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Vids from the Vault - Dylan and Tedeschi - It Takes a Lot to Laugh...

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Here's a cool video out of the Bob vaults from November 20th, 1999, Newark, Delaware (there's two Newarks?!) Bob inviting Susan Tedeschi onstage to play. It all looks pretty haphazard, which is the way Bob likes it, Tony Garnier seems to be telling her the chords as the song goes along - one can imagine the back stage conversation...

Bob - "Hey Susan, how about come out and play one tonight..."

Susan - "I'd love that, Bob! Wow, of course, which song will it be?"

Bob - "Probably should be a blues kinda one, huh? I don't really know which, we'll see..."

Susan - "Umm, ok, Bob... but when will you tell me...?"

Bob walks off...

The song is It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry, (one of his absolutely greatest song titles, by the way, a poem in and of itself) and Tedeschi is gamely trying to follow along to the chords, and to be fair, she's got a great blues voice, but her guitar playing is only a notch or two above Bob's. Which may be why he seemed to like what she played so much. Anyway, they're having a good old time, Susan hits a few bum notes that makes her solo sound almost exactly like Bob's own guitar... I hesitate to use the word solo... interludes, ahem... but his voice sounds great, the rest of the band sound great (Charlie Sexton tossing in some nice tasty real blues licks) and everybody's having a good time, especially Bob, who dances around with his Strat and causes Susan to laugh repeatedly out loud.

Bob's voice back then was still a supple and elastic instrument, not yet overtaken by the heavy duty gravel and stones of the present day. But some like the way his voice has... aged, like not so smooth Bourbon that still gives a great kick. Here he sings his own blues like he means it, a sad and woeful song, even though he smiles his way all through it.

A video not to be missed...

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