Bob Dylan / Self Portrait

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“All the tired horses in the sun, how am I supposed to get any ridin’ done….” In his autobiography Chronicles, his Bobness reveals that Self Portrait (1970) was an attempt to shed a segment, if not all of his fervent reverential fanbase who cast him as the “voice of a generation.” Regardless of Zimmy’s intentions, to my ears, this scorned two-fer and its extended Bootleg Series: Another Self Portrait emerges as a shambolic masterwork that divulges more about the artist than was probably intended. The rotating bass chair features Rick Danko on most of the tracks, along with Nashville studio cats Charlie McCoy, Bob Moore, the devil’s fiddle player Charlie Daniels, Stu Woods, and Wrecking Crew icon Joe Osborn. As a musician, I appreciate the informal, throw-it-all-against-the-wall aesthetic and target practice approach to the bass.