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Vids from the Vault - Dylan, Yearwood - Tomorrow Night, March 1994

This is a rarely seen video with scant documentation online on the event, even from Bob Links and the usual reliable sources. Dylan made what's said to have been a surprise appearance at The Rhythm, Country & Blues Concert, held at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, California, March 23rd 1994.

This was a little more than a year after the release of "Good as I've Been to You," which contained "Tomorrow Night," best known for Elvis' cover version of it, but the song was also was a hit for blues/jazz singer Lonnie Johnson in 1948, a version Dylan undoubtedly heard. In the "Six Degrees of Bob" department, in 1962 Dylan played harmonica and sang back up vocals on four recordings with Victoria Spivey and Big Joe Williams, which were included on "Three Kings And The Queen" Vols.1 &2 on Victoria's own blues imprint, Spivey Records. Dylan is cited on the back cover credits. The "Three Kings And The Queen" records featured Roosevelt Sykes, Big Joe Williams and, yes, Lonnie Johnson. Spivey and Johnson recorded an album together with three duets and her playing piano called "Idle Hours," in 1961. Spivey is famously featured in the photo on the back cover of "New Morning," sitting at the piano with a very young looking Bob by her side, the photo reportedly taken from those "Three Kings and a Queen" sessions.

All of which is to say, when Dylan decides to sing an old tune, it wasn't just randomly picked out of a hat. Here he comes out on stage with Trisha Yearwood and does an uncharacteristically well performed duet with her. A large amount of the credit has to go to Yearwood, who is a consummate professional and watches Dylan every second while following his vocal. For Bob's part, he sings the song beautifully, if a little flat in the beginning, but the feeling is there throughout. By the end of the song, they've hit a stride together, ending perfectly on - "...and you willingly surrender, to me, but darling will it last..." For a Bob duet, it's enough to give you goosebumps. He never looks at Yearwood once, doesn't try for the 'glued to each other' eye contact mode most country singers use. Instead, Bob sings with his long time practice of just letting the song exist, and the results are quite wonderful. There was a certain aspect to his face that night, the one he gets sometimes, you know... where he's lookin' like a saint.

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