Acoustic Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan - Duluth 2015

Magic Marc Productions

I am an independent concert, music and event promoter based in the Minneapolis / Saint Paul, Minnesota area.

I am interested in creating unique, one of a kind, once in a lifetime, never to be forgotten events!

I am open to all ideas, suggestions, and comments for any kind of artistic endeavor.

Please feel free to email me with your thoughts.

Thank you.

Marc Evan Percansky

Singer Songwriter Contest is an Annual Highlight at Dylan Days... and a Special Treat: The Original Battle of the Bobs

Spring is in the air. Thursday morning it was -28 degrees on my thermometer. At this moment it's 30 above. 58 degrees in the right direction. We're less than two months away from the Homegrown Music Festival and the Northland Dylan Celebration, formerly Dylan Days in Hibbing and Dylan Fest in Duluth. So, I've got music on my mind.

One of the traditional highlights of Hibbing's Dylan Days has been the Singer Songwriter Contest. Bob fans from all over the world have participated in this event.

One of our competitors was Mark Sutton of Sydney, Australia, who wrote the absolutely wonderful "I'm A Bigger Dylan Fan Than You" which is practically an anthem for a lot of us here. Every line is loaded with substance, not one a throwaway. It gives you a sense of the competition when you learn that he didn't win that year. I don't mean to discourage you from throwing your leopard-skin pillbox hat into the ring, but there are some seriously good performers in this even. In past years we've been joined by Dylan performers from England, Scotland and the Continent.

Past winners include Danny Fox (2X), Little Diamonds, a lady from Manchester, England... and many others.

This year's Singer Songwriter Contest is going to be in Duluth for the first time ever. For nearly two decades, the Singer/Songwriter Contest has been one of the most popular events of Hibbing Dylan Days. Due to the absence of the Hibbing event this year, the Duluth Dylan Fest is honored to keep this tradition alive. The singer/songwriter contest is acoustic, with vocal and guitar mics on stage and a house sound system.

There will indeed be some prize money, but more importantly is the thrill of winning the equivalent of a Super Bowl ring, which is to say your name will be cherished in our memories, recorded here at Ennyman's Territory for posterity and talked about back home. And maybe we'll see you forever enshrined on YouTube.

The rules are simple. Perform a Dylan tune and an original song that you have composed yourself.

The event will begin 7 p.m. Friday, May 22 at the Red Herring Lounge here in Duluth. If you would like to perform email or visit the Duluth Dylan Fest Facebook page.

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Our Northland Singer/Songwriter Contest wasn't the first of its kind. I wouldn't be surprised to learn they have contests like this in Europe. In fact, someone sent me a link to a video of a similar event in Greenwich Village back in the early 80's. Evidently they were doing "Battle of the Bobs" in New York City. The First Annual Bob Dylan Imitators Contest was held at the Speakeasy Club on MacDougal Street. Here's a recording of this initial Battle of the Bobs, June 22, 1983.

* * * *

Meantime, even though our days seem to pass faster than a weaver's shuttle, may you stay Forever Young.

Ennyman is a Life Under Construction. Writer, artist, philosopher, friend... visit to put your mind at e's.

Original Article:

New Events Round Out This Year's Duluth Dylan Fest

The times are indeed ever changing. In a world gone wrong, one of the more disappointing local events of the last year has been the closing of Zimmy's in Hibbing, with the subsequent end of the historic Dylan Days. Fortunately, the Duluth Dylan Fest team has picked up the slack and will carry on with two of the highlights of Dylan Days: the Singer Songwriter Contest and the Bob Dylan Bus Tour, which had been a centerpiece of the annual weekend celebration. The Friday evening Singer Songwriter Contest will this year be at The Red Herring Lounge in Duluth, a first. The annual bus tour of Dylan sites will again be Saturday.

Bob Dylan Bus Tour

Young Robert lived here six years.

Young Robert lived here six years.

The tour is slated to start in Duluth at the Historic Duluth Armory where a young Robert Zimmerman saw Buddy Holly perform just days before he died. The tour will visit some significant Duluth sites in Dylan’s birthplace before heading for Hibbing where Bob Dylan grew up. The Bob Dylan Bus Tour had been a mainstay of the Hibbing Dylan Days and the Duluth Dylan Fest is honored to continue this tradition. A luxury charter bus will provide comfortable accommodations.

In order for the event to happen, 20 tickets must be purchased by Sunday, May 10th. Tickets are $40 plus tax and fees. Lunch will be available at Sammy’s Pizza in Hibbing for $10.49 per person (lunch is not included in the ticket price).

Tentative Itinerary
9:00 AM Board Bus
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Duluth Dylan sites
10:30 AM Head to Hibbing
12:00 PM Lunch at Sammy’s Pizza in Hibbing
12:45 PM Board Bus
12:45-3:30 PM Visit Hibbing's Dylan Sites
3:30 PM Head back to Duluth
5:00 PM Return to Historic Armory

The ride from Duluth to Hibbing and back promises to be as entertaining as the site-seeing.
The bus tour will be hosted by local Dylanologists. This is a “can’t miss” opportunity. 

The bus tour will return in time to grab dinner and attend the benefit concert for the Armory Arts & Music Center at 7:00 PM at Sacred Heart Music Center at 7:30 PM. 

Geno and Scarlet will both be back for the Armory Benefit Concert

Geno and Scarlet will both be back for the Armory Benefit Concert

For more information on the Duluth Dylan Fest visit:
Web –
Facebook -
Amory Arts & Music Center -

If the event is cancelled, refunds will be given. Please email with questions on this or any other event. 

Order Bus Tour Tickets Here

Acoustic Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan

The Saturday evening concert has been shaping up to be another special event. Each year seems to one-up the year before and you can't blame the Armory Arts & Music Center for trying.

I was told initially that Scarlet Rivera would not be here this May because she was slated to perform here later in the year. What a nice surprise to learn that once again Scarlet is on the bill which includes many other familiar names and a few new voices.

To purchase tickets visit

Meantime, life goes on all around you. Celebrate it. And come May, celebrate it here in the Northland with us.

Ennyman is a Life Under Construction. Writer, artist, philosopher, friend... visit to put your mind at e's.

Original Article:

Should Duluth Do More to Acknowledge Dylan’s Northland Roots?

The Economics of Music-Based Tourism

by Ed Newman

History is replete with landmarks -- places of birth, places where heroes have fallen, places where the dead have been laid to rest. In recent times the movers and shakers of rock and roll history have produced more such landmarks. Elvis left us Graceland. Buddy Holly put Lubbock, Texas on the map. The Beatles have brought economic blessings to Liverpool. And one of our own, here in the North Country, is as significant as any of these. Perhaps because he is still performing -- twice in Minnesota the last couple years on his Never Ending Tour – it would be a good time to reflect on what it is that has made some critics declare Bob Dylan to be the most significant person in rock history. 

The Economics of Music-Based Tourism

One of the visitors to Duluth during Dylan Fest 2011 was Mr. David Leaver of Manchester, England, who co-authored with his late wife Ruth a paper titled “Before they were famous: music‐based tourism and a musician’s hometown roots”, which had been published in the Journal of Place Management and Development. Leaver’s research showed that music‐based tourism is an emotion-driven experience with ideas of pilgrimage, nostalgia and heritage that centers on sites where either great music was produced, places where famous artists were born, lived or died, or places which shaped their early history. Though the primary market segment is comprised of baby boomers, it has expanded to include younger visitors for whom these music icons have become part of pop culture. 
The economic realities involved are no joking matter. Graceland draws upwards of 600,000 visitors are year. Liverpool’s tourism revenue expanded by 40% once that city began promoting sites like Strawberry Fields as a destination. Even the house featured in Jean Shepherd’s A Christmas Story captures 50,000 visitors a year now because they promote it.

According to Anna Tanski, director of the Duluth Visitor’s Bureau, the average Duluth tourist stays 2.3 nights and spends $645 dollars. Dylan fans have been making pilgrimages to the Northland for years without the city’s involvement. Why not capitalize on this interest by giving fans something more to see and do that might satisfy this fascination? Just 1,000 more visitors would produce $645,000 dollars.
I’m not talking about an artificial shrine. I’ve been told that Dylan himself wouldn’t want a statue. As Leaver says “It is important to recognize the sensitivities of these visitors and authenticity is a key factor.” Zimmy’s, the Dylan-themed Hibbing restaurant that closed last year, was just such a place, a touchstone for fans from Europe, Asia and elsewhere.   

I spoke about this with Marc Percansky, a producer for annual events like the Twin Cities’ Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan and Guitars for Vets. “People in every city in every part of the world like to speak of the famous people that come from their hometowns,” said Percansky. “They take pride in knowing that they walked the same ground, breathed the same crisp air and looked up at the same open sky. They feel a connection to them in some kind of way. 

“As for Duluth, it just so happens that one of the most influential musicians of all time is from there. That is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted and didn’t happen by accident. You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy. I am sure Bob feels the same way. He has even said himself in Rolling Stone magazine, ‘You’ll never see another town like Duluth.’ The early developmental years are never forgotten. They shape who we are.” 

John Bushey, host of KUMD’s longstanding Highway 61 Revisited, added, “All musical icons are from somewhere. Dylan happens to have his roots in Duluth and Hibbing. His influence is not only in music and on other musicians, but on poets, artists, writers, politicians, and people in many other fields.

“People somehow, whether right or wrong, feel a connection to famous people. They may feel like they know them, or have been guided in life somehow. People travel the world to seek out the roots of those they feel connected to, or influenced by. Whether it’s Liverpool, Graceland, Texas, or Duluth and Hibbing, people want to travel to see where the person they admire is from.

Dylan has never really denied his Minnesota roots. On the back of his first two albums he is listed as being from Duluth. He wrote poetry and songs about northern Minnesota, Duluth, Hibbing, and the Iron Range (North Country Blues, Girl from the North Country, etc...).  He mentioned Duluth in his song “Something There Is About You” on Planet Waves. He’s mentioned it on national TV when receiving a Grammy award. As Bushey notes, “His roots are here. He is from here. Therefore, whether we like his music or not, we should be proud that someone from this area has had such an important impact on the world.”

Nelson French concurs. As VP of the Armory Arts and Music Center board, French is quite passionate about honoring our ties to Dylan and placing his life here into its historical context. “Mr. Dylan’s roots in the North Country are an important part of Duluth’s and the Iron Range’s history,” said French, “and tied inextricably to the history of our nation and the world. Dylan was born in Duluth in the early 1940’s as World War II was becoming a part of everyday life in America and six when his family moved to the Iron Range -- a dual and economically connected community (the North Country) that provided much of the raw material that allowed our country to prevail in the war to end all wars. The post-war era brought with it a transformation of American society. Mr. Dylan grew through the 1950’s and launched himself on the world stage shortly after seeing Buddy Holly perform at the Historic Duluth Armory.  

“It is very important for communities to recognize and celebrate their history and the history of those who come from a place and have done well and made change locally - and/or have gone on to make change in the world. Honoring Mr. Dylan’s roots in the North Country and celebrating the influences should be a vital part of any local or regional educational and tourism efforts. In this regard I think of the “Triangle of the North Country” which includes the Duluth Goldfine/Zimmerman Home, the Hibbing High School and Zimmerman Home and the Historic Duluth Armory.”

The pilgrims will continue to come whether we welcome them or not. I believe there’s more that we can do to make them feel at home when they land on our shores.

Original Article:



01. The Boomchucks - Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie
02. The Boomchucks - It's Good To Be A Rolling Stone

03. Kenny Krona - She Belongs To Me
04. Gaelynn Lea - Let It Go
05. Rob Wheeler - Dignity
06. Gaelynn Lea - All The Tired Horses (You Are Alive)
07. Kenny Krona - Someone To Let Me In
08. Rob Wheeler - Dreamer's Waltz

09. Jim Hall with Scarlet Rivera - Tears Of Rage
10. Ed Newman and Elliot Silberman - One Too Many Mornings 
11. Courtney Yasmineh - You're A Big Girl Now
12. Jim Hall - Problem Tune 
13. Ed Newman - What Good Am I?
14. Courtney Yasmineh - Hang On For The Ride


15. Sam Miltich - Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
16. Todd Eckart - Lay Lady Lay
17. Barbara Meyer - Autumn Leaves
18. Sam Miltich - Girl From The North Country
19. Todd Eckart - My Sweet Friend
20. Barbara Meyer - I'll Be Your Baby Tonight

21. Billy Hallquist - Subterranean Homesick Blues
22. Gene LaFond and Amy Grillo with Scarlet Rivera - Born In Time
23. Lonnie knight with Scarlet Rivera - Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
24. Scarlet Rivera with Gene LaFond and Amy Grillo - Every Grain Of Sand
25. Billy Hallquist - Buddah's Rosary
26. Gene LaFond and Amy Grillo with Scarlet Rivera - Crash On The Levee (Down In The Flood)
27. Lonnie Knight - All Along The Watchtower
28. Scarlet Rivera with Gene LaFond and Amy Grillo - One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below)
29. Billy Hallquist with Lonnie Knight - Tomorrow Is A Long Time
30. Gene LaFond and Amy Grillo with Scarlet Rivera - Listen To Your Heart
31. Lonnie Knight with Barbara Meyer - This One's For You
32. Scarlet Rivera with Gene LaFond and Amy Grillo - The Sacred Wheel Of Give And Take

33. All - I Shall Be Released

Another Memorable Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan

Duluth Dylan Fest: Day Eight

Mid-day rehearsal.

Mid-day rehearsal.

It's Bob Dylan's birthday today. He's performing in Germany this weekend, so he'll miss the birthday bashes taking place in various parts of the country here. That's O.K. The music will go on.

Last year's Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan here at the Sacred Heart Music Center was so exceptionally received that the Armory Arts and Music Center (AAMC) decided to do it again, only with a twist. This year it would be an Acoustic Salute. And the event was stellar.

The assembled performers included many of last year's cast from the Salute, but also included a number of new names from our Northland region including The Boomchucks (Brad Nelson and Jamie Ness), Gaelynn Lee,  Rob Wheeler, Sam Miltich, Todd Eckart, lliot Silberman and myself. Returning faces (or voices) included Kenny Krona, Jim Hall, Courtney Yasmineh, Barbara Meyer, Billy Hallquist, Gene LaFond and Amy Grillo, Lonnie Knight and headliner Scarlet Rivera.

The show began with a couple of students from the AAMC performing music while the crowd sauntered in. A few minutes before showtime host/MC Marc Percansky introduced a special guest, Mayor Don Ness, who was one of the people who played a central role in bringing Bob Dylan Way to fruition. Mayor Ness was there to make an unexpected Official Proclamation. For her continuous support for our city and its history and the preservation of our resources and future, this day, this Perfect Duluth Day, would be henceforth remembered as Scarlet Rivera Day in Duluth.

This proved to be a really nice touch to make an even great day more special.

Backstage with Todd Eckart

Backstage with Todd Eckart

The Boomchucks then kicked in with a pair of songs performed in their inimitable style, I Threw It All Away, and a nine minute version of Last Thoughts On Woody Guthrie.

The manner in which the concert was produced proved interesting. Rather than have setups after each performer, the various groups would come out in sets. This would allow a more efficient production. All the sound arrangements had been made during a mid-day rehearsal session.

While The Boomchucks' equipment was being torn down John Bushey, host of KUMD's Highway 61 Revisited, performed a bit of magic... and as always, blew a few minds.

The second set featured Gaelynn Lea, Kenny Krona and Rob Wheeler, Wheeler opening with Dignity. Krona played She Belongs to Me and Gaelynn Lea performed Let It Go. Many of us have been familiar with Ms. Lea's violin work, but the use of looping technologies produced some incredible sounds, especially when she performed a stunning rendition of All the Tired Horses. I think there were people picking their jaws off the floor after that. Kenny Krona also did Someone Let Me In and Rob Wheeler did Dreamer's Waltz in this set.

Scarlet working out her parts with Jim Hall

Scarlet working out her parts with Jim Hall

Jim Hall opened the third set with Tears of Rage (accompanied by Scarlet) and Courtney Y concluded it with one of her own songs, Hang On For The Ride. In between Elliot and I sang One Too Many Mornings. When Courtney was playing You're A Big Girl Now I badly wished to put in that harmonica lick I was hearing in my head, but I didn't know what key she was in. Alas....

As the night wore on the sets kept getting better, if that's at all possible. Set four featured Sam Miltich (Don't Think Twice and Girl from the North Country), Todd Eckart (Lay Lady Lay and My Sweet Friend), and Barbara Meyer (I'll Be Your Baby Tonight and Autumn Leaves.)

Mayor Ness proclaiming this to be Scarlet Rivera Day.

Mayor Ness proclaiming this to be Scarlet Rivera Day.

Highlights of the last set for me included Billy Hallquist's tender Tomorrow Is A Long Time, Gene LaFond and Amy Grillo's Born In Time, Lonnie Knight's All Along the Watchtower and Scarlet Rivera's Every Grain of Sand. And of course any time Scarlet performs something from Desire, such as One More Cup Of Coffee (Valley Below), there's electricity in the air.

So, in short, thank you to everyone involved in this stellar fundraising event for the Armory... too many to name, including sponsors.

Oh, and hats off to Bob Dylan. Happy 74th Birthday. Thank you for what you have inspired in us

* * * *

A few quick reminders. There's a Bob Dylan Birthday Brunch at Tycoon's Alehouse this morning from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. and Bob Dylan Birthday Cotillion featuring Scarlet Rivera, Gene LaFond and Amy Grillo tonight at the Clair Nelson Community Center in Finland.

If you're inclined to stay in town, the 19th Annual Battle of the Jugbands is taking place today at Amazing Grace from 1 - 8 p.m.

Music, music everywhere. It's a beautiful thing.


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