Album: The Basement Tapes.
I should surprise absolutely noone that I spent much of the last couple months of 2014 immersed in the definitive 5-disc version of The Basement Tapes, nor should it surprise anyone that I’d been listening to nearly all of it for at least two decades as bootlegs, so I was pretty familiar with it beforehand.
But what might surprise people that despite all of the heavyweight songs recorded during those – well, you can’t really call them “sessions, can you? – months, titans like "This Wheels on Fire,” “I Shall Be Released” or “Tears of Rage” never really do it for me the way an obvious goof like “Tiny Montgomery” does.
As far as I’m concerned, “Tiny Montgomery” encapsulates the entire informal greatness of the Basement Tapes by the vocal call-and-response between Bob and The Band.
Well you can tell ev’rybody
Down in ol’ Frisco
Tell ’em Tiny Montgomery says hello
I just picture of all of the guys in The Band, sitting in a room playing their instruments, looking at Bob and grinning while shouting “Hellooooooooooooooo!” into the nearest microphone. They’re probably stoned out of their minds, but it doesn’t matter, because the amount of fun they’re having is palpable.
And I think, “this is why music exists.” This is why people love to play music together. This is why I loved to play music: those moments where you look around a room and everybody is enjoying what they’re doing at that exact moment.
That’s what a bunch of the songs on The Basement Tapes capture, and I think that’s part of the reason for their appeal.
Official Video for “Tiny Montgomery” (from original Basement Tapes)
My Certain Songs Spotify Playlist: