1997-03-31, Memorial Stadium, St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada
You really take it to another level now, thanks a lot! There is probably a book in there.
Damn, Ray, you are on it. Great stuff! You are now the authoritative source for Bob Dylan live and in performance. And as this old reader of Paul Williams knows, that's the heart and soul of Bob Dylan. Very fine work.
I really appreciate what you have done in terms of getting some of the players Bob Dylan has worked with to open up. That area has been sort of a 'no go' but however you are doing it, you're getting it done. Much appreciated by many! cheers. (Encore!)
great stuff, saw many shows with Larry and Bob, I worked at a hotel front desk in Austin and Larry and his wife walked in after they had played the Cactus Cafe with their guitars in hand, I asked how was the show? they said great and good night...cheers!
I gotta revisit this post and add another note. Somehow, until this piece, I hadn't quite fully attributed how much Larry Campbell contributed to what is unmistakably my favorite part of the NET, and maybe my favorite part of Dylan's entire live career, which is the first half of the aughts, 2000-2005. Plus many shows from the end of the millenium.
I'd mostly attributed that to the setlists - containing more pleasant surprises during those years than any other in his entire career, I would argue - plus, he had all those "Time Out Of Mind" songs to play that didn't exist in any tour pre-1997, then maybe my favorite Dylan album of all and all its new songs from 2001 on, "Love And Theft." And then there's the Freddy Koella era from April 2003 - April 2004, my favorite Dylan guitarist, so that's part of the attraction.
But now I'm thinking, maybe Larry Campbell is the linchpin to the whole damn thing, that beautiful late-90s/early 00s NET. Of course he is, right? That mandolin sound... dobro... banjo... CITTERN, for crissakes, y'all!!! Thoseaer special instruments, and special flavors that haven't been heard (in aggregate) before or since in Dylan's bands. (Right?)
So maybe in Campbell, Dylan found the ultimate multi-instrumental sideman, eminently capable but not showy, able to support every idea. Gold.
Outstanding! Finally some insights into my fav NET band!
Holy crap! I've never seen an interview with Larry this in-depth - really, not with any of Bob's sidemen that I can remember. (Other than a video put out by, or featuring, the drummer on the '66 British/Australian tour - the guy who played when Levon refused to go on that tour.)
But yeah, Dylan's sidemen traditionally have a code of not speaking around them that is about equal to another Minnesotan.... Prince. None of those guys talk! I had started thinking it was some kinda damn pre-nup!
So this is really special stuff. All of the details are great, and your line of questioning is spot on.
Thanks for these articles.
Well done getting Larry to speak about his time in what might have been Dylan's best band. That era of his live shows captured it all.
Wonderful! Can’t wait for Part 2!
Fantastic work Ray!!