Bromberg and Dylan – the missing album, part 4.

by Jochen Markhorst

We are continuing looking at songs that might have made it onto the Dylan / Bromberg album had it ever been completed and released.

11 “Northeast Texas Woman”

“Northeast Texas Woman” is probably best known in Jerry Jeff Walker’s version, for whom it is something of a signature song, but the original by cult legend Willis Alan Ramsey deserves the spotlight. Closing track of his 1972 self-titled debut album, the one with “Muskrat Candlelight”, and the one on which half of Dylan’s elite collaborators support Ramsey (Leon Russel, Carl Radle, Jim Keltner, Russ Kunkel). Bromberg also had the song on his repertoire in the seventies, and a wonderful live recording can be found on Bromberg’s Bandit In A Bathing Suit from 1978 (for obscure reasons renamed “Northeast Texas Women”).

12 “Sail On” 

There are many “Sail Ons”, but we can rule out most of them. It’s very unlikely, in any case, that Bromberg and Dylan would feel inclined to interpret the Commodores hit, for example. Beach Boys idem ditto. The best candidate, especially given the surrounding songs, is Lightnin’ Hopkins’-“Sail On, Little Girl, Sail On”, from one of his rare country blues records (Blues In My Bottle, 1961), when Samuel John “Lightnin'” Hopkins leaves his electric guitar in the case and takes up an acoustic.

13 “Can’t Lose What You Never Had” 

The Allman Brothers have made a successful coup attempt, but it is and remains a Muddy Waters song. Hard to beat. Not even, with all due respect, by Dylan & Bromberg.

  1. World Of Fools 

Been on Bromberg’s set list for decades, and the studio recording on Only Slightly Mad (2013) is the crowning glory. Wonderful sixties vibe. Sounds like it should have been the B-side to Richard Harris’ “MacArthur Park”.

  1. Everybody’s Crying Mercy 

The immortal Mose Allison is rarely seen in Dylan’s oeuvre, and seems to be a soulmate of Bromberg. Any Mose song will do, and this is certainly not a bad choice for a Dylan & Bromberg session – but “Rolling Stone” would have been nicer, of course.

  1. Tennessee Blues 

From the same corner as Ramsey’s “Northeast Texas Woman”: Bobby Charles’ “Tennessee Blues”. DJ Dylan plays his “He’s Got All The Whiskey” on Theme Time Radio Hour (in the bonus broadcast “Whiskey” in 2020), a song that appears on the same self-titled 1972 debut album as the brilliant “Tennessee Blues”. Charles was part of the Woodstock entourage – hence the men from The Band playing along. “Another guy who likes simple was our good friend Bobby Charles. He never got fancy, but he always got his point across,” says the DJ appreciatively.

Dylan’s buddy Doug Sahm recorded the song too, by the way (released on Texas Tornado, 1973), during the sessions to which both Dylan and Bromberg contributed.

17 Summer Wages 

Another old Bromberg song, written by Ian Tyson. With a strong tears in my beer vibe, which Dylan does not feel is beneath him, as we know.

https://youtu.be/Rrkgk7yhgrw

18 Casey Jones 

The Grateful Dead song is a candidate, but given the surrounding songs, the primal version, the nineteenth-century folk song, is more likely. DJ Dylan plays both the Grateful Dead song and the 1940s Jubalaires’, but neither seems a candidate for a Dylan & Bromberg approach. Johnny Cash’s beauty from 1963 is already a better one, but Mississippi John Hurt’s version is the most likely.

19 Morning Blues 

A first association is of course the monument “Good Morning Blues” by Leadbelly. But after “Sail On, Little Girl, Sail On”, another Lightnin’ Hopkins song is more likely. Moreover, the title would then be completely correct.

 

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Jochen is a regular reviewer of Dylan’s work on Untold. His books, in English, Dutch and German, are available via Amazon both in paperback and on Kindle:

 

 

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