“Blind Willie McTell” is one of those Bob Dylan songs that slowly crept into the canon, like a climbing rose that nobody notices for years. Originally recorded for Infidels in 1983, it was not released until the first set of the Bootleg Series came out eight years later. The lead guitar on the spare arrangement is by Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler, who co-produced Infidels; Dylan plays piano. Very like the lyrics in another masterpiece, “All Along the Watchtower,” those in “Blind Willie McTell” keep you off balance, with shifting, haunting glances to the lost, oppressed and dispossessed of American history. The Band recorded a fine version on its post–Robbie Robertson album Jericho (in lieu of a Dylan version, not available on YouTube, the Band’s rendering can be heard above); Levon Helm, the Band’s drummer, regularly plays the song at his live sessions in Woodstock, N.Y.