Discover the recently unearthed soundboard tape from Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue in Austin, Texas. This rare recording provides a glimpse into a historic concert tour featuring Dylan and a rotating cast of musicians. Learn about the highlights of the Austin show, including collaborations with Joan Baez, and the hope for more hidden gems from the Rolling Thunder Revue. Stay tuned for the release of additional material from this iconic tour in 2026.
Unearthing a Piece of History: Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue in Austin, Texas. On May 12, 1976, Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue made a stop at the Municipal Auditorium in Austin, Texas.
While this particular gig may not have left a significant historical mark at the time, recent discoveries have shed new light on the event. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated fans and the uncovering of a soundboard tape, we now have a glimpse into this elusive performance. The Rolling Thunder Revue was a legendary concert tour that spanned 57 dates and featured a rotating cast of musicians and performers. It was known for its intimate and spontaneous nature, with Dylan and his collaborators delivering electrifying performances night after night.
However, the Austin show seemed to have been forgotten, with no audience recordings or soundboard tapes surfacing in the collector community—until now. Ray Padgett, author of the book “Pledging My Time: Conversations with Bob Dylan Band Members” and operator of the Dylan fan site Flagging Down the Double E’s, recently shared the long-lost soundboard tape of the Austin show.
This discovery came about after Padgett stumbled upon an anonymous comment on a setlist website, revealing that the commenter was the audio engineer for that portion of the Rolling Thunder Revue tour. The soundboard tape, part of the collection of David Hendel, the front house sound mixer for the second half of the tour, provides a valuable glimpse into the Austin performance. While the tape does not capture the entire concert, it offers over an hour of music from that night. Highlights include a country-tinged rendition of “I Want You,” an emotional delivery of “You’re a Big Girl Now,” a fiery performance of “Idiot Wind,” and a grand finale of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” featuring Rogan McGuinn of the Byrds on vocals.
One of the most notable aspects of the Austin show is the presence of Joan Baez, who joins Dylan on several songs, including “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Railroad Boy,” “Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos),” and “I Pity the Poor Immigrant.” This collaboration adds an extra layer of depth and beauty to the performance. While the Austin show is now available to fans, there are still other elusive recordings from the Rolling Thunder Revue that remain unreleased. One such performance is the mythical Salt Lake City finale, which featured live versions of “Black Diamond Bay” and “Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts.” Despite fans’ efforts to track down a recording of this show, it has yet to surface. However, the discovery of the Austin soundboard tape gives hope that other hidden gems from the Rolling Thunder Revue may still be out there.
Dylan’s team is expected to release more material from the 1976 tour in 2026, due to a quirk in European copyright law. This release may offer fans a chance to experience even more of the magic that unfolded during this iconic tour. In conclusion, the unearthing of the soundboard tape from Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue in Austin, Texas, provides a rare glimpse into a moment in music history. Thanks to the dedication of fans and the collaboration of experts, we can now appreciate the energy and artistry of this particular performance. As we eagerly await the release of more material from the tour, we can only imagine the treasures that may still be waiting to be discovered.
Time Capsule Unearthed: Bob Dylan’s 1976 Austin Gig Emerges After 48 Years in Pristine Quality
In an astonishing discovery for music enthusiasts and Bob Dylan fans alike, a pristine recording of Dylan’s 1976 Rolling Thunder Revue show in Austin has surfaced after 48 years. Long considered lost to history, this remarkable find comes courtesy of a sound engineer who unearthed the gem from his private collection.
The Rolling Thunder Revue, known for its raw energy and eclectic performances, holds a special place in the hearts of Dylan aficionados. The 1976 Austin gig, thought to be lost or undocumented, has now been resurrected, offering an unparalleled glimpse into a pivotal moment in musical history.
The sound engineer’s meticulous preservation has resulted in a recording of remarkable quality, allowing listeners to step back in time and experience the magic of Dylan’s live performance with unprecedented clarity. From timeless classics to rare gems, the Austin gig captures the essence of Dylan’s artistry during a period of profound creative exploration.
This unexpected discovery is akin to finding a hidden treasure, providing a fresh perspective on one of the most influential periods in Dylan’s career. As fans and historians alike revel in this newfound musical time capsule, it serves as a testament to the enduring power of live recordings and the surprises that can emerge from the depths of private collections.
For those eager to immerse themselves in the sonic landscape of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue, this newly unearthed recording promises an authentic and vivid journey through a night that, until now, lingered in the shadows of musical history. As the notes echo through time, Dylan’s 1976 Austin gig takes its rightful place in the spotlight, reminding us that the past is full of musical treasures waiting to be rediscovered.