News » San Antonio News

Together Through Life

Together Through Life
Composer: Bob Dylan
Conductor: Bob Dylan
Label: Columbia
Release Date: 2009-05-06
Rated: NONE
Genre: Recording

The last time Bob Dylan collaborated with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, it was 1987, and the needle on Dylan’s inspiration meter was on empty. So it can’t be a good sign that Dylan — the most celebrated lyricist of the rock era — felt the need to enlist Hunter’s help on all but one song here.

That being said, Dylan has been in such a 78-rpm groove over the last 12 years, and he’s so in tune with his grizzled, down-on-his-luck Rhett Butler persona, he can make pleasurable music even when his muse is on cruise control — which is the case with much of this album.

The true star of Together is Los Lobos virtuoso David Hidalgo, whose fluid accordion turns “This Dream of You” into a credible cantina tearjerker, and helps you forget that the meandering “If You Ever Go to Houston” is a naked pinch from “Midnight Special.”

Thankfully, Dylan rouses himself for the last two songs: name-checking Billy Joe Shaver and James Joyce in a single line, and finger-snapping his way to Armageddon while sarcastically telling us “it’s all good.” These moments remind us that even when Dylan is working by rote, he’s still a pretty weird guy.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.