Guest Stuart Adds Punch To Dylan Set

This appeared in The Tennessean - September 9, 1999

Near the end of their performance of "Tangled Up in Blue" last night at the First American Music Center, Bob Dylan and guest musician Marty Stuart turned the song into an acoustic rave-up, dueling on harmonica and mandolin, respectively.

When they finished, Stuart, free of the decorum expected of regular members of Dylan's band, pointed repeatedly at the leader as if to say, "Get a load of this guy."

Dylan, grinning, pointed back at Stuart, clearly delighted at what they had accomplished together on the song and relishing the added dynamic incentive Stuart supplied as he sat in with Dylan's band throughout the evening.

Whether adding acoustic fireworks to Ralph Stanley's gospel number "I Am The Man, Thomas," the night's opening number, or knifing through electric versions of "All Along The Watchtower," "Highway 61 Revisited," or "Sylvia," Stuart fit in well with regular guitarists Larry Campbell and Charlie Sexton.

"Just Like A Woman" got a more delicate reading and there were a few sour notes from Dylan in a late solo but, overall, Stuart's presence made the evening a special memorable interlude in Dylan's never-ending tour.

[Bob Dylan opened for Paul Simon and Mr. Orr reviewed Simon's show, ending with, "He finished predictably, with 'Still Crazy After All These Years.' "]

Dylan may better deserve the title, but with Stuart to encourage him, he can still be great too.

By Jay Orr

Return To Articles Return To Home Page