Saturday Night @ The Rex: Honoring John Bushey and His KUMD Show Highway 61 Revisited
Many great memories were produced Saturday night. I've been asked to share pictures for those who live too far away to have made it. From 8 p.m. till midnight The Rex chose to one-up Paul McCartney and Neil Young's Desert Trip concert by celebrating 25 years of John Bushey's Dylan-themed radio program, Highway 61 Revisited. 160 of us were there for the experience. Music by Cowboy Angel Blue, The Boom Chucks, Paul Metsa and special guests formed the backdrop against which a mayoral proclamation was delivered (by councilman Joel Sipress on behalf of Emily Larson) and a multitude of friends and fans of the show showed their appreciation for its host. The evening struck a perfect balance of entertainment, Dylan-nostalgia and public recognition for John Bushey's sacrificial commitment to this labor of love.
The actual anniversary of the show would have been more suitably celebrated the week before but Cowboy Angel Blue, a favorite of John's, was unavailable last week. Dylan's recognition by the Nobel Prize committee delivered added sweetness to this weekend's celebration.
Here's a set of snapshots that capture the flavor of the evening.
Cowboy Angel Blue (James Paavala and Bill Maxwell) were joined by Columbia recording artist Bill Bulinski on bass.
Councilman Joel Sipress honors John Bushey with the mayoral proclamation.
Gene LaFond and Amy Grillo were joined by Pat Eliason on harp (left)
Michael Anderson, photographer
Michael Anderson has been a faithful documentarian of Armory and Dylan Fest events for many years. His work is greatly appreciated. (You can find more of Michael's work on display here.)
The Boom Chucks -- Brad Nelson drums, Jamie Ness lead (right) -- were joined by Alan Sparhawk and Bill Bulinski for a portion of their set.
Alan Sparhawk's rendition of One Too Many Mornings, which has been recorded with Gaelyn Lea on the Bringing It All Back Home to Duluth Does Dylan, proved to be one of many highlights of the evening. Paul Metsa's set, which included his song about the nefarious Jack Ruby, also sent electricity to the room.
Special thanks should be extended to many who contributed to make this event memorable but two should especially be called out: our zealous M.C. Magic Marc Percansky and Zane Bail, worked tirelessly (as well when totally exhausted) to help set the table for this night.
The evening ended with a jam session featuring the Boom Chucks and Cowboy Angel Blue together, and a few harmonica accents from yours truly. There were writers and there were dancers, friends of the show and even magicians... all of it magical.
If the measure of a man is what he's done for others, John is a truly great man.
John: Thank you for keeping the music of Dylan alive and fresh, for your dedication to giving your audiences something more, something higher, something richer and more rewarding.