Rothbury chose him to headline. It only reinforced how much other exciting music is out there...

"New ones coming as the old ones go..."

Dylan @ Rothbury, MI July 5, 2009
Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
SeƱor (Tales Of Yankee Power)
Tangled Up In Blue
Rollin' And Tumblin'
Spirit On The Water
High Water (for Charlie Patton)
Til I Fell In Love With You
Po' Boy
Highway 61 Revisited
Ballad Of A Thin Man
Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
Nettie Moore
Thunder On The Mountain
Like A Rolling Stone
All Along The Watchtower
Blowin' In The Wind

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