By Aaron Galbraith and Tony Attwood
The people we are looking at in this series are going to be artists who have a direct connection to Dylan and his work or life. So they could be from his backing bands, friends from back in the day or even family members.
In the last episode we looked at Charlie Sexton. In this second instalment let’s look at the work of possibly the greatest all round musician to play in Dylan’s band, since at least Garth Hudson. It’s Larry Campbell
Tony: That is utterly, utterly amazing. Stunning – and he just stands there and does it without any fuss or antics. It is an incredible talent. I am so glad to have this pointed out to me. I never knew he could do this!
Aaron: Larry played in Dylan’s band from 1997 to 2004. The list of other artists he has played with is mightily impressive – including Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow, Levon Helm and BB King.
His first solo album Rooftops appeared in 2005. This was a collection of mainly fiddle tunes transposed to acoustic guitar. The tour de force of the album is this version of the House Carpenter.
Tony: OK after the first track I was ready for pure sheer unadulterated talent, and wow, this comes through. Dear Reader, please play this all the way through, you will not be disappointed. How does anyone get to be that nimble? Oh yes, and do keep listening to the end – don’t be too anxious to move on to the next example.
Aaron: Following this he went on produce Levon Helm’s Grammy award-winning Albums Dirt Farmer and electric Dirt.
Later he started working with his wife Teresa Williams, so far they have made a pair of really fine albums, the self titled debut in 2015 was followed by Contraband Love in 2017.
Let’s finish off with some tracks from both and see what Tony makes of these (If the studio version don’t work you should be able to find live versions on YouTube)
Attics Of My Life
Tony: That was unexpected. I often wonder why people leave the band with Bob, but with this ability playing the same songs night after night must be a bit limiting, even with Bob’s notorious habit of suddenly changing the script. But with this beautiful voice lurking at home, what ever made him go on tour in the first place?
Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning
Tony: And just when I thought I was getting the hang of what they were going to deliver, we have this. My guess is whatever these two touch, is going to be really worth listening to. If I may add one thought, the lady has far too fine a voice ever to shout, but then, what do I know?
When I Stop Loving You
What more can I say? They can do it all. Stay with this – the harmonies are beautiful.
They have their own website of course. And it has lots of other examples of their music too. Lucky Bob to have had such a musician who would tour with him.