Modern Era Dylan: Playlist Part 3

Bob Dylan moved on through the later 2000's and into the Obama era with a broken voice, a continuous drive to capture the American spirit of music, and a pile of loaded songs sitting on his desk ready to go. Two excellent albums were released in the years 2006-2008: Modern Times and Together Through Life.

2006's Modern Times caps off Bob's modern day trilogy of "comeback albums" (along with Time out of Mind and Love and Theft). In many ways, it is a tribute to early country and blues music as Bob continues  in his quest to discover truth and humor in American song.

Together Through Life, meanwhile, is a rusty, dusty, glass shattering shotgun-western-desert set of accordion and guitar grooves that'll will leave you both laughing and interested to hear more.

"Thunder on the Mountain": Much like in "Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee", Bob and the band are here to play straightforward blues, name drop, and get the party started. 

"Nettie Moore": This fantastic song makes its way through some interesting key changes. I'll admit it took a while to grow on me. The first thing you'll notice here is that "Nettie Moore" sounds like it is a totally different song during the chorus, as it is sung in the slow, drawn out style of a Sunday afternoon crooner that's had too many drinks. The verses are profound and funny, as Bob sings them almost like he is recounting an old children's rhyme that has frequent punchlines: "the world of research has gone berserk. . .(pause with acoustic base and piano). . . to much paperwork!". 

"Spirit on the Water": This gentle tune provides a prelude to what would be ahead for Bob in 2017-a triple album of Sinatra covers. The song is light, evokes scripture, and invites the listeners into a romantic story that isn't afraid to reference old folk songs and 40's show tunes. Bob's voice here is sweet, not sour, as he shows us he can sing a carefree romantic ballad quite nicely. 

"Beyond Here Lies Nothing": This track is a representative cut off the Tex-Mex-shot out-busted glass-accordion album of Together Through Life. Here, you could almost picture Bob as a bloody western gangster, with one eye out on the endless desert heat and one into the city were his schemes might come true.

"I Feel a Change Coming On": This song takes the Tex-Mex accordion sound and puts a bow-tie on it. If "Beyond Here Lies Nothing" represents a bloody and reckless posture, Bob has cleaned up here and is playing a melodic, well executed tune for a wedding audience on a summer night. There are some really funny lines here, and the lead guitar keeps it shining all the way. Change is coming, but it's not here yet, so enjoy the moment with this one.

Part 4 of the modern Bob playlist will be coming soon!
Modern Bob part 1
Modern Bob Part 2

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