Bob Dylan, Sara

Posted in Bob Dylan on May 17th, 2012 by Willie

“Sara,” is Bob Dylan’s most honest song.  Its probably the only personal song he addresses to a real person directly, his wife Sara.  The lyrics are incredibly intimate and, apparently, true to life.  ‘Sara’ a gorgeously pained ballad of desperation, fittingly included as the closer to an album he named Desire.  That record came out in 1976, and it should come as no surprise that Sara divorced him a year later.  Their marriage was on the rocks, evidenced by all the songs found on Blood on the Tracks.  I love this songs melody, at once both graceful and earthy.  The lyrics, which I also love, are mix of passionate pleadings and cosmic reverence for this woman, a brave and true piece of work, but hey, what else would you expect from Mr. Bob Dylan?  The video itself, is an incredible document of washed out 70s home movies and live performances capturing the desolate mood of the song perfectly. So, in the end, there is nothing else for us to do but press play a few times and let this sink in our souls.

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Bob Dylan, Idiot Wind (Live)

Posted in Bob Dylan, Youtube Favs on August 3rd, 2011 by Willie

I’m not ready to leave this concert from May 23rd, 1976 at Hughes Stadium.  For this segment, Bob is leading his band through a scorching rendition of “Idiot Wind,” another track from Blood on the Tracks.  This live version is especially nasty the way Dylan just bashes his electric guitar and snarls every lyric.  The song is about his ex-wife Sara, at least according to Bob’s famous son Jakob.  Bob denied this, but Jakob famously said that the nastier tracks from Blood on the Tracks are, “my parents talking.”  It doesn’t matter, because again, Bob puts the universal touch in all his songs, and this song is no different. It’s a remarkable and scathing diatribe of broken love and bitter nostalgia, and its a great moment in rock and roll history. A true folk rock gem whose long running time shouldn’t scare anyone from playing it, and if you are, well, you’re an idiot.

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Bob Dylan, Shelter From the Storm (Live)

Posted in Bob Dylan, Youtube Favs on August 2nd, 2011 by Willie

The year was 1976, and Bob Dylan was in Colorado at Hughes Stadium singing one of his greatest songs ever, “Shelter From the Storm.”  Originally from Blood on the Tracks, the song was being filmed and recorded for Bob’s live record Hard Rain.  “Shelter From the Storm” is one of Bob’s most enduring poems.  Its a universal anthem that blithely crosses nostalgia with tall tales of true romance and bitterness.  The video below is taken from NBC’s hour long film of the concert and showcases what Dylan would  do in a live setting for the rest of career, namely never playing his classic songs the way you heard them on record.  This version of “Shelter From the Storm” is transformed from a somber acoustic ballad into an upbeat rocking rave.  It’s also a sight to see Bob play that incredibly unique electric guitar with a slide no less!  This is a wonderful rendition, and a must watch for fans of Bob’s middle eastern head gear phase.

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Willie Simpson, Buckets of Rain

Posted in Bob Dylan, Willie's Live Youtube Performances on April 11th, 2011 by Willie

As promised, my performance of Buckets of Rain by Bob Dylan.  I played it on my Epiphone Casino because the mic picked it up better.  Also, I did it in Open E tuning, so that’s why I’m looking at my guitar so much, to make sure I’m playing the right chords.  I hope to have many more of these in the future, with better quality.  This was admittedly a hard song for me, but I think I peeled it off ok.  I hope you enjoy.


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Neko Case, Buckets of Rain

Posted in Bob Dylan, Neko Case, Youtube Favs on April 9th, 2011 by Willie

In part 32 of my youtube countdown, we find Neko Case covering Bob Dylan’s Buckets of Rain from Bob’s “Blood on the Tracks” album.  There are two things you need to understand.  First, Neko Case is my favorite female singer in the world.  Her voice is just a soaring laser beam of power and clarity.  Second, Buckets of Rain is among my favorite songs ever.  It’s just a gorgeous poem of love and devotion.  I was planning to record a video of me playing Buckets of Rain, but there’s some guy operating a power drill outside my window right now, so that will have to wait for another day. In lieu of such activities, you’ll just have to enjoy Neko’s golden voice giving life to Bob’s golden words for now.  I’m so sorry. ; )



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