1993-06-29, Palais des Sports, Marseille, France
Today’s show is a request from Scott D. Reminder that any Annual subscriber can request a show!
I was digging Bob’s harmonica during the “Hard Times Come Again No More” opening of today’s 1993 show in Marseilles. Very moody and atmospheric. But I was preoccupied something else and only half listening.
I dug the harmonica again during the “Little Moses” cover a few songs later. Paying a bit more attention, though, I realized Bob appeared to be playing harp while singing. Far be it from me to impose limits on what Bob can do, but I’m pretty sure that is physically impossible. Even this guy has to switch back and forth:
Turns out, the moody wheezing in Marseilles was not a harmonica at all, but rather an instrument I’m not usually listening for in a Bob concert: Accordion! In 1993, multi-instrumentalist (even more multi than I’d realized) Bucky Baxter busted out the squeezebox for a number or two at just about every show. It typically appeared, as it does tonight, on the covers — “Jim Jones” sometimes too — but made the occasional original song appearance. A couple “Shelter From the Storm”s, one “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” (hard to hear it on that recording unfortunately).
Here’s a 1993 accordion sampler:
Like I said, the accordion is not an instrument I associate with touring-Dylan. He’s used it on albums plenty — most notably David Hidalgo’s prominent contributions to Together Through Life — but rarely drags it around from city to city. Even when touring with The Band, whose Garth Hudson plays a mean squeezebox, I don’t believe it made an onstage appearance in either ’66 or ’74. So I decided to look into what other times Bob did perform accompanied by an accordion in concert.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Flagging Down the Double E's to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.