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Dylan, Cash recordings resurface

Thursday, September 19, 2019 – Recordings from Bob Dylan featuring Johnny Cash will be out this fall.

"Bob Dylan (featuring Johnny Cash) - Travelin' Thru, 1967 - 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15" drops Nov. 1 on Columbia Records and Legacy Recordings.

The latest chapter in Columbia/Legacy's Bob Dylan Bootleg Series revisits Dylan's musical journeys to Nashville, from 1967 to 1969, focusing on previously unavailable recordings made with Cash and unreleased tracks from the "John Wesley Harding," "Nashville Skyline" and "Self Portrait" sessions.

Disc one of the three-disc set finds Dylan in Columbia's Studio A in Nashville recording alternate versions of compositions written for John Wesley Harding (Oct. 17 and Nov. 6, 1967) and Nashville Skyline (Feb. 13-14, 1969) while introducing a new song "Western Road" (a Nashville Skyline outtake).

Discs Two and Three are centered around Dylan's collaborations with Cash including the Columbia Studio A sessions and on-stage performances at the Ryman Auditorium (May 1, 1969) for the recording of the premiere episode of The Johnny Cash Show (originally broadcast on ABC-TV on June 7, 1969).

Disc Three closes with tracks recorded on May 17, 1970 with Grammy Award-winning bluegrass banjo legend Earl Scruggs for the PBS television special, "Earl Scruggs: His Family and Friends" (originally aired January 1971).

1967 saw a transformation in Bob Dylan's musical evolution. Dylan withdrew from public view following a motorcycle accident in July 1966. He'd recorded "Blonde On Blonde" with a full-band in Nashville in February 1966 but, when it came time to record its follow-up in the fall of 1967, he opted for a simple trio - Dylan (guitar, vocals, harmonica), Charlie McCoy (bass) and Kenneth Buttrey (drums) - to create a minimal sound.

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,' he said. 'There's no line you can stick your finger through. There's no blank filler.'"

Dylan returned to Columbia Studio A in February 1969 to work on "Nashville Skyline." "Bob asked me to be a guest on the album," Cash said later, "and I went to the studio and they just turned on the recorder for about two hours." Columbia Studio A hosted two Dylan-Cash sessions: Feb. 17 and 18, 1969 with a band that included Carl Perkins playing guitar on six tracks (including his own composition, "Matchbox"). One of the sonic discoveries on "Travelin' Thru' is "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright/Understand Your Man," as two singular singer/songwriters pay mutual compositional and vocal tribute to each other.

The full-day Dylan-Cash duet session included the first known version of "Wanted Man" and the only version of the song ever sung by Dylan. The following week, Cash made it the opening song at his San Quentin concert. The session provides insight into the shared sensibilities of Dylan and Cash through a variety of covers including two Jimmie Rodgers medleys.

When The Johnny Cash Show was scheduled to debut in June 1969, the host offered Bob Dylan a guest slot on the first show. In the days before and after The Johnny Cash Show taping, Dylan was working on the album that emerged more than a year later as "Self Portrait." For the May 3 session, guitarist Fred Carter was brought in to augment Dylan's usual Nashville band. The "Folsom Prison Blues" and "Ring of Fire" recorded that day are available for the first time on "Travelin' Thru."

Although only one duet with Johnny Cash ("Girl from the North Country") appears on Dylan's original "Nashville Skyline" album, Cash penned the album's Grammy Award-winning liner notes. A month after the album was released, Dylan made his first live TV appearance in five years on The Johnny Cash Show; that performance is also included here.

Songs on the release are:
DISC 1
Oct. 17, 1967
Columbia Studio A, Nashville
John Wesley Harding sessions
1. Drifter's Escape - Take 1 (Alternate Version)
2. I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine - Take 2 (Alternate Version)

Nov. 6, 1967
Columbia Studio A, Nashville
John Wesley Harding sessions
3. All Along the Watchtower - Take 3 (Alternate Version)
4. John Wesley Harding - Take 1 (Alternate Version)
5. As I Went Out One Morning - Take 1 (Alternate Version)
6. I Pity the Poor Immigrant - Take 4 (Alternate Version)
7. I Am a Lonesome Hobo - Take 4 (Alternate Version)
Bob Dylan: vocals, guitar, harmonica
Charlie McCoy: bass
Kenneth Buttrey: drums

Feb. 13, 1969
Columbia Studio A, Nashville
Nashville Skyline sessions

8. I Threw It All Away - Take 1 (Alternate Version) Previously released on The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait
9. To Be Alone with You - Take 1 (Alternate Version)
10. Lay Lady Lay - Take 2 (Alternate Version) Previously released as a digital download with iTunes pre-orders of Together Through Life
11. One More Night - Take 2 (Alternate Version)
12. Western Road - Take 1 (Outtake)

Feb. 14, 1969
Columbia Studio A, Nashville
Nashville Skyline sessions

13. Peggy Day - Take 1 (Alternate Version)
14. Tell Me That It Isn't True - Take 2 (Alternate Version)
15. Country Pie - Take 2 (Alternate Version)

Bob Dylan - vocals, guitar, piano, harmonica
Kelton D. Herston, Norman Blake, Charlie Daniels, Wayne Moss (10 & 12): guitars
Bob Wilson: piano, organ
Peter Drake: steel guitar (13-15)
Charlie McCoy: bass
Kenneth Buttrey: drums

DISC 2
Feb. 17, 1969
Columbia Studio A, Nashville
The Dylan-Cash Sessions
1. I Still Miss Someone - Take 5 Written by Johnny Cash and Roy Cash, Jr.
2. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right/Understand Your Man - Rehearsal Written by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash

Feb. 18, 1969
Columbia Studio A, Nashville
The Dylan-Cash Sessions
3. One Too Many Mornings - Take 3
4. Mountain Dew - Take 1 Written by Bascom Lamar Lunsford and Scott Wiseman
5. Mountain Dew - Take 2 Written by Bascom Lamar Lunsford and Scott Wiseman
6. I Still Miss Someone - Take 2 Written by Johnny Cash and Roy Cash, Jr.
7. Careless Love - Take 1 Traditional, arranged by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash
8. Matchbox - Take 1 Written by Carl Perkins
9. That's All Right, Mama - Take 1 Written by Arthur Crudup
10. Mystery Train/This Train Is Bound for Glory - Take 1 Mystery Train written by Junior Parker. This Train Is Bound for Glory written by Woody Guthrie
11. Big River - Take 1 Written by Johnny Cash
12. Girl from the North Country - Rehearsal
13. Girl from the North Country - Take 1
14. I Walk the Line - Take 2 Written by Johnny Cash
15. Guess Things Happen That Way - Rehearsal Written by Jack Clement
16. Guess Things Happen That Way - Take 3 Written by Jack Clement
17. Five Feet High and Rising - Take 1 Written by Johnny Cash
18. You Are My Sunshine - Take 1 Written by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell
19. Ring of Fire - Take 1 Written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore

DISC 3
Feb. 18, 1969 Columbia Studio A, Nashville
The Dylan-Cash Sessions
1. Studio Chatter
2. Wanted Man - Take 1
3. Amen - Rehearsal Written by Jester Hairston
4. Just a Closer Walk with Thee - Take 1 Traditional, arranged by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash
5. Jimmie Rodgers Medley No. 1 - Take 1 Based on Blue Yodel No. 1 (T for Texas), The Brakeman's Blues (Yodeling the Blues Away), and Blue Yodel No. 5 (It's Raining Here) written by Jimmie Rodgers
6. Jimmie Rodgers Medley No. 2 - Take 2 Based on Waiting for a Train, The Brakeman's Blues (Yodeling the Blues Away), and Blue Yodel No. 1 (T For Texas) written by Jimmie Rodgers
Bob Dylan: vocals, guitar
Johnny Cash: vocals, guitar
Carl Perkins: guitar (08,10, 02, 04-06)
Bob Wootton: guitar
Marshall Grant: bass
W.S. Holland: drums

May 1, 1969
Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN
Live on The Johnny Cash Show
Originally broadcast on ABC-TV, June 7, 1969
7. I Threw It All Away included on 2010 DVD The Best of the Johnny Cash TV Show: 1969-1971
8. Living the Blues
9. Girl from the North Country, included on 2010 DVD The Best of the Johnny Cash TV Show: 1969-1971
Bob Dylan: vocals, guitar
Johnny Cash: vocals, guitar (09)
Norman Blake and Charlie Daniels: guitars
Peter Drake: steel guitar
Bob Wilson: piano
Charlie McCoy: bass
Kenneth Buttrey: drums

May 3, 1969
Columbia Studio A, Nashville
Self Portrait sessions
10. Ring of Fire (Outtake) Written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore
11. Folsom Prison Blues (Outtake) Written by Johnny Cash
Bob Dylan: vocals, guitar
Fred F. Carter, Norman Blake: guitars
Charlie Daniels: guitar (11), bass (10)
Bob Wilson: piano
Peter Drake: steel guitar
Charlie McCoy: harmonica (10), bass (11)
Kenneth Buttrey: drums
Delores Edgin and Dottie Dillard: background vocals

May 17, 1970
The Home of Thomas B. Allen, Carmel, N.Y.
With Earl Scruggs
12. Earl Scruggs Interview
13. East Virginia Blues - Written by A.P. Carter. Included in 1971 documentary Earl Scruggs: His Family and Friends
14. To Be Alone with You
15. Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance. Traditional, arranged by Bob Dylan 16. Nashville Skyline Rag - Previously released on the album Earl Scruggs Performing with His Family and Friends
Bob Dylan: vocals, guitar
Earl Scruggs: banjo
Randy Scruggs: acoustic guitar
Gary Scruggs: electric bass

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