Rothbury Day 4: Blowin in the Wind’ with Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan closed out the second annual Rothbury Festivals main stage entertainment last night with two of the rock eras most enduring anthems: All Along the Watchtower and Blowin in the Wind. Of the seventeen songs that the icon played from 8:30 to just after 10 PM, Jolene was the only track taken from his recently released studio album, Together Through Life/. The rest of The Bards set featured rearranged versions of staples like Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat, Rainy Day Women #12 & 35, Tangled Up In Blue, High Water (For Charley Patton), Highway 61 Revisited, Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Thunder On The Mountain and Like A Rolling Stone. Like most of his most recent performances, Dylan played keyboards for all but two songs during his set, helping him create a distinctive, pre-rock sound.
A number of other legendary performers graced Rothburys Odeum stage earlier in the afternoon. Toots & the Maytals kicked off the days entertainment with an up tempo set of reggae anthems, as well as a cover of Louie Louie. Performers ranging from The Hold Steadys Craig Finn to Matisyahu to the members of Yonder Mountain String Band were spotted watching Willie Nelson and his family band before Dylans set. Festival staple Peter Rowan also showed off his new Bluegrass Band with Tony Rice. The youngest band to play the festivals main stage was the decade-old Yonder Mountain String Band, who name-checked String Cheese Incident during its set.
Four days into Rothbury, a relaxed vibe could be felt on both sides of the rail and many performers collaborated throughout the festivals final day. The members of Govt Mule brought out their recent tourmates Grace Potter and Scott Tournet of The Nocturnals for covers of CSNYs Find the Cost of Freedom and Ohio on the Ranch Stage. Likewise, Warren Haynes played guitar with Matisyahu on Kodesh, and his bandmate Rob Marscher brought out his baby daughter Maryn for a keyboard jam on the Sherwood Court stage. Matisyahu also previewed his upcoming tour with Umphreys McGee by sitting in with the jam titans during an improvisational Jimmy Stuart segment. Pnuma Trios Alex Botwin and Lane Shaw also sat in with their Boulder, CO neighbors Big Gigantic during their highly-collaborative late night set in the Tripolee dance space, and the musicians later ventured into the festivals campground for a surprise DJ set that lasted until sunrise. The members of Pnuma Trio were also spotted DJing the festivals artist lounge with STS9s David Murphy earlier in the evening (Murph made the most of his trip to Michigan, playing two songs with STS9, DJing Mountains of the Moons fashion show and tweeting for USA Today). Railroad Earth also led fans in a scavenger hunt around the festival grounds.
Rothburys Sunday schedule also featured performances by a few musicians who exist on the fringe of the jam scene. Politically active singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco flew from High Sierra Music Festival to close out the Sherwood Court stage, Brooklyn rockers The Hold Steady played for a few new faces and Guster tested out a handful of songs from its forthcoming album (the group was also excited when a few fans threw ping-pong balls onstage during Airport Songa gag the group frequently employed in its club days). Though The Hold Steady is a new addition to the festival circuit, lead singer Craig Finn admitted that he listens to the Grateful Dead everyday.’
Be sure to check Relix.com throughout the week to hear exclusive Rothbury podcasts recorded by Matisyahu, Jackie Greene, Kyle Hollingsworth, Hill Country Revue, the Disco Biscuits, Railroad Earth, Bill Kreutzmann, John Butler and many others.