Bob Dylan’s career has had several phases, if you can call them that. Emerging from the folk scene he was catapulted into high voltage rock scene with Like a Rolling Stone and became a volcanic pop/rock/poet troubadour. This phase ended with a famous motorcycle wreck and a more subdued period in his life which lasted till the mid-Seventies when he once more conceived a road show unlike any other, the Rolling Thunder Revue.
Several great albums emerged from this catalytic carnival of musicians that had been configured and re-configured wherever it went, sometimes incorporating high profile artists like Joan Baez and Eric Clapton, other times assembling a whole battalion of musicians, Dylan oft in whiteface as conductor of this long wild ride. One of the players in this troupe was Scarlet Rivera on violin.
The first time I heard electric violin live was at Wall Stadium in New Jersey where Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane were accompanied by “Papa John” Creach. The sound was surreal and vibrant, simply smashing.
So, too, is Scarlet Rivera’s famously riveting accompaniment on Dylan’s song Hurricane, a lengthy ballad that tells “the story of Hurricane, the man the authorities came to blame” for something he had never done, “put in a prison cell but one time he could have been the champion of the world.” It was Rivera's electrifying violin that gave the song its intensity and thematically carried the score making Desire one of many peoples' favorite Dylan albums.
In May, Ms. Rivera will be returning to the Northland for a concert on May 18, presented by the Armory Arts and Music Center, in conjunction with special guest Gene LaFond & the Wild Unknown with the group Communist Daughter laying down licks for the opening. The concert will take place at the Weber Hall Music stage at UMD.
Scarlet Rivera, Gene Lafond and the Wild Unknown performed on a Friday night two years ago at Dylan Days in Hibbing. Friends who were there said the concert blew them away and was "simply awesome." There is no reason to expect anything less this time around.
Tickets are now on sale. Reserved seating is $25 with two rows of VIP seats at the front for $100 each with an exclusive meet and greet at Tycoons the next day. Head over to Ticketworks and lock in your seat today.
Have a great weekend and keep dreaming.
My original Dylan image, top right, can be seen at Goin' Postal in Superior from now through Dylan Days. A whole host of artists will be represented there during the upcoming April Twin Ports Gallery Hop. Details to come.