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In concert: Jakob Dylan at 9:30 club

jakob dylanIN TUNE: Jakob Dylan and Neko Case harmonized beautifully on several ballads. (Marvin Joseph/TWP)

By Chris Klimek

In case the presence of producer T-Bone Burnett and harmony singers Neko Case and Kelly Hogan didn't tip you off already, Jakob Dylan's new "Women and Country" is a sturdy, sober collection of dust-flecked Americana. Dylan played every song from it at the 9:30 club Friday. No problem there - the record's good, if a bit of a grower. But because Case and Hogan's inclusion in the seven-member touring band had been advertised, there was reason to hope the two alt-country sirens would have a bigger role than they did.

(Mostly mid-tempo, but still with highlights, after the jump.)

jakob dylan

Rounding out the 100-minute recital were a handful of tunes from Dylan's 2008 solo debut and a pair of mid-'90s hits ("6th Avenue Heartache," "Three Marlenas") by his old group the Wallflowers. Perhaps with a trace of his old man's contrarian streak, Dylan skipped "One Headlight," his sole No. 1.

More disappointing was the omission of a cover version or three that might have made better use of the ladies' honeyed pipes: a Gram Parsons-Emmylou Harris number, for instance, and maybe something to pick up the pace? After a strong start, a near-uniformity of tempo (mid) and mood (dour) let the gig go stale. By the time Dylan lit into "We All Pay as We Go," it was hard not to think of cashing out.

We'd had our kicks by then: Jon Rauhouse's steel guitar made the sad songs hurt so good, and Case and Dylan's voices wrapped around each other beautifully on the love-interrupted ballad "Smile When You Call Me That." "6th Avenue Heartache," meanwhile, resonated with a weary majesty. The original version had backing vocals by the Counting Crows' Adam Duritz; this one had Case. Even if the show wasn't all it could have been, how can you complain about a trade like that?

jakob dylan

jakob dylan

By David Malitz  |  April 26, 2010; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags: Jakob Dylan, Kelly Hogan, Neko Case  
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Next: In concert: Hot Chip at 9:30 club

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