Friday, July 11, 2014

Two More Salutes to the Music of Bob Dylan

In mid-May the Northland was treated to a very special concert, assembled primarily by "Magic Marc" Percansky, Billy Hallquist and Nelson French. To say that it was a stellar, and memorable, evening of music is understatement.

A featured star of the evening was Dylan-violinist Scarlet Rivera, and if you thought she was great the past few years, well with a full army of talent and sound behind her, she rocked the universe. (Please excuse my hyperbole. I will use more when I write about the movie Chef this weekend. I've been known to get emotional at times and can get carried away.)

All this to say that the Duluth concert was a gift from a group of musicians who have been doing these Salute concerts for quite a few years. Obviously they love playing together, but the concerts are always for good causes. In Duluth, they came to help raise funds and awareness for renovating the Duluth Armory. In the Twin Cities, they have been producing free concerts for Guitars for Vets, a non-profit organization committed to helping restore meaning, purpose and joy for wounded veterans.

The concert was so rich that it only seemed natural to want my blog readers in the Twin Cities to be aware of it, because in August Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan will once again be accompanied by violinist Scarlet Rivera.

The two concerts will be at Town Green (Maple Grove) and Veterans Memorial Amphitheater in Wolfe Park (St. Louis Park) with both concerts featuring being free. This marks the 6th year in a row that Salute to the Music of Bob Dylan (formerly Blood on the Tracks Live) has performed at the St. Louis Park venue and the 4th annual event in Maple Grove. Every year these shows draw thousands of attendees.

The core band, consists of leader Billy Hallquist, Matt Fink, Lonnie Knight, Gary Lopac, Stan Kipper, Chico Perez, Ralph Dacut, Jim Steinworth and Aaron Ollswang will be joined by guests Patty Peterson, Gene LaFond, Barbara Meyer, James Loney w. Edie Rae and Colleen O., Barry Thomas Goldberg, Arne Fogel, Dan Israel, Mark Lamoine, Kenny Krona and Steve Grossman. Keeping the watches wound and trains on time is Master of Ceremonies “Magic” Marc Percansky.

According to their announcement, "This conglomeration of talent boasts nearly 1,000 years of combined experience and 100,000+ performances." According to my experience I can only tell you these folks are tight, and the love to share the music that so inspires them. .

Making a special appearance will be world-renowned violinist Scarlet Rivera. Scarlet burst on the scene when Dylan hired her to record and tour with him during the epic “Desire”, “Hard Rain”, Rolling Thunder Revue and Renaldo & Clara period. Since those heady days she has continued to perform and record solo and with a long line of “A-list” artists around the planet.

The August 6th concert takes place at Town Green, 7991 Main Street N., Maple Grove, MN. On August 9 th the show moves to Veterans Memorial Amphitheater in Wolfe Park, 3700 Monterey Dr., St. Louis Park, MN. Music begins at 6:30 and concludes around 9:30

As usual, both events serve as benefits to raise support and awareness of Guitars for Vets, a national organization dedicated to serving those who've served their country but face challenges due to PTSD. Any/all cash donations will go directly to Guitars for Vets. Those who have an old guitar sitting around may donate them as well. Contributions of any kind are completely voluntary and extremely appreciated by the organization and its students. A brief set of original material by Chrome Horse Diplomats precedes the Dylan Salute.

For what it's worth, if you're a Dylan fan, the only thing better than this is seeing Dylan himself. Tonight and tomorrow he's in Norway after finishing sets in Germany, Poland and Denmark this past week. And according to reviews he's better than ever.  He's 73 and still acting like he plans to remain forever young. I'm certainly operating on that gameplan.

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Meantime, life goes on all around you. Celebrate it. 

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