“Bob Dylan had songs spilling out of him, and Witmark, to use one of Thomas Edison’s favourite phrases, “seized the palpitating air.”” (Colin Escott, sleeve notes of Bootleg Vol. 9)
I enjoy the Dylan Bootleg series, especially the first volume which features some of the songs on this release, and think they are some of the best thought-out compilations of any artists back catalogue to be released, and are fantastically packaged with some brilliant, sometimes never before seen, photos in the accompanying lavish booklet.
The Witmark Demos lives up to the previous excellence of this series. Many of the songs you may own on other Bob Dylan albums but what is achieved on here, unlike some of the other Bootlegs which drift between decades, is a great compact snapshot of a two year period very early in Bob’s career. These songs are just Dylan, an acoustic guitar, and a tape recorder. That is it. What comes across with the cleaning up that the engineers have done with these songs is that the clarity of his voice suggests he is sat across from you playing. Especially if you listen to it on your mp3 player/ipodthingymejig. This is downhome bluesy country Bob at his best.
It is for me some of the best proof available of just how good a singer the feral Bob Dylan was. His voice on here has a big range and goes off experimenting at tangents with great results. I would 100% recommend this to any existing Dylan fan, and also to people who may want an introduction to Dylan’s early stuff. I got it on Amazon for approx £6. Great value for some great music.