First impression of Together Through Life. And PS–You can dance to it

images1I got hold of it early. I can’t  help it if I’m lucky. Here is what I saw on my first listen:

Old coot sitting alone at a splintery old table near the door of the saloon. The door’s open, the table’s half in and half out of the blazing sunlight. One tall dark bottle on the table  and a small glass. The old guy drinking at the table squints into the sun, drinks, talks to himself.  Across the planked dusty floor there’s the long bar against the wall, the barkeep wiping out glasses, of course. He wipes out glass after glass, looking down and intent on his hands. Almost never looks directly at the old guy who’s talking talking, his voice rising and falling, occasionally there’s a wicked warm cackle, and then the barkeep glances at the guy from under his brow, smiles himself, then back to work . The old guy seems utterly sane and not  at all unhappy, telling stories to the sunlight in the doorway.  His voice sounds exactly like the splintery table, and the blazing band of sunlight, and the motes glinting in the sunlight, and the dark cool bottle. Hours pass, the table’s now in shadow, the light slicing through the doorway is gold and no longer white.  You can hear the dry rush of tires on the dirt outside the saloon as cars start pulling in from the road. Men done with whatever kept them busy during the day, they start filling up the place, in ones and twos.  Now their voices and their lives start to fill the room, some of them raise a glass or bottle to the old guy at the table, who raises his own glass back.  Now he’s quiet, taking in their voices. The barkeep catches his eye and winks, and the old guy laughs out loud, yellow teeth and bright eyes, and looks to the door. 

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I hope I didn’t give anything away, except that the album feels like a single day in the company of a life you’re  so glad you ran into. Don’t you dare miss it.

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5 thoughts on “First impression of Together Through Life. And PS–You can dance to it

  1. You forgot to mention the stray junk-yard dog that got loose and is walking up and down the street the saloon is on.

  2. Upon listening to Shake Shake Momma twelve times. In the 1960s, Dylan used to challange and broaded musical genres. Now he’s perfecting them.

  3. At the risk of appearing obsequious, I have to say that I am blown away by the depth of this recording.
    A new layer and texture reveals itself everytime I listen.
    To find out that much of the recording session was and impromptu ” hey, ya want to try another one” format doesn’t surprise me….that is how subtle genius creeps in.
    Dylans ” steeped in living” blues voice fronting David Hidalgo’s cantina background accordion help set the mood for another departure in Dylans career.
    While some will cringe at the inference that ” It’s All Good ” has any association with the insipid modern colloquialism…………. Dude, it’s ALL good.

  4. I like Mr G’s disclaimer here, that being “blown away” might be a kind of obsequiousness–and I support you entirely in finding “a new layer and texture” with each listen. It seems that I feel a new texture each time I hear these songs. I am certainly beginning to think that Forgetful Heart is “subtle genius” at its best: the elegant and intricate grace of that voice singing to its own heart. This is grown up beauty.

    Thank you for writing and let’s all hope he’ll start playing these songs in show and concert soon.

  5. Pingback: The Times We Knew: Bob Dylan and his Forgetful Heart « @ Number 71

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