.

Bob Dylan Celebrates Charlie Sexton's Return By Cranking Up His Guitar in L.A.

October 14, 2009 12:12 PM ET

There are many reasons to celebrate Charlie Sexton's return to Bob Dylan's live band, but the biggest one might be that Sexton's presence frees up Dylan to peel off terrifically cranky lead lines on a guitar that sounds like it's been strung with straightened-out wire hangers. Kicking off a three-night stand at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles last night, Dylan spent a good deal of his two-hour set tangling with the Austin blues-rock whiz, who this fall is playing guitar with the legendary singer-songwriter for the first time since 2002. In "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" they scrabbled for supremacy like two barnyard chickens; later, during an appropriately driving "Highway 61 Revisited," Sexton dropped to his knees for a thrilling solo while Dylan jabbed out creep-show organ licks.

All night, Sexton occupied the center-stage spot, which he took advantage of by whipping around like Marty McFly at the end of Back to the Future. Not that Dylan, peering out from underneath his black gaucho hat, wasn't worth watching, too; before he finished "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)" he started bopping up and down behind his keyboard, leaning into the juicy rolling-thunder beat.

The band's default mode Tuesday was a salty brand of electric blues, but Dylan and Sexton kept leading the musicians on tasty little detours: "Cold Irons Bound" rode a hard proto-funk groove; "Like a Rolling Stone" had a bright, Byrds-like jangle; "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'," from this year's Together Through Life, was a border-town-cantina shuffle with pedal-steel dude Donnie Herron on sweet-and-sour trumpet. For "Nettie Moore" they took everything down to a creepy café-music murmur, over which Dylan did his best Leonard Cohen sprechstimme.

Dylan closed the show the same way he did the several that preceded this one, with a stormy, hard-rocking "All Along the Watchtower." As Sexton slashed his way through the tune, the guitarist's old pal appeared totally satisfied with his new hire.

Set list:

"Gonna Change My Way of Thinking"
"Shooting Star"
"Beyond Here Lies Nothin'"
"Don't Think Twice, It's All Right"
"Cold Irons Bound"
"Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)"
"My Wife's Home Town"
"Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again"
"High Water (for Charlie Patton)"
"I Feel a Change Comin' On"
"Highway 61 Revisited"
"Nettie Moore"
"Thunder on the Mountain"
"Ballad of a Thin Man"
"Like a Rolling Stone"
"Jolene"
"All Along the Watchtower"

Related Stories:
Review: Bob Dylan's Christmas in the Heart
Bob Dylan's "California" to Debut on NCIS Soundtrack
Bob Dylan: The Rolling Stone Covers

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com