Coming on November 1st is Bob Dylan (featuring Johnny Cash) – Travelin' Thru, 1967 – 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15. The new collection unveils 47 previously unreleased recordings, including outtakes from 1967's John Wesley Harding, 1969's Nashville Skyline, and 1970's Self Portrait — plus the first official release of legendary Bob Dylan-Johnny Cash 1969 Nashville studio sessions. Travelin' Thru will be released in triple-CD, triple-LP, and digital configurations.
In his liner notes for Travelin' Thru, Colin Escott writes, “Talking to journalist Matt Damsker about the sound of John Wesley Harding, Dylan said, 'I didn't know how to record the way other people were recording, and I didn't want to. . . I just didn't think all that production was necessary.' He also went for lyrical economy. What I'm trying to do now is not use too many words. There's no line you can stick your finger through. There's no blank filler.'”
The late-Johnny Cash recalled his February 1969 Nashville sessions with Dylan, remembering, “Bob asked me to be a guest on the album and I went to the studio and they just turned on the recorder for about two hours.” In addition to their pair's joint session, the collection also features on-stage performances at the Ryman Auditorium from May 1st, 1969 for the recording of the premiere episode of The Johnny Cash Show — originally broadcast on ABC-TV on June 7th, 1969.
With the release of 1967's John Wesley Harding and especially 1969's Nashville Skyline, fans were confused as to why with the Vietnam war raging — especially during a hotly contested election cycle — Dylan was coming across more as a mild-mannered country bumpkin than the counter-culture icon he had had become.
During his August 17th, 1969 press conference prior to his prior to his return to the stage with the Band at the legendary Isle of Wight Festival, Dylan was pressed as to his stance on the drug scene: “I don't have any of those views. I wish I did, 'be glad to share them with you, but I. . . I think everyone should do their own life. Y'know?”
Bob Dylan explained that there are definitely fundamentals to songwriting that everyone needs to abide by: “Well there are certain rules and regulations to it. I mean, you just don't sit down and write a song, y'know what I mean? There's a certain amount of learning you have to, y'know, go through to get to that point and not only living experience, but, I mean, you have to also play an instrument and carry some kind of tune, I guess.”
Bob Dylan kicks off his North American tour on October 11th, at Irvine, California's Bren Events Center.