Saturday, October 23, 2021

Andy & Renee Headline Concert to Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of KUMD's Highway 61 Revisited

It was a very special night at Sacred Heart here in Duluth. Andy & Renee, a pair of Los Angeles musicians who have been celebrating Dylan's music for 31 year, happened to be in Minnesota this week so they could celebrate the 30th anniversary of KUMD's Highway 61 Revisited. The late John Bushey, who hosted this weekly hour of Dylan music, would have loved the concert last night. 

Marc Gartman
Marc Gartman, one of our many talented local musicians, opened the show with a set that featured Dylan music from a variety of sources. My original intention was to not take notes but to simply enjoy the music. Now I wish I'd brought a pad of paper.

For those unfamiliar, Sacred Heart was formerly a Catholic church on Duluth's Central Hillside. Now it is a music and arts venue, among other things. The acoustics are simply outstanding, and the sound system engineering is second to none. All that to say that Marc Gartman's 12-string sounded remarkable.

Zane Bail, who welcomed us at the beginning of the evening, introduced Karen Sunderman to make a few remarks and share some anecdotes from the show's 30-year history. One story she told was how on one occasion John Bushey assembled a manufactured interview with Bob Dylan. He used clips from Dylan interviews and inserted his questions before the statements or answers Bob would make. 

As with Orson Welles' 1939 War of the Worlds radio broadcast, many people not only believed that John was interviewing Dylan, but that Dylan was up at the KUMD studio live on the air. Unexpectedly, people started showing up at KUMD with various items for Dylan to sign as he emerged after the interview. Alas, he wasn't there.

Miriam Hanson, who has now been host of the show for near four years, was unable to be present last night because she was globetrotting in Egypt. Karen shared how influential the show was for Miriam who first started listening when she was 15. It's a show that has touched many lives. 

Paul Metsa joined for It Takes a Lot to Laugh

As for Andy & Renee, they were superb. No question they've got talent. Their stage presence evokes warmth and enthusiasm. Throughout the evening their versatility was abundantly evident. Each took a turn at the grand piano, each took turns singing, and their guitar roles often reversed. And this being a Dylan program, there was plenty of harmonica. 

Here's the set list, beginning with Things Have Changed, which opened many, many Dylan concerts after it won the Oscar two decades ago.

Things Have Changed
Sweet Amarillo
Emotionally Yours
Watching the River Flow
One More Cup of Coffee
Blood on the Tracks 
Is Your Love In Vain
Up To Me
It Takes a Lot to Laugh, a Train to Cry
Power Lines and Palm Trees
Fuse 32
Times They Are A-Changin’
Working Man’s Blues #2
The Hour The Ship Comes In
Chimes of Freedom

A nice surprise was having Paul Metsa come out to perform with them on It Takes a Lot to Laugh, a Train to Cry. Paul has moved to Duluth and, for the time being, is living on the first floor of the duplex young Bobby Zimmerman lived in till he was six.

Dylan fans are likely aware that there is no song in his catalog titled Blood on the Tracks. Rather, it's a song Andy Hill wrote with Dave Tokaji and Weiner, a.k.a The Title Trackers, in the style of the songs on Blood on the Tracks, intended to serve as a "title song" for that album.  

All close-up photos on this post are courtesy Michael Anderson. 
To learn more about Andy & Renee you can check out this interview I did with them in 2019

To purchase their music, check out

Andy Hill and Renee Safier

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