Friday, May 11, 2018

A Quick Chat with 2017 Dylan Fest Singer/Songwriter Contest Winner Jacob Mahon

As many friends of Duluth Dylan Fest know, the annual Northland Dylan Bash originally took place in Hibbing with many memories generated over the years. One of the highlights of the Hibbing Dylan Days celebration was its singer/songwriter contest, a competition which required performers to share a Dylan song and one of their own original creations.

The past two years the Singer/Songwriter Contest took place at Clyde Iron Works. This year the event will convene at Sacred Heart Music Center on Positively Fourth Street. The Valentini's Food Truck will be on site so you can grab a bite. This free DDF event starts at 7 p.m. on Friday May 25.

There are still a few open slots for those who wish to compete. It's not to late to throw your hat into the ring. Sign up here at

Last year we once again saw and heard a lot of talented performers. All I can say is that I'm glad not to be a judge for these things because there is so much talent. Jacob Mahon (Pronounced Mann) won our 2017 competition. A few days ago I reached out to learn a little more about the young artist.

EN: You won last year's singer songwriter contest. What were the two songs you sang?

JM: I sang an original song called Gingerbread Man, and a Dylan song called "One Too Many Mornings," track 4 off of "The Times They are a Changing" album.

EN: You're young. 18? How long have you been performing?

JM: I've been performing since I was 12 years old with my brother, Owen, in North Central Minnesotan bars. We played mostly Dylan covers, and "Sweet Home Alabama" over and over again at the start. We just enjoyed playing what the people liked to hear, and in Longville, Minnesota, two young teen boys singing Lynyrd Skynyrd until it hurts was what the people wanted to hear. A passion for writing music started when we moved to Duluth in the Fall of 2016.

EN: What band or bands did you play with in this year's Homegrown?

JM: I played with Kristy Marie as 'Elephant Hotel' at Luce on Sunday and then 'Jacob Mahon Group' played Legacy Glassworks on Saturday. Both instances were a complete and utter gas.

This year's singer/songwriter will be at Sacred Heart on Fourth Street.
EN: What kind of music do you like to play?

JM: I play Original Music. Jacob Mahon Music.

EN: What is your fave Dylan album that you listen to?

JM: Bootleg series Vol. 1

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