Published Feb 16, 2011On May 10, 1963, a 21-year-old Bob Dylan took the stage at the first annual Brandeis Folk Festival at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. An iconic performance if there ever was one, the Brandeis set will now get a wide release.
The show took place two weeks before the release of the legendary songwriter's acclaimed Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album and marked the first time many songs from that album were heard. Fortunately for Dylan fans today, the concert was recorded, and a tape of the performance was recently found in Rolling Stone co-founder Ralph Gleason's archives, where it had sat for decades.
The two sets that Dylan performed have been compiled into the seven songs that make up Bob Dylan In Concert - Brandeis University 1963. Tracks on the release include "Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance" (incomplete), "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues," "Ballad Of Hollis Brown," "Masters of War," "Talkin' World War III Blues," "Bob Dylan's Dream" and "Talkin' Bear Mountain Picnic Massacre Blues."
Dylan scholar Michael Gray -- who wrote The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia, among other works -- contributed an essay for the album's liner notes. Here's a short excerpt taken from a press release:
It's a small miracle this recording exists. Clearly a professional recording ... the Bob Dylan performance it captured, from way back when Kennedy was President and the Beatles hadn't yet reached America, wasn't even on fans' radar ... It reveals him not at any Big Moment but giving a performance like his folk club sets of the period: repertoire from an ordinary working day ... Dylan has leapt a creative canyon with this material ... This is the last live performance we have of Bob Dylan before he becomes a star...
Bob Dylan In Concert - Brandeis University 1963 will be available on CD, vinyl LP or as a digital download on April 12 via Columbia/Legacy.