Summer 2006 - Caroline's Headin' For Another Joint Journal

Girlofthenorcalcountry's picture
We saw fewer shows on this summer’s ballpark tour than either of the last two summers, not out of any diminished interest but more a matter of timing and geography. We sure are due for a Western states incarnation of the Bob Dylan ballpark show! In a lot of ways this was the most enjoyable of the ballpark tours so far. Jam Productions just keeps getting better at running the thing, and this year the addition of the early entry lines made getting in low-stress and fair to those who put the time in. Despite the late-night lawn sprinkler fiascos and Kait kicking my ass in gin rummy, I enjoyed the hours in line with friends from around the Midwest – those friends you only see on the road with Bob. There were reunitings, new connections, a chance to stump for Bob on Minnesota TV, and even an engagement (see News and Updates)! We gave Bob slight variations of the same front row for 4 nights running, and he didn’t seem to mind a bit! I thought the sequence of openers was the best yet, and even got a chance to say so to a couple of them. Elana James and her band were checking into the Rochester Motel 6 as I was checking out, and in Fargo we made the acquaintance of some fun-loving guys from the Jimmie Vaughan crew. I actually liked 3 openers more than 2 (longer playing) ones: Elana’s band sizzles with great musicianship (I was especially happy to see energetic and talented guitarist Whit Smith along for the ride); Junior Brown is a trip and pretty engaging; and Jimmie Vaughan has one of the best sounding guitars I’ve heard, period. Go Texas music! Bob and the band sounded great this time out. It was exciting to see them with Modern Times at #1, and knowing a new tour is just around the bend even as this one was winding down. Their sound is full and rich, maybe less rollicking and wild than some of the recent bands, more driven and determined and powerful, like a chugging locomotive with a cowboy swing. Bob was lively behind the keyboard, getting his whole body into it, cueing the front row to pump our fists in the air on Highway 61, flashing his diamond rings, sharing laughs with the rhythm section, and treating us to some great singing. Not really time for highlights here but there were lots, so check our reviews page soon for more details. If ballparks were covered, Bob would have blown the roof off more than one! -Caroline
Fargo, ND. Show-ready!