Phil Lesh, Warren Haynes, MMW, CLHSY, and the Roots Salute Dylan
The music of Bob Dylan took center stage last night at an all-star Bob Dylan Tribute held at Lincoln Centers Avery Fisher Hall. A benefit for Music for Youth, the multi-band bill featured a breadth of popular performers, who interpreted material from throughout Dylans storied career. While Dylan himself did not appear, an image of the Bards eyes remained projected above the stage throughout the two-and-a-half hour performance.
Singer/songwriter Bob Mould opened the evening with a cover of If Not For You, before handing over the microphone to Joan Osborne for beautiful rendition of Make You Feel My Love. Throughout the night a number of performers also teamed-up unique collaborations: Natalie Merchant and Philip Glass performed a duet on The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, Oliver Wood led Medeski, Martin and Wood through an acoustic take on Buckets of Rain (with John Medeski on melodica), Cyndi Lauper backed Jill Sobule on a version of Ring Them Bells, and Medeski played organ with Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo on Positively 4th Street. Longtime Patti Smith Band multi-instrumentalist Tony Shanahan and Television guitarist Tom Verlaine also made surprise appearances, supporting Patti Smith on Dark Eyes, (a number the folk-poet performed on tour with Bob Dylan each night on their 1996 tour). As always, Warren Haynes remained busy, flying back to New York between Govt Mule dates to help 18-year old songstress Lauren Shera through Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright, play guitar with Phil Lesh on Dylans brand new Thunder On The Mountain, and invite out Kevn Kinney and Joan Osborne for a sing-a-long take on I Shall Be Released.
During her spot, Cat Power offered a somewhat awkward version solo version of House of the Rising Sun (which Dylan covered on his debut record), while Ryan Adams lived up to his bad boy image, running over his set time and sticking Love Sick in the middle of his rock-jam version of Isis. Other standout performances included Al Kooper & The Funky Facultys version of It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry, Sandra Bernhard comedy routine based around Like A Rolling Stone, Clap Your Hands Say Yeahs rendition of Love Minus Zero/No Limit, the Jamie Saft Trios instrumental jazz reading of Ballad Of A Thin Man, Jay Farrar harmonica-laced Going, Going, Gone, Roseanne Cashs interpretation of License to Kill, Allen Toussaints solo piano version of Mama, You’ve Been On My Mind, and the Roots powerful take on Master of War (the beginning of which was set against the National Anthem). The evening closed with an all-star version of Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door featuring Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Lauren Shera, Smith and Al Kooper. In total, the evening raised over $100,000 for charity.