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Bob Dylan and band, Elmore James style blues instrumental—Nov. 9, 2012, United Center, Chicago

Paul Bullen on May 19, 2013 09:03

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    The opening song for Bob Dylan and the band's set at the November 9, 2012 concert at United Center, Chicago, Illinois. It has been variously misidentified hitherto. Bob is playing guitar. The slide guitar part is presumably Donnie Herron on steel guitar. This excerpt from the concert might do well to be be combined with the minute or so of warming up that precedes it. Some of it anticipates this song. The performances is an Elmore James style electric blues instrumental (presumably in view of the Chicago venue). Although some speak of the performance as Sweet Home Chicago (attributed to Robert Johnson), the actual musical content is not in itself distinguishable as that. It does seem that it would have been possible to sing the lyrics to the song using that performance. But it would also have been possible to sing Dust My Broom or, for that matter, other songs by Elmore James. And the performance is almost identical instrumentally to a 1991 performance in Detroit by Dylan of Dust My Broom (so identified because the lyrics were sung) and because it had the Elmore James lick:http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Dust+My+Broom/58n7S3?src=5 AND with the two combined: https://soundcloud.com/handydandy/chicago#play. Finally, the United Center performance included slide guitar in the manner of Elmore James. None of this rules out the possibility that the performers intended to allude to Sweet Home Chicago, especially in view of the similarities to recent performances by Buddy Guy and others. But we can't be sure. But it seems at least reasonable to assume that the Chicago venue prompted an electric blues type opening number.

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