Backstory on A Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan and a Reminder of Dylan's Fondness for Duluth -- Introducing Magic Marc Percansky (Part I)
Marc Percansky has been in the entertainment business since his youth. Early on he used to do magic shows, entertaining not only friends and family but also taking his act out to the world outside. In short, he has been a lifelong extrovert, easy to talk with and wholly engaging. He is currently the producer/promoter for Duluth’s upcoming A Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan.
Sunday evening he spoke with me from his mother’s home in St. Louis Park, beginning with a quote from Douglas Brinkley’s May 14, 2009 Rolling Stone interview with Bob Dylan. Percansky wanted to immediately demonstrate to naysayers that Dylan has now and always had a heart for Duluth. But whatever the question, his heart overflowed with things he wished to share and stories to tell.
“Listen to what he [Dylan] said in Rolling Stone magazine,” Percansky said, reading an excerpt from the interview:
I [Brinkley] asked Dylan if he minds people visiting Hibbing or Duluth or Minneapolis searching for the root of his talent. “Not at all,” he surprisingly says. “The town where I grew up hasn’t really changed that much so whatever was in the air before is probably still there. I go through once in a while coming down from Canada, I’ll stop there and wander around. As for Duluth where his grandparents lived, he said thinks it’s one of the country’s forgotten gems. You’ll never see another town like Duluth, he says. It’s not a tourist destination but it probably should be. It depends what season you’re in there. There’s only two seasons, damp and cold. I like the way the hills tumble to the waterfront and the way the wind blows around the grain elevators. The train yards go on forever, too. It’s old age industrial. You’ll see it from the top of the hill for miles and miles before you get there. You won’t believe your eyes. The air is so pure there. The brooks and rivers are still running, the forests are thick, and the landscape is brutal. And the sky is still blue up there. It’s still pretty untarnished, it’s still off the beaten path.”
Marc Percansky: You can only be born in one place. He does have a strong affinity for where he came from. He spent twenty years there. That shaped him. He’s talked about that and I can see that. That’s the thing with this show. It’s hard to figure… The whole state, we have a different connection than the rest of the world to him. When he says “Twilight on the frozen lake, North wind about to break, On footprints in the snow, Silence down below…” (Never Say Goodbye, Planet Waves)
We know about that frozen lake. We’re from here. We feel the same as him.
EN: What’s your background?
MP: I grew up in the Cities, a suburb called St. Louis Park. I spent most of my life here, except ten years out of here. Five years on the east coast, New York City, and five years on the west coast, Los Angeles. I know like with Bob, I’ve seen it first hand, he’s most proud of his newest work. I remember one time he had a cassette or something and he said, “Wait till you hear this.” It’s funny, because it’s like he’s never done anything great in the past. He’s got this great body of work but he’s most proud of his newest things. That’s the sign of a great artist so they can keep creating till the end.
He’s doing six or seven Tempest songs now. That’s as good an album as any of them. And I think we’ll get a few more out of him, too. He looks healthy and he’s going good. 100 dates a year.
EN: What’s the history of these concerts and how did the first one come together?
MP: There have really been three people that made this happen and kept it going. That would be Paul Metsa first, who convinced Kevin Odegard back in 2001 to get the original session players of Blood on the Tracks together and do a concert. It was at First Avenue here where Prince shot Purple Rain. And I went to that show, it was great. There were sixty bands. It was an incredible thing. They did the songs and that was the first time since 1974.
2004 comes along and there was a concert at the Pantages. Paul Metsa asks me to do a cue card skit imitating Don’t Look Back and go on stage during Lily. Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts. O.K. so I did that. That’s the video I sent to you. That’s the night I met Kevin Odegard. We became friends instantly. I felt like I’d known him forever, a great guy.
2005 comes along. I go with Kevin Odegard and Chris Weber to St. Cloud where they were inducted into the St. Cloud Hall of Fame. I ride out there with Kevin, his father and Chris Webber and I induct them. They do a few songs. There’s a museum there, the Stearns History Museum if you’re ever in St. Cloud.
2009 comes along…. There were a couple concerts I wasn’t involved in. I think they went to Hibbing. Kevin had been asking me to be more involved. I did this at my home base in St. Louis Park where we’ve had these outdoor venues every year. They’ve been benefits for Guitars for Vets, which Kevin brought in that cause. My role has increased through the years. Kevin Odegard for several years, then Billy Hallquist became involved. So it’s really those three guys. Billy has kept it going and really, my role just got bigger and bigger, and we’ve done it every years since. We added Maple Grove. They’re always in the summer, outdoor concerts, which is why this show feels a little different. It’s indoors and not really the heart of summer. There’s a different feeling about it. Also it’s not for Guitars for Vets. It’s for the Armory.
That’s where it’s at right now. And now we have a fourth person to really thank, and that’s Nelson. This wouldn’t happen without them.
The name changed because none of the original BOTT people are involved.
TO BE CONTINUED
EdNote: The full article from which Dylan's remarks about Duluth can be found in David Brinkley in-depth interview titled Bob Dylan's Late-Era, Old-Style American Individualism.
This blog entry and others like it have the aim of raising awareness for the upcoming Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan concert which will kick off the 2014 North Country Dylan Celebration in Duluth and Hibbing. For tickets to this great event visit dulutharmory.org/events.
01. Something There Is About You - Planet Waves (1974)
02. Never Say Goodbye - Planet Waves (1974)
03. Idiot Wind - Orpheum Theatre / Minneapolis, Minnesota (August 30th 1992)
04. Hurricane - Desire (1975)
05. No Time To Think - Street-Legal (1978)
06. We Better Talk This Over - Street-Legal (1978)
07. Knockin' On Heaven's Door - Bob Dylan At Budokan (1978)
Saturdays and Mondays at 5:00pm on duluth.public.radio KUMD 103.3FM
Air Date: Saturday, April 26th 2014 and Monday, April 28th 2014
08. Sweetheart Like You - Infidels (1983)
09. Tangled Up In Blue - Real Live (1984)
10. Something's Burning, Baby - Empire Burlesque (1985)
11. Forever Young - Biograph (1985)
12. Handy Dandy - Under The Red Sky (1990)
13. Girl From The North Country - The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration (1993) & (2014)
14. Mississippi - Love And Theft (2001)
15. Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands - Duluth Does Dylan - Jamie Ness (2000)
16. One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below) - 2010 KinniRiverBarnDance Live From The Kinni - Scarlet Rivera with Gene LaFond & The Wild Unknown
Saturdays and Mondays at 5:00pm on duluth.public.radio KUMD 103.3FM
Air Date: Saturday, May 3rd 2014 and Monday, May 5th 2014
FEATURING 19 WORLD RENOWNED ARTISTS
ARMORY BENEFIT CONCERT TO KICK OFF 2014 NORTH COUNTRY DYLAN CELEBRATION
(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Duluth, MN) - The Armory Arts & Music Center, in conjunction with Magic Marc Productions, announced today that 19 of world renowned artists will headline “A Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan”, a benefit concert for the Duluth Armory, at Sacred Heart Music Center on Saturday, May 17th at starting at 7:00 p.m. sharp.
Returning for her third year will be violinist Scarlet Rivera who will join with the Prince’s Revolution keyboard player Dr. Matt Fink and many other Minnesota music legends – including Duluth’s own Jim Hall and Jamie Ness. Marc Percansky will serve as Master of Ceremonies and local KUMD radio show host John Bushey will serve as Master of Magic.
“This will be an historic event and is not to be missed,” said Nelson French, vice president of the Armory Arts & Music Center Board of Directors. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to share an fun evening of music and magic with the community as we review our progress made over the last year and create greater community awareness about needs for the future to successfully restore the historic Duluth Armory as a vital community gathering space.”
Tickets are $30 in advance and are available online at http://www.dulutharmory.org/events/
Tickets are $35 at the door and doors open at 6:00 p.m. Saturday, May 17th.
The Armory Arts & Music Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the Duluth Armory and its historic value to American culture and the arts, while encouraging its reuse, placing emphasis on arts and education. The organization’s goals include preservation of the Armory's performance spaces and military history of the structure, promotion of arts through performances, exhibits and education, and commemoration of Buddy Holly's performance at the Armory and Bob Dylan's emergence as a musical icon. All net proceeds from A Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan will be used by the Armory Arts and Music Center to further its mission.
Tickets available at http://www.dulutharmory.org/events/
The list of performers includes the following artists:
RALPH DACUT, MATT FINK, ARNE FOGEL, BARRY THOMAS GOLDBERG, STEVE GROSSMAN, JIM HALL, BILLY HALLQUIST (Music Director), STAN KIPPER, LONNIE KNIGHT, KENNY KRONA, GENE LAFOND, JAMES LONEY & THE GHOSTETTES, GARY LOPAC, PAUL METSA, BARBARA MEYER, JAMIE NESS, CHICO PEREZ, SCARLET RIVERA & COURTNEY YASMINEH.
In addition to the artists a wonderful production team has been assembled and consists of consisting of the following professionals who are donating their time:
MARC PERCANSKY - Master of Ceremonies
JOHN BUSHEY - Master of Magic
PATRICK MCCARTHY - Master of Sound
ERIC SWANSON - Master of Sound
ED NEWMAN - Master of Words
01. I'm A Bigger Dylan Fan Than You - Mark Sutton (2010)
02. It Ain't Me, Babe - Real Live (1984)
03. Blind Willie McTell - Duluth Does Dylan Revisited (2006) - Charlie Parr
04. Good Times In Duluth Town - Danny Fox
05. North Country Blues - Jim Hall
06. Oh, Sister - 2010 KinniRiverBarnDance Live From The Kinni - Scarlet Rivera with Gene LaFond & The Wild Unknown
07. Highway 61 Revisited - Another Side Of Duluth Does Dylan (2011) - Black-eyed Snakes Featuring Charlie Parr
08. Ballad Of Hollis Brown - Osceola County Stadium / Kissimmee, Florida (May 28, 2005)
09. North Country Blues - The Times They Are A-Changin' (1964)
10. Workingman's Blues #2 - Zepp Nagoya / Nagoya, Japan (April 17th 2014)
Saturdays and Mondays at 5:00pm on duluth.public.radio KUMD 103.3FM
Air Date: Saturday, May 10th 2014 and Monday, May 12th 2014
EN: What was your background before becoming a concert promoter?
MP: I was born and raised in Minnesota. My family owned a nightclub in town, a very famous one. I grew up there, the first 13 years of my life, from ’66 to ’79. It was there for forty years, the top night club in town. It was called the Flame Café. We had everybody there. We had Willie Nelson, he was young, and Fats Waller, Patsy Cline. We lost our liquor license and closed down, but the first 13 years of my life I watched that. It was one of those rare places that had a broadcasting station within it and a stage that rose out of the ground.
I had a relative on my mom’s side who was in vaudeville. I was performing magic from twelve years old on, so the concert promotion came as I got more associated with the musicians in town here I figured I might as well do my own concerts.
Before that I did a little stuff in real estate, I was licensed in New York. I did some stuff in Los Angeles with Sally Kirkland, the actress. I made some short films in los Angeles. I worked in what was at the time the largest record store in the country called HMV. I started that… but the concert promotion started actually in 2010. Rambling Jack Elliott was my first one. Many of the musicians that are involved I actually met there.
EN: What is the "Magic" of "Magic Marc" Percansky?
MP: I’ve been doing magic since I was seven, eight, nine years old. After my Bar Mitzvah, which is when you become a man, I said “Now I’m and man and now I’m going start doing professional magic shows.” I did it for 25 years. I performed everywhere. And I just thought it was a great thing because when you do magic they just come to see the tricks. They don’t care who you are.
I stopped doing magic for a while, but the name Magic Marc kinda stuck so I am using it still. Probably the rest of my life I’ll use Magic Marc. But there’s many different levels of magic. With Bob he’s a magician of words and music.
EN: I grew up doing magic, but was self-conscious when it came to performing.
MP: Bob once asked me to show him tricks. I never told anyone this… There’s a magic trick that involves a mental prediction board. It’s a little board with three slots. It’s a magic reading or reading the other person’s mind. I told him to write on this board whatever your thinking. The first is “Picture in your mind whatever color you like.” He wrote down “Royal Blue.” Next is to pick a card and he picked the seven of diamonds. The last thing was to name a favorite food. He thought about it and had to put something different than anyone would ever write. What do you think his favorite food was? Kasha.
I guessed it. It was a good trick, but I could never forget that he said, “Kasha.”
EN: How well did you know the guys from Blood On The Tracks?
MP: I was a little boy when it was recorded but I’d never met any of them until that night at the Pantages in ’04. And Kevin is the one I became closest with right off the bat. I hung around with him a lot after that show. I really miss him.
They’re gonna get their due. I believe they’re going to release a Bootleg Series with their stuff. It’s still one the greatest things ever. Kevin’s the one I’ve been the closest with. This wouldn’t have happened without him. It’s a lot of work.
EN: Tell us a little about the Duluth show coming up.
MP: We have over 25 names here. They’re all great people.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to Duluth. I did do magic for Louis Kemp once. We’re not used to doing this inside. In fact, we’ve never done this inside. I like it to be fast paced. We have a great selection of music. Some of them know Bob. Scarlet [Rivera] is the one who I go back the furthest with.
EN: Why is the music of Bob Dylan important?
MP: This isn’t a tribute we’re doing. I don’t call this a tribute. It is a salute, because let’s face it, they have tributes all over the world, but this is a salute. We’re paying respect, we’re paying an homage. We’re all inspired by him. I don’t think there’s anybody else… He’s written the book. He’s still writing the book. Everybody can listen, watch and learn from him. I don’t see myself ever being in any other kind of salute or tribute. I’ve listened to him my whole life. My mom, when I was a little boy, had eight-tracks she listened to when I was growing up. I’ve never stopped listening. We’re lucky to have him around. Like George Harrison says, they’re going to be studying him 500 years from now. They’ll study his stuff. They’re studying it now.
The funny thing is, I never get tired of it. He’s so diverse. There’s nobody finer in music. That’s the reason I’m involved.
We’re coming to Duluth and want to make a good impression.
I’ve loved every stage. I’m Jewish and even love his Christian phase.
He’s been an artist. And like Scarlet they’ve sacrificed their lives to do their art and their music. I’ve learned a lot from him about life. He likes people to do their own thing.
* * * * *
EdNote: This blog entry and others like it have the aim of raising awareness for the upcoming Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan concert which will kick off the 2014 North Country Dylan Celebration in Duluth and Hibbing. Sacred Heart Music Center, May 17, 2014. For tickets to this event visit dulutharmory.org/events.
More than a dozen musicians, some with ties to Bob Dylan, will perform a tribute concert benefiting the Armory Arts & Music Center to kick off the weeklong North Country Dylan Celebration. A complete list of events here.
A Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan will be more than three hours of Dylan’s music performed by 19 musicians, including Scarlet Rivera, a violinist who was part of the Rolling Thunder Revue; Matt Fink, a keyboardist for Prince and the Revolution; and Jamie Ness, whose band Freewheelers plays Dylan tunes.
The concert is at 7 p.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Music Center. Tickets are $30 plus fees at dulutharmory.org. This is the first major event of Dylan-related festivities in Duluth and Hibbing in the days surrounding the artist’s 73rd birthday.
It’s Dylan’s consistency and longevity in the biz that makes him such a unique figure worth covering, said Marc Percansky, a magician who is emceeing the event.
“His career is so extraordinary,” he said. “The way he’s still going and still creating the best work anybody could imagine. He’s such an innovator. People are fascinated with him. His lyrics are poetic and leave room for interpretation. He’s played music in every kind of format and he’s always changing.
“He’s a very interesting person.”
A Salute to Dylan
Technically, the idea for this collaboration was born of an email musician Paul Metsa received in the early 2000s. The Iron Range-raised folk singer was invited to Turkey to perform on a horse farm in honor of Bob Dylan’s 60th birthday.
“I know it sounds insane,” Metsa said. “These Dylan fanatics had heard about me on the Internet. I really considered doing it.”
Instead, he thought local. Instead of Turkey, why not collect a bunch of musicians and celebrate Dylan’s birthday at First Avenue and 7th St. Entry in Minneapolis?
The Million Dollar Bash included 40 bands on two stages at the venues. Part of this included gathering the group of Minneapolis session players who played on “Blood on the Tracks,” including Kevin Odegard, Bob Berg, Gregg Inhofer, Chris Weber and Billy Peterson. They played “Idiot Wind,” “You’re a Big Girl Now” and closed with “Tangled Up in Blue,” according to an article Metsa wrote for a Colorado-based Dylan fanzine.
“The house was swaying in unison and shaking like a night train bound for glory,” Metsa wrote.
Until then, the “Blood on the Tracks” musicians hadn’t played together since 1974. After that, these Dylan-themed shows cropped up occasionally in the Twin Cities area. The core musicians invited other musicians into the fold and the group continued to morph into something new.
“We keep adding more and more people,” said Percansky, who has been emceeing the event since 2004 when he was part of a skit that riffed on the video for “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”
By 2011, the group Blood on the Tracks Live performed at a Guitars for Vets benefit in St. Louis Park, Minn., and just two of the original members remained.
None of the original “Blood on the Tracks” session players are part of Saturday’s event, but a few have ties or, at the very least, have been influenced by Dylan.
Rivera was a teenage violinist looking for something beyond the classical track when she was intercepted by Dylan on a street corner in Greenwich Village. It was 1975 and she wasn’t entirely sure that was Dylan doing the asking.
“I was calculating in my mind if that was really him,” she told the News Tribune in 2012. “It took a number of seconds to say, ‘Yes. It really is.’
“You don’t want to just jump in a car with anybody. I wasn’t about to play on the street, he was asking me to go to his studio.”
She ended up playing on every song of Dylan’s album “Desire” and traveled with him through the mid-1970s as part of the Rolling Thunder Revue.
Rivera and Minneapolis-based musician Gene LaFond have been playing in Duluth as part of the Dylan Fest activities since 2012. LaFond knew of Dylan from his early gigs in the Minneapolis coffee shop scene. Later, with a mutual friend, LaFond would travel around to catch up with Dylan’s tours and had VIP access to the scene.
Percansky has known Dylan almost his whole life, he said. He first got into the music when he heard “Blood on the Tracks.”
“There was no looking back after that,” he said.
Metsa, who is from Virginia, likes to joke that Dylan is “the other folk singer from the Iron Range.”
“I really respect and love him for a lot of reasons,” Metsa said. “But I think the most important reason after being in the business myself is to realize how long this guy has been doing it. He’s had one job for over 50 years. Considering how rough and tumble the music business is, he’s a shining example of bravery and durability. I salute him for that.”
What to expect
The musicians had a drop-in rehearsal Tuesday at Taylor Sound Rehearsal and Recording in St. Louis Park.
Nelson French, who is on the Armory’s board of directors, was there to share info about the cause. The Armory Arts & Music Center has raised about $2 million and needs to raise $2 million to $6 million more, he said.
French said he found that some of the musicians had a relationship with the venue. Lonnie Knight, he said, played there with The Castaways and Jokers Wild.
“They know the music legend and the history of the place,” French said.
The final set list for Saturday’s show is under wraps, but French said there will be 30 songs and to expect some spontaneous mixes to pop up on stage.
“What was palpable is that when these guys get together they energize each other,” French said.
The show will close with all the musicians joining together for “I Shall Be Released.”
Go see it
What: A Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan, benefit concert for the Armory Arts & Music Center
When: 7 p.m., Saturday
Where: Sacred Heart Music Center
Tickets: $30 in advance at dulutharmory.org; $35 at the door
Musicians scheduled to perform: Ralph Dacut, Matt Fink, Arne Fogel, Barry Thomas Goldberg, Steve Grossman, Jim Hall, Billy Hallquist, Stan Kipper, Lonnie Knight, Kenny Krona, Gene LaFond, James Loney & The Ghostettes, Gary Lopac, Paul Metsa, Barbara Meyer, Jamie Ness, Chico Perez, Scarlet Rivera and Courtney Yasmineh
Last night the Northland was given a treat: a concert billed as A Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan. If you were there, you know you were glad you didn't miss it. I know it exceeded my expectations five-fold.
Marc Pecansky, Billy Hallquist and Nelson T. French were the principles behind this event which was again designed to raise awareness the Armory Arts and Music Center building fund. Percansky is a a Twin Cities magician and producer known as Magic Marc. Hallquist a musician central to the Blood on the Tracks performances that this event morphed from. French is, of course, one of our local advocates serving on the board for the restoration of the Armory.
The Sacred Heart Music Center is a former Catholic Church which has gained a reputation as an exceptional music and arts venue. Last night's concert demonstrated once again why. The stained glass windows, pillars, ornate woodwork and balconies and fabulous acoustics conspire to produce a wonderfully full surround-sound experience.
The doors were opened early in the day so that the musicians could set up their gear, do their sound checks and get everything in order. Late afternoon found everyone getting away for a spell to either rest for the long night or get costumed for the bash to come. At seven the show would start.
A good crowd had ambled in by seven as the sun had begun its descent with a flourish of illumination behind the variegated stained glass symphony of color. The event opened with Marc Percansky, decked up in showman style, introducing us to the evening with some magic he had prepared, after first acknowledging the unexpected recent passing of one of our local artist performers, Gary Reed.
John Bushey, host of the Dylan-themed KUMD radio program Highway 61 Revisited, shared some of his own magic, tying it to Dylan in this manner. Bob Dylan's favorite magician was Harry Houdini. Like Houdini, both men were born with other names -- Erich Weiss and Robert Zimmerman -- and both men were of shorter stature physically, but both men became giants in their field: the world's greatest magician and the world's greatest singer-songwriter.
The tricks Bushey performed were, he claimed, favorites of Harry Houdini. And he performed each while saying, "This is the way Harry Houdini would have done it." The rope tricks and ring tricks were a special treat for those near the front whose mouths were agape with wonderment.
Next, two students from the Armory Arts and Music Center (AAMC) were introduced to play some original music. From a show production perspective this permitted latecomers to slip in to continue filling the room while sharing one of the underlying motives for this event. When the boys were done, the band made its entrance: Matt Fink (keyboard), Bill Hallquist, Gary Lopac, Lonnie Knight, Chico Perez, Stan Kipper and Ralph Dacut.
At this point it would be useless to try to convey how fluid they were, opening with Chimes of Freedom. The various musicians each took a verse on some of the songs, and on other songs a single musician was featured as when Stan Kipper sang High Water (for Charley Parker). Seven songs into the concert my only thought was, "How could one man write so many great songs?" My Back Pages, Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You, It Ain't Me Babe, You Ain't Goin' Nowhere, and Tangled Up in Blue formed a seven-star studded opening crown of spendid musicianship and rockin' stimulation.
Local musician Jim Hall then took center stage to perform Simple Twist of Fate, and one wonders what its like to have such a strong backup band. In fact, the band was so tight you's think they were a regular touring company.
Jamie Ness gave us Maggie's Farm next, in the style of The Freewheelers. Man they were rocking now, and into it. So was the audience as dancing had begun in the aisles.
Kenny Krona did his Quinn the Eskimo , followed by Barbara Meyer's engaging version of Blowing in the Wind.
The backing musicians left the stage and Courtney Yasmineh did a heartfelt solo rendition of The Times They Are A-Changin', which gave some people goosebumps.
Showman Paul Metsa then grabbed the stage for a solo production of She Belongs to Me, and you knew this was no ordinary night. Just Like a Woman closed out the first half of the show.
Hallquist & Geno work out second half details backstage
After an interlude/intermission Nelson French made a brief presentation on the AAMC, his passion that he hoped would be ours. This Armory project is only one of the restorations he is working on. In his day job he is active the restoration and preservation of the St. Louis River and other waterways feeding the Great Lake of Superior.
After the intermission the band gave us a heat-producing Not Fade Away, the one cover here that Dylan did not write. The song is credited to Buddy Holly, whom Dylan claims to have stood within three feet of at Holly's second-to-last concert, here in Duluth's Armory.
The second portion of our show saw continued to feature various singers with From a Buick 6 (Barry Thomas Goldberg), I Wanna Be Your Lover (Steve Grossman) and Watching the River Flow (Arnie Fogel)... all leading up to the introduction of that very much respected red-headed lady who debuted with the Rolling Thunder Revue and was dynamically captured on Dylan's Desire album. With Gene Lafond singing, Scarlet Rivera's electrically charged violin playing sizzled with power that utterly mesmerized the room. Upon completion of the song everyone leaped to their feet to offer a standing ovation.
Scarlet herself introduced the next song by stating that this was the one cut on that Desirealbum that was recorded in one take. Upon completion of One More Cup of Coffee, the crowd was again on its feet demonstrating their appreciation.
After Forever Young, featuring Hallquist, Lopac and Lafond on vocals, James Loney came out to sing Serve Somebody, accompanied by his Ghostettes. Lonnie Knight gave us Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, then the opening bars of Like a Rolling Stone filled the room. It's All Over Now Baby Blue became a group sing and the evening closed with I Shall Be Released.
The evening began with magic and it ended with magic. Here are a few more photos, but I would rather give you the music.... It was a very special night.
The after party lasted till three a.m., but I had been sleeping more than three hours by then, needing to conserve my strength for the week ahead: our North Country Dylan Fest. Tonight it's Dylan Trivia Night at Cormody's Irish Pub. 9 PM.... Test your wits against the best, and the rest.
Ennyman is a Life Under Construction. Writer, artist, philosopher, friend... visit www.enewman.biz to put your mind at e's.
Chimes of Freedom (G) – Billy Hallquist
My Back Pages (E) – Billy Hallquist
Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You (G) – Gary Lopac
High Water For Charlie Patton (G) – Stan Kipper
It Ain't Me Babe (G) – Gary Lopac
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere (A) – Billy Hallquist
Tangled Up In Blue (A) – Billy/Stan/Gary/Lonnie
Simple Twist of Fate (E) – Jim Hall
Maggie's Farm (G) – Jamie Ness
Quinn The Eskimo (A) – Kenny Krona
Blowing In the Wind (G) – Barbara Meyer
The Times They Are a Changing – Courtney Yasmineh (solo)
She Belongs To Me – Paul Metsa (solo)
Just Like a Woman (E) - Gary Lopac
Knockin' on Heaven's Door (G) – Billy/Gary/Gene
Nelson French Remarks/AAMC Presentation
Not Fade Away ( ) (Holly) – TBD
From A Buick 6 (A) – Barry Thomas Goldberg
I Wanna Be Your Lover (G) – Steve Grossman
*Watching the River Flow (E) – Arnie Fogel
*Hurricane (Am) – Gene LaFond
*One More Cup of Coffee (Am) – Gene LaFond
*Forever Young (C) – Billy/Gary/Gene
*All Along the Watch Tower ( ) -
*Serve Somebody (Am) – James Loney (Ghostettes)
*Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (E)- Lonnie Knight
Like a Rolling Stone (C) – Billy Hallquist
(*)It's All Over Now Baby Blue (G) – Billy/Lonnie/Gary (Group)
(*)I Shall Be Released (A) - Group
Mr. Tambourine Man
You're a Big Girl Now
This Wheel's on Fire
I Want You
The North Country Dylan Celebration kicked off on Friday.
The celebration is a combination of the Duluth Dylan Fest and Hibbing Dylan Days. Friday was a pre-party at Vintage Italian Pizza in Superior.
Saturday is the Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan, put on by the Historic Duluth Armory to help raise funds to restore the building.
"(It's) really about raising community awareness," says Nelson French, the vice president of the Armory Arts and Music Center's Board of Directors. "About the energy and the history of music, and the rich history of music that's associated with the Armory. So we're hoping people can have a good time, learn about a good cause, and walk away with a good feeling about the restoration of the Historic Duluth Armory."
The concert on Saturday is at 7 p.m. at Sacred Heart Music Center in Duluth. The lineup includes local and national musicians.
More information about the events can be found on the Duluth Dylan Fest Facebook page.
Original Article: http://www.wdio.com/article/stories/S3439256.shtml?cat=10335
A salute to Bob Dylan's music on Saturday night featured national and local favorites honoring the Minnesota legend.
The concert was part of the North Country Dylan Celebration. The Armory Arts and Music Center put on the show as a benefit to help raise funds to restore the Historic Duluth Armory. The building has some significance in Bob Dylan lore, as the place where he saw Buddy Holly perform just days before the rock legend died in a plane crash.
The lineup on Saturday included national acts like Scarlet Rivera and Gene LaFond, and local favorites like Jamie Ness and Jim Hall.
Original Article: http://www.wdio.com/article/stories/s3440038.shtml
It’s just under a year now since Duluth’s favorite son Bob Dylan last rolled through town. His concert at Bayfront Festival Park last July was one for the ages, and surely one of the last times the soon-to-be-73-year-old Dylan will grace a stage in the city where he was born, given his sporadic appearances in the area. (Prior to last summer, his most recent Duluth concert date was in 1999.)
Saturday night’s tribute concert — “A Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan” — was a fine stand-in for the real deal, though, and at times even surpassed the quality of the current Dylan stage show. The three-hour-plus event, held at Sacred Heart Music Center, found a huge roster of artists local and otherwise (at least one of whom had actually played with Dylan) breathing life into the songwriter’s back catalog, with hits and obscurities getting equal attention. It was a fine way to kick off this year’s Duluth Dylan Fest, a weeklong celebration of the man and his Minnesota-informed music.
The epic length of the evening’s program means that we can’t get into what every artist brought to the table, but there were plenty of highlights.
A reggae version of the Dylan tentpole “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Barbara Meyer inspired lots of dancing in the aisles, a common sight throughout the night.
Paul Metsa tackled “She Belongs to Me,” one of Dylan’s many kiss-off songs to a former lover. His solo performance was nicely nuanced, and his deep, hoarse voice fit it well. Some of Metsa’s guitar soloing could’ve used a band underneath it, but his sans-net risk-taking warmed the crowd up successfully.
The familiar Bo Diddley rhythm of “Not Fade Away” got the crowd fired back up after a break; as the band kicked in, various members of the three-quarters-full audience kicked up their heels in the aisles.
On the band: While the night was filled with guest stars who cycled in and out of the front-person slots, the backing band was possibly the most noteworthy part of the evening. Anchored by guitarist/vocalist Billy Hallquist, guitarist extraordinaire Lonnie Knight and several others (including two percussionists), the group bobbed and weaved deftly through all the tunes, improvising where they could and providing support in just the right ways.
Knight was particularly impressive, his liquid soloing clean, fast and inspired. Easily, he could play in Dylan’s band and be much more interesting than the folks Dylan himself is currently carting around the globe. He added expression to the occasionally rote 1-4-5 song structures.
Bassist Gary Lopac also was on point, with his solid Hofner bass playing providing a firm foundation that everything was perched on, and Hallquist stole the show with some great singing on “Forever Young.”
But the steady stream of guest singers were the main focus, with vocalists such as Steve Grossman, Arne Fogel and Gene LaFond taking the mic in the latter half of the evening. They all acquitted themselves well, but when Scarlet Rivera took the stage, it became all about her violin.
The former Dylan band member played on several numbers, each inspiring standing ovations from the crowd. Her lyrical, expert lines were mixed loud and proud, as they should have been, and the audience was clearly working out their love for Dylan in the way they showered her with applause. If you can’t see Bob, they seemed to be saying, this is a pretty good substitute.
Tony Bennett reviews music for the News Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com
Facebook RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/216044431930195/
It's past 3 a.m. No part of this aging receptacle that is my physical form doesn't hurt. What a great night with Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan. Sacred Heart Music Center is a genuine gem. The only thing better than the facility is the people who run it, Eric Swanson is a true gentleman and a gifted technician. Patrick McCarthy made us sound better than we are. The band is top notch Matt Fink, Lonnie Knight, Stan Kipper, Mark Chico Perez, Ralph Dacut and Gregarious Gary Lopac are wonderful players and premium people. It was great to meet 2 Duluthians, Jim Hall and Jamie Ness who represented Hill Town splendidly. The law firm of Fogel,Goldberg and Grossman took care of business and took no prisoners,Courtney Yasmineh nailed her solo spot to the wall, Kenny Krona was his usual quality self. Barbara Meyer..... my, my, my, my my (as Fancy Ray might say.) James Loney and The Ghostettes lifted spirits to high heaven.Gene LaFond tipped his top hat to The Master as only he can. Scarlet Rivera simply stole the show. It was our distinct honor and pleasure to work with a world class world renowned musician. John Bushey showed everyone a trick or two and Magic Marc Percansky pulled rabbits out of his hat for the umteenth time. Thanks Nelson T. French for building the trains, then keeping them running on time. I must admit, this was one of the most appreciative crowds ever. After resting on the seventh day, on the eight day, He created ...... Metsa. Any omissions are the result of fatigue and will be rectified.
Original Article: https://www.facebook.com/billy.hallquist/posts/713465868700060
As we look forward to producing a CD/DVD package of the historic night of May 17th, 2014. I would like to share my thoughts of what went down. First of all, If you are a fan of Bob Dylan and you have never been to a Duluth Dylan Festival, do yourself a favor and make a trip out there one of these years. It is all put together with a labor of love and respect for the man and his music and you will have a great time! Mark my words!
I would like to thank NELSON T. FRENCH along with THE ARMORY ARTS & MUSIC CENTER for bringing A SALUTE TO THE MUSIC OF BOB DYLAN all back home to Duluth and the fantastic presentation that they did all the way around! I really hope that one day soon it will be up and rockin' again the way it deserves to be! From the VIP Vintage Italian Pizza party on Friday the 16th with Cowboy Angel Blue headlining, to Amazing Grace Bakery and Cafe for breakfast then onto Sacred Heart Music Center on Saturday the 17th for the concert. From the art at Red Mug Coffeehouse and Bake Shop, to Goin' Postal Superior and wrapping it all up outside The Historic Duluth Armory (with the Bob Dylan silhouette above us) on Sunday the 18th. I had a blast! Thank you, Nelson for also convincing me to do some magic and teaming up with me to co-produce this show! You are the definition of a stand up guy! I hope we can work together again soon! As Geno said to me "if you want someone to get the job done and right, then Nelson is your man!"
Thank you to BILLY HALLQUIST for getting us all on the road to Duluth and producing such an outstanding cast of world class musicians to perform the songs of Bob Dylan the way that they did! Billy, I will never forget how you sang that last verse of Forever Young! I got chills! You were definitely living inside of the song at that moment! It was priceless! Thank you for all your months of planning, organizing and hard work to keep this all together. It did pay off that night and I never take it for granted!
Thank you to SCARLET RIVERA, GENE LAFOND and PAUL METSA. We go back the furthest together. I met Scarlet in 1977 on her first solo tour to the Twin Cities shortly after her Rolling Thunder Revue tour of 1975-76 and our lives keep intersecting through the years most always at the crossroads of Bob! Whenever you hear her play, you know that no one else could ever sound like that or play that well! It is definitely from another world! If I listened to her play for a thousand lifetimes it would never be enough! I met Gene LaFond with LARRY KEGAN somewhere back in 1982 or so. Gene has said we are all like family and I do agree with him! Keep on singing your song, Geno! Looking forward to a new album from you soon! I met Paul Metsa in 1984. He handed me his first vinyl record titled Paper Tigers while inside Oar Folkjokeopus. If you don't know what that is? Google it, or better yet, pick up his Blue Guitar Highway book: http://www.blueguitarhighway.com/ or have a listen to his new Wall of Power Radio Hour: http://www.wallofpowerradio.com/ They are both great! Thank you, Paul for all your support over the years with the Salute concerts and your friendship. Keep on keepin' on!
Thank you BILL PAGEL, GLEN and MADGE DUNDAS for being our videographers for the evening and doing such a wonderful job! Bob is lucky to have such historians like yourselves documenting his work over all these years just as I am lucky to have you as long time old friends! Thank you, Bill for driving me all around that weekend and the tour of Bob's birthplace house. May Bob continue to tour the world every year and you continue delivering those set lists! http://www.boblinks.com/ I look forward to them! I hope to have the priviledge one day to see both of your full collections and visit your archives!
Thank you to JOHN BUSHEY for being so bold and daring on his Highway 61 Revisited radio show and having me on it. John, sorry about the 17 song playlist. I got carried away. Then you got carried away and played them all too! Your support for the concert was dedicated and sincere from the get-go till the end! Thank you for the awesome magic that you did as well! On my next trip out, I am going to lock myself away in your Houdini vaults if you will allow me! Thanks once again for your kindness throughout the event!
Thank you to our Master of Words ED NEWMAN. If we would have had a hundred people in this show, Ed would have interviewed them all! Ed, the show would have never been the success it was without you involved! I will make it a point to read your new posts in the morning and start my day that way! Ennyman's Territory ARTS, CULTURE AND OTHER LIFE OBSERVATIONS: http://pioneerproductions.blogspot.com/ I will take it any day over the morning news! You are an artist's artist and the real deal! All the best to you!
Thank you to all the artists and musicians who played and donated their time and energy to our cause! It wouldn't be fair to pick favorites and I just want to say that each and every one of you brings forth your own musical styles and claims each song you chose as your own and does them justice! That is not an easy task to do with these great Bob Dylan songs but you all managed to do it! I salute and pay homage to each and everyone of you as you continue on with your musical journeys!
BARRY THOMAS GOLDBERG
JAMES LONEY & THE GHOSTETTES - EDIE BAUMGART & COLLEEN MARTIN OAKE
JAMIE NESS (I never got to thank you for The Freewheelers CD you gave me. So thank you, Jamie! I also have never heard a version of Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie like yours before! I haven't stopped listening to it!) http://thefreewheelers.bandcamp.com/
Thank you to our Masters of Sound
ERIC SWANSON and SACRED HEART MUSIC CENTER
Thank you to our ace photographers
Special thanks to ZANE BAIL and DON DASS.
Keep up the great work that you do for Duluth Dylan Festival! I left with one of the official Bob Dylan Way street signs! You can't ask for anything more. Thank you for that! You were also both great assistants during the show and wonderful people!
Last but not least a big thank you to all of our sponsors (you know who you are!) and to The Armory Annex for hosting the after party! I hope to see you all again further down the road!
June 27th, 2014
Ennyman is a Life Under Construction. Writer, artist, philosopher, friend... visit www.enewman.biz to put your mind at e's.