“Travelin’ Thru, 1967- 1969,” an album collecting Bob Dylan’s country-leaning recordings from the era, many of which feature Johnny Cash, is out on Nov. 1, and the album was previewed today with the release of a song from it, a rough version of “Wanted Man.”
The pair are obviously still working on the song — the recording begins with Cash’s wife, June Carter Cash, telling him that the song needs melody. “Be sure that Bob puts the melody for that song, that ‘Wanted Man.’ You forgot the melody,” to which Cash offers some husbandly acquiescence. We then hear Dylan and Cash run through the song, starting off seriously before Cash fumbles some lyrics and the pair, who had been friends since the early ’60s, can be heard laughing.
The video is assembled from footage of the two working in the studio along with stock film suiting the song’s lyrics.
The set collects previously unreleased recordings from Dylan’s country-themed albums of the era, focusing on previously unavailable recordings made with Johnny Cash and unreleased tracks from the “John Wesley Harding,” “Nashville Skyline” and “Self Portrait” sessions. The set is available in 3CD and 3LP physical configurations and digital equivalent.
The the comparatively brief set following the sprawling 14-CD set “The Rolling Thunder Review: The 1975 Performances,” which accompanied the Martin Scorsese documentary of Dylan’s tour from that year. “The Bootleg Series” began in the 1980s and collects hundreds (perhaps by now more than a thousand) of previously unreleased Dylan recordings.