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Local bands celebrate the music of Bob Dylan
By Jim Fester
Fort Wayne Reader
Four Fort Wayne bands will team up for a tribute to Bob Dylan at Columbia Street West on Thursday, January 29th. The brain-child of Matt Kelley, guitarist for Go Dog Go, and Richard Reprogle at Columbia Street West, Homesick Blues — Celebrating the Songs of Bob Dylan is the first of what Kelley hopes will become a bi-monthly concert series. The music starts at 9 PM as opposed to Columbia Street’s usual 10:30, and features the Brown Bottle Band, Dave Todoran & Mobile Homewreckers, Go Dog Go with special guest George Ogg, and the Wailhounds mixing Dylan classics with a few hidden gems and obscurities.
FWR: Tell us about the Revolution Concert Series
Matt Kelley: The idea is that every other month, we’ll pick another artist like Dylan, to have a tribute to. We’ll pick artists who have had a huge influence. The idea is, it should span generation and genre. People like Dylan, who appeal to all generations, and are open to all kinds of interpretations, from country-folk to jam bands to classic rock and everything in between. Next will probably be the Beatles, hopefully in March. Eventually, we’ll do the Rolling Stones and Johnny Cash, artists like that. Each time we’ll try to get four or five different local acts to be part of it. Like this time, we’ll try to pick different bands that represent different facets of the artists that we’re trying to pay a little tribute to.
FWR: An artist like Bob Dylan has had many different stages to his career. Will each band pick a specific stage in his career and do a few songs from there?
MK: I think if we were going to hit every stage in Dylan’s career, we’d probably take several nights. But when I was going after people to do this, I wanted to do exactly that and pick different people that would kind of voice different parts of his career. I think the only thing we’re lacking is I think it would have been nice to have some female voices involved, since Dylan has been covered by so many different female artists. I approached a few different artists but no one was interested. What we have is Dave Todorn, he’ll be doing the folky and Americana voice of Dylan. The Wailhounds are a jam-band who will stretch out on the songs. They’ll probably do four or five songs in the time that the rest of us will do eight or nine. The Brown Bottle Band are real classic rock afficiandoes, even though they’re all in their early 20s. And Go Dog Go will just sort of cover all the bases. We’re going to have George Ogg sit in and play guitar during the whole set. But every band is going to interpret the songs in their own style. Just the way Dylan writes songs they’re easy to re-interpret. I think a lot of people like Dylan’s songwriting but don’t like his voice.
FWR: Were there any fights over who gets to do “Subterranean Homesick Blues” or “Like A Rolling Stone”?
MK: This is really crazy, but we all submitted our wish list and there was only one repeat. Go Dog Go has been playing Dylan songs since our first show four years ago. We’ve played twenty throughout our career. The Brown Bottle Band wanted one that we had on our list, so we said “okay, it’s yours.” We were worried about that, but there’s so much to choose from that there were no conflicts.
FWR: As a self-described Dylanologist, what would your response be to people who say “If I hear one more person describe Dylan as a poet, I’ll scream”?
MK: (laughs) I think they need to read the words he’s written one more time. I think he’s had some insight into the human condition for quite a while.
Columbia Street West
Thursday, January 29th
Bring a can of food or make a $2 donation to Community Harvest Food Bank at the show
and become eligible for framed Dylan artwork, Dylan CDs and performers' Cds.