Bob Dylan

Contract with the Lord, Pt. 2

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The bootleg release Contract With the Lord, Pt. 2 assembles the remainder of Bob Dylan's legendary November 16, 1979, date at San Francisco's Fox Warfield Theater, a performance that concluded his two-week residency in support of his much-maligned Christian-themed LP Slow Train Coming. Swapping his classic hits in favor of devoutly spiritual compositions inspired by traditional gospel, folk, and blues, the Fox Warfield shows communicated the true conviction of Dylan's newfound Christian faith in ways Slow Train Coming and its follow-up, Saved, did not, achieving a soulful potency that vinyl simply could not contain. Galvanized by Dylan's heartfelt, passionate vocals and the earthy grooves of his exemplary backing band (featuring keyboardist Spooner Oldham and drummer Jim Keltner), Contract With the Lord captures the creative apex of an oft-misunderstood period of Dylan's career. While it's a shame Wanted Man issued the show as two companion releases instead of one two-disc set, the second volume does include two bonus tracks, highlighted by a lively studio recording of "Trouble in Mind" cut at Alabama's famed Muscle Shoals Studio.