Diggin’ On Dylan
Diggin’ On Dylan is kind of a postscript for Denny Freeman’s five years on the road playing guitar in Bob Dylan’s road band, offering instrumental takes of 16 Dylan songs with a generous 72:38 running time. Some are usual suspects (“The Times They Are A-Changin’,” “Tangled Up In Blue,” “Don’t Think Twice,” “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” “Blowin’ in the Wind” among others), but others less so (“Dignity,” “Senor,” “Spirit on the Water”). It’s a nice mix.
The performances are stirring and spirited yet breezy. Freeman plays all guitar and keyboard parts plus harmonica. Barry “Frosty” Smith and Michael J. Doheny split the drumming while bass is split between Jim Milan and Jim Blondell who also adds trombone to three selections. Hot Club of Cowtown’s Elena James plays violin on four.
Bottom line: this is a fun album pure and simple. Denny Freeman and company explore and celebrate the melodist side of Bob Dylan’s songwriting, a facet for which he rarely gets credit. It’s a perfect sunny day soundscape … I played it while cleaning the house and the vacuum practically pushed itself.
— Michael Tearson