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Bob Dylan Announces Tour And Release Of Complete 'Basement Tapes'

Bob Dylan performs with The Band at Carnegie Hall on Jan. 20, 1968
Bob Dylan performs with The Band at Carnegie Hall on Jan. 20, 1968
Courtesy of AP

Bob Dylan just announced he will begin a 31-date North American tour on October 17th, starting in Seattle and ending with a four-night residency in New York at the Beacon Theater. The cross-country tour also has residencies in Seattle, Los Angeles, Oakland, Minneapolis, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Tickets for most of these shows will be on sale this Labor Day weekend. For further details and additional information, visit Dylan's official website.

The upcoming North American tour will be Dylan's first since August of last year, when he toured briefly with Wilco and My Morning Jacket on the AmericanaramA tour. He is currently in the middle of a tour of Australia.

According to concert reviewers, Dylan's recent set lists mostly focus on his more recent material from the last 15 years - from Time Out Of Mind until now. He only regularly plays three songs from his '60s period: "Blowin' In The Wind," "All Along The Watch Tower," and "She Belongs To Me." Occasionally, "Tangled Up In Blue" and "Simple Twist Of Fate" work their way into the setlist.

The news of Dylan's new tour comes immediately following the announcement that he will release the complete Basement Tapes sessions on November 4th as another installment of his "Bootleg Series." The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 will feature an impressive 138 tracks spread out over six discs. There are rare demos, newly remastered songs, and supposedly 30 tracks never before heard by even the most ardent Dylan disciple.

The original Basement Tapes were released in 1975, eight years after they were recorded in Upstate New York. Dylan gave The Band's Robbie Robertson permission to remaster and release what they considered the best of the bunch as a double LP. Come November, many fans will hear for the first time how Dylan intended those songs to sound.

The original reel-to-reel tapes that held the entirety of the Basement Tapes sessions sat in Woodstock, NY at the home of The Band's keyboardist Garth Hudson. Hudson sold the tapes to a collector ten years ago, and Dylan's people brokered a deal to the have the tapes released officially.

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