I have been flying around a lot in the last few weeks. This has given me a chance to listen to my iPod rather than my satellite radio. I rediscovered this classic bootleg from Bob's performance at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival on July 11, 2004. I got these tracks a while back from BobCat Numero Uno, who is the king of the bootlegs. Thanks for the loan.
The show had a great set list and the recording has good sound for a bootleg. Larry Campbell was still in the band. He does a great job on guitar, particularly the pedal steel on Pancho and Lefty
Bob did two great covers as part of his set. First up was Merle Haggard's Sing Me Back Home, which has always been one of my favorite Haggard songs. Next, Bob took on the classic Townes Van Zandt song that Merle and Willie made famous: Pancho and Lefty.
There has always been a connection in my mind between Bob and Merle. This may be because they are two of the best songwriters touring today or it may be because I have seen Merle open for Bob on two occasions (see my post from Feb 2, 2009). Have a listen to these two tunes:
I was also blown away by this song from the 1997 Grammy winning album Time Out of Mind. This is my favorite song from the album and one that Bob doesn't play live very often. I have never been lucky enough to hear it live. Have a listen:
Much has been made of Bob's reduced singing capabilities. On this song, he sounds better than usual. Of course, I am a fan regardless of his singing. It is just good to have him still out there on the Never Ending Tour.