Bob Dylan

The Dylan's Root

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This oddly titled bootleg assembles a pair of landmark recordings from 1961 that capture the young Bob Dylan in the infancy of his career. The bulk of The Dylan's Root comprises the so-called East Orange Tape, the earliest known Dylan recording. Cut over the course of several weeks at the East Orange, NJ, home of folk music patrons Bob and Sidsel Gleason, the 25-minute session paints a portrait of a preternaturally gifted talent still struggling with the legacy of his idol Woody Guthrie; all ten songs are covers, but Dylan's singular phrasing and intensity nevertheless portend the trailblazing music in his not-too-distant future. The remainder of the disc features seven songs from Dylan's November 4 appearance at New York's Carnegie Chapter Hall, his first-ever performance outside the coffeehouse circuit. The leap in confidence and ability from the East Orange Tape is remarkable, and he translates the energy of the small audience into a performance of extraordinary intimacy. Despite the limitations of the source material, this is essential listening for any serious Dylan enthusiast.