Concert Review: Colby Walter sings Bob Dylan at Cafe Acoustic 6/13/13

Colby Walter sings Dylan poster


It was an ambitious task by local musical talent Colby Walter but one he could handle. I don’t know if any other musician in town could have pulled it off but Walter nailed it. A night covering all Bob Dylan’s songs is such an arduous task that it is difficult to believe it happened right here in St. Joseph.

Over the last half century Dylan has built a catalog that is so diverse it transcends genres and can’t be matched by any other artist. Still Walter took on the task and did a great job being a chameleon of sorts going from one Dylan era to another. He would tackle the young hunger of the great songwriter with songs like “Baby, I’m In The Mood For You” and “All I Really Wanna Do” all the way through the elder Dylan that has a calm reflective approach to things on tracks like “Most of the Time” and “Mississippi.” In between these two Dylans were playful songs like “Motorpsycho Nightmare” and also the desperately heartbroken Dylan of “If You See Her Say Hello” and “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”

Colby Walter singing the songs of Bob Dylan on 6/13/13 at The Cafe Acoustic in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Colby Walter singing the songs of Bob Dylan on 6/13/13 at The Cafe Acoustic in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Highlights of the tribute show for me were the delicate “You’re A Big Girl Now” the loose performance of “All I Really Wanna Do” and Walter’s first attempt at the heart crushing “Most of the Time.” What may have made this show so good was that Walter didn’t pick off the easy meat; he avoided the obvious Dylan songs that Dylan lovers wouldn’t necessarily want to hear. There was no “Blowin’ In The Wind” “The Times They Are A-Changin'” “Tangled Up In Blue” or “Hurricane.” Only a person who truly appreciates Dylan would do songs like “Shooting Star” “Up To Me” and “Meet Me In The Morning” in place of these giants.

The evening would end with the greatest song ever written; “Like A Rolling Stone.” As Dylan’s best known song, it may qualify as “easy meat” as I put it but is there any other song in history that can change its meaning so much by the many different ways it is sung? It can be sung accusingly, aggressively, passively, whimsically or a ton of different ways and it changes tone every time. Good songs have two meanings; great songs have more.

Colby Walter sings Bob Dylan setlist from Cafe Acoustic 6/13/13:

  • Love Minus Zero/No Limit  (from Bringing It All Back Home)
  • She Belongs To Me  (Bringing It All Back Home)
  • I Want You  (Blonde On Blonde)
  • Mr. Tambourine Man  (Bringing It All Back Home)
  • All I Really Wanna Do  (Another Side of Bob Dylan)
  • You’re A Big Girl Now  (Blood On The Tracks)
  • The Man In Me  (New Morning)
  • Up To Me  (Biograph)
  • Baby, I’m In The Mood For You  (Biograph)
  • Girl From The North Country  (Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan)
  • Ballad In Plain D  (Another Side of Bob Dylan)
  • Most of the Time  (Oh Mercy)
  • I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight  (John Wesley Harding)
  • You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go  (Blood On The Tracks)
  • Meet Me In The Morning  (Blood On The Tracks)
  • Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright  (Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan)
  • The Gates of Eden  (Bringing It All Back Home)
  • Honey, Just Allow Me One More Chance  (Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan)
  • It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue  (Bringing It All Back Home)
  • Just Like A Woman  (Blonde On Blonde)
  • Mississippi  (Love & Theft)
  • Motorpsycho Nightmare  (Another Side of Bob Dylan)
  • Shooting Star  (Oh Mercy)
  • Like A Rolling Stone  (Highway 61 Revisited)



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