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Red on Blonde


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Audio CD, June 18, 1996
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Red on Blonde + The Crossing + Fiddler's Green
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 18, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sugarhill
  • ASIN: B000000F52
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,138 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power)
2. Tombstone Blues
3. Farewell Angelina
4. The Wicked Messenger
5. Father Of The Night
6. Subterranean Homesick Blues
7. Everything Is Broken
8. Man Gave Names To All The Animals
9. Masters Of War
10. Oxford Town
11. Maggie's Farm
12. Forever Young
13. Lay Down Your Weary Tune

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
The whole CD is an infectious pleasure.
R. J MOSS
"Lay Down Your Weary Tune" is a beautiful hymn-like song with the backup singers adding beautiful harmonies.
H. F. Corbin
If you are a fan of traditional folk music, you'll love Tim O'Brien.
Rodney J.Umlas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Nenstiel TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 2, 2004
Format: Audio CD
No one ever pretended Bob Dylan had a pretty voice, but he did do definitive versions of his songs. So why should we pay money to hear a bluegrass artist do covers that sound markedly different from Dylan's originals?
Because the real magic of Bob Dylan's music is that it is so malleable. Every important song he wrote has more than one meaning, more than one interpretation, and his body of work has been a gold mine for intellectual musicians looking for a strong voice to adopt.
Mercifully, Tim O'Brien avoided the best-known Dylan tunes like Blowin' in the Wind or Mr. Tambourine Man. This isn't just a greatest hits retrospective; it's a cohesive artistic statement, like Blood on the Tracks or John Wesley Harding. One could imagine Dylan himself running Tombstone Blues up against Farewell Angelina, mustering little-known pieces like Oxford Town to keep the listener's attention through the middle portion, and crowning the sequence with Forever Young and Lay Down Your Weary Tune.
Yet for this artistic integrity and loftiness, it's still an album you can listen to more than once. The bouncy upbeat tunes on most of the tracks carry you along easily, and even when the pace slows on songs like Wicked Messenger or Masters of War, the flawless ensemble playing and clear vocals make you want to continue listening.
This piece is a worthy addition to the body of work of Tim O'Brien, but it's also a wonderful statement for Bob Dylan. And it's a highly pleasing, satisfying addition to the CD collection of any fan of either artist.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Tim O'Brien's all bluegrass recording of Bob Dylan songs has a clever title-- I assume he is referring to his own reddish hair-- but more important than a catchy phrase is O'Brien's renderings of thirteen titles that span Dylan's songwriting career from 1963 to 1989. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the music of the protean Dylan works well in a bluegrass setting complete with mandolins, banjo, fiddle, harmonica and guitar of course. After all, Dylan over the years has dabbled in country music ("Nashville Skyline") and has recorded with the likes of Johnny Cash.

Of the thirteen songs included here, my favorites are "Farewell Angelina," "Man Gave Names To All The Animals," "Oxford Town," and "Lay Down Your Weary Tune." In his excellent notes, Mr. O'Brien pays tribute to Joan Baez and her arrangement of "Farewell Angelina," saying that she "may be Dylan's best interpreter." (I would suggest it may be a toss-up between Ms. Baez and Judy Collins.) Even though O'Brien suggests that "Man Gave Names to All The Animals" is from Dylan "at his silliest," the song for me has a great beat and makes me smile. "Oxford Town" of course is about James Meredith's integrating the University of Mississippi. O'Brien at times sounds a little like Dylan here. "Lay Down Your Weary Tune" is a beautiful hymn-like song with the backup singers adding beautiful harmonies.

This CD is everything you hoped for and then some.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This bluegrass homage to Bob Dylan is surprisingly lively and fresh and (oddly enough) one of O'Brien's best, most straightforwardly bluegrass-y solo albums. Scott Nygaard, Jerry Douglas and others pitch in on this good-natured album, spearheaded by the longtime Hot Rize mandolinist, who has since gone on into more high-concept blue/newgrass terrain. Here, O'Brien connects with Dylan's original old-timey influences, straightening out some of the kooky kinks Dylan had put into folk music, back in his 'Sixties heyday, and transforming classic tunes such as "Maggie's Farm" and "Tombstone Blues" into straightforward, galloping bluegrass breakdowns. Nice to hear this music coming full circle back to its roots!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alex Frantz on May 12, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Tim O'Brien's selection of reinterpreted Dylan tunes delivers plenty of strong moments.
O'Brien has chosen an interesting set of songs for this CD. There are 3 major multi-CD retrospectives of Dylan's work: Biograph (the best), The Essential Bob Dylan, and the 3 Greatest Hits CDs. 6 of O'Briens 13 selections appear on none of those sets. O'Brien has chosen from the whole of Dylan's catalog, from "Freewheelin" to "Oh Mercy" while using unique criteria: "Freewheelin" isn't represented by the familiar 'Blowing in the Wind' or 'A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall' but the less familiar 'Masters of War' and downright obscure 'Oxford Town'. From the classic "Highway 61 Revisited" we get not 'Like a Rolling Stone' but 'Tombstone Blues'; from "John Wesley Harding" not 'All Along the Watchtower' but 'The Wicked Messenger'. Indeed, most of the selections will be unfamiliar to casual fans of Dylan's career.
O'Brien makes this unusual selection work - ironically, 'Forever Young', probably the most widely recognized song on this CD, is also about the least interesting cover. 'Maggie`s Farm' was probably a poor choice as well - the snarling contempt of the lyrics simply fits Dylan's straightforward rock arrangement better than O'Brien's traditional stylings. But the strong entries outnumber the weak: 'Farewell Angelina' is a straight performance of a beautiful song, 'Senor' is superb, 'Everything is Broken' is a fine cover of a strong song from Dylan's less prominent later work. 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' is done marvelously as a sort of bluegrass rap, a choice which works perfectly, as do the strong picking and fiddle on 'Tombstone Blues'.
For some who can't get past Dylan's questionable voice, this will be a more accessible introduction to the man who is probably the greatest living songwriter. Dylan fans will enjoy hearing familiar songs presented skillfully from a fresh slant.
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