Once upon a time Bob Dylan tore down the walls and delivered unto us music we’d never experienced before. Our very innocence was placed on the auction block as Dylan’s words like a guillotine lopped the heads off everything we held close to our hearts and believed would help us through the perilous times. Things have changed as Bob offers up his second installment of standards. Let’s begin with the band as once again they’re upfront in the mix as they were on 2015’s Shadows In The Night. Just listen to the opening of “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” as it salters along bringing us to a country dance without regret or hesitation. His voice sounds positively entrancing as it ruefully bleeds all of the sentiment out of these torch ballads and transports them to a bygone republic still standing beneath the pallor of cherry orchard skies. Even though these songs were recorded at the Shadows sessions these are two distinctly different records. For those fearing that Bob is slowing down find yourself a decent set of headphones (Grado SR60's will do quite nicely) and really hunker down with this record because trust me if you give it even half a chance you’ll find yourself grinning from ear to ear as Dylan raps our knuckles with a coolness rarely experienced in these days of instant fame and missed opportunities. Listen for the squeaky shoes!
Charles Eric Cicirella