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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bob Dylan w/ Willie Nelson

Tonight @ Marcus Amphitheater, 7:30 p.m.

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Critics tend to go easy on late-period releases from rock ’n’ roll veterans—remember the infamous five-star, instant-classic review Rolling Stone gave Mick Jagger’s horrible 2001 album, Goddess in the Doorway? But more than any of his peers, Dylan has earned his recent accolades, releasing a quartet of sly, memorable albums beginning with 1997’s Time Out Of Mind that have not only done justice to his name, but have added to his legacy. Dylan’s latest, this April’s Together Through Life, is the quickest, most down-and-dirty record he’s recorded since his critical resurgence, an unlabored set of barroom blues that puts the spotlight to Dylan’s crack touring band.

At 76, Willie Nelson’s legacy is well cemented, yet he keeps recording like he still owes the IRS back taxes. In the last half-decade alone, he’s released a high-profile country-reggae album; a tribute album to legendary songwriter Cindy Walker; a collaborative album with Ryan Adams; an album with Ray Price and Merle Haggard; a western swing album with Asleep at the Wheel; a live album with Wynton Marsalis; and the gay-cowboy single “Cowboys are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other,” which became his highest-charting single in more than two decades.