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Bob Dylan Parts Ways With Touring Guitarist Duke Robillard

Former sideman Charlie Sexton is back in the band

July 3, 2013 12:20 PM ET
Duke Robillard performs in Memphis, Tennessee.
Duke Robillard performs in Memphis, Tennessee.
Ebet Roberts/Redferns

Duke Robillard seems to have parted ways with Bob Dylan, just three months after the blues guitarist joined his touring band. There has been no official announcement, but Robillard wasn't onstage last night at AutoZone Park in Memphis, Tennessee. Charlie Sexton, the guitarist that Robillard replaced in Dylan's band in April, was back with the group.

It's unclear why Robillard is off the tour, but late last month he posted this cryptic message on Facebook: "For sale: Bob Dylan CD and record collection, slightly used." He later wrote, "I will be selling a lot of guitars and amps soon. I'll keep you posted." His last show on the tour was June 30th in Nashville.

100 Greatest Singers: Bob Dylan

Charlie Sexton played with Bob Dylan from 1999 to 2002, and then again from 2009 to 2012. He plays on Dylan's 2001 LP Love and Theft, the soundtrack to the 2003 film Masked and Anonymous and his 2012 album Tempest.

It is highly unusual for a musician to depart Dylan's band midway through a tour. Robillard only played at 27 Dylan shows, but that isn't the record for shortest tenure in Dylan's backing band. Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Billy Burnette joined the group in February of 2003, and he left after an 11-show tour of Australia and New Zealand.

It's unclear if Sexton has permanently rejoined the group, or whether Robillard will return. A spokesperson for Dylan declined to comment. 

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