Listen & Watch : Bob Dylan at His Best — ‘Blind Willie McTell’

Photo by Baron Wolman via Tucson Weekly.

When I want to listen to a truly beautiful Bob Dylan performance, I listen to this studio recording of “Blind Willie McTell. The song is in part a tribute to the bluesman Blind Willie McTell, and recorded in 1983. Dylan has referred to it as a demo.

In an interview with Rolling Stone he said: “I started playing it live because I heard The Band doing it. Most likely it was a demo, probably showing the musicians how it should go. It was never developed fully, I never got around to completing it. There wouldn’t have been any other reason for leaving it off the record. It’s like taking a painting by Monet or Picasso – goin’ to his house and lookin’ at a half-finished painting and grabbing it and selling it to people who are ‘Picasso fans.'”

It was released in 1991 on the The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991.

Dylan’s voice sounds fantastic. This is a very moving song.

Dig the lyrics here.

Here’s a recording of “Statesboro Blues” by Blind Willie McTell:

Two live version from July 2013:

Bob Dylan, “Blind Willie McTell,” Midway Stadium, St. Paul, Minnesota, July 10th, 2013:

Bob Dylan – Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Maryland, – July 23, 2013:

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One thought on “Listen & Watch : Bob Dylan at His Best — ‘Blind Willie McTell’

  1. love the released version on the bootleg series it has a fragility and intimacy that the much vaunted band versions lack

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