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News:
Rothbury Day 4: Dylan "Blows" 'Em Away
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK



A light breeze blew through the first fully sun-soaked day of this year's Rothbury Festival on Sunday (July 5), but Bob Dylan felt that "Blowin' in the Wind" was the best way to end the four-day event.

Dylan brought the festival -- at least the main Odeum stage portion -- to a close with a 90-minute performance that seemed downright austere next to the multi-hour marathons on previous nights by The Dead and String Cheese Incident. But the 17 songs were the most dark-suited and hat-wearing Dylan has played yet on his recently started U.S. tour, and he pleased the Rothbury crowd with a set list full of favorites, including "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat," "Highway 61 Revisited," "Ballad of a Thin Man," "Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again," "Like A Rolling Stone" and fierce "All Along The Watchtower." As is Dylan's wont he tweaked each one, and some more than others: "Tangled Up in Blue," for instance, was slower and slinkier, while "Blowin' in the Wind" had an easygoing country waltz-like quality.

Dylan and his band played just one song, "Jolene," form his latest album, "Together Through Life," but he did dig into his iconic catalog for deeper fare such as "Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)," "Rollin' and Tumblin'," "Po' Boy," "Nettie Moore," " 'Til I Fell in Love With You" and "Thunder on the Mountain."

Gov't Mule leader Warren Haynes provided some of Rothbury's other Sunday highlights the day after he headlined the Odeum stage with the Dead. The go-to guitarist who's also a member of the Allman Brothers band joined Hassidic reggae artist Matisyahu for a rendition of "Kodesh" just minutes before Gov't Mule's own set on another stage. Haynes led the band through a covers-heavy set that included a blistering version of Steppenwolf's "Don't Step on the Grass, Sam" and a nice coupling of Gov't Mule's Jerry Garcia tribute, "Patchwork Quilt," into the Grateful Dead's "Sugaree." The group was then joined by Grace Potter and Nocturnals guitarist Scott Tournet for Crosby, Stills & Nash's "Find the Cost of Freedom," which led into Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Ohio."

Matisyahu, backed by Dub Trio, also played "One Day" from his forthcoming album, "Light" (due Aug. 25), while Guster previewed a couple of new songs from an album it's in the midst of recording. Ani DiFranco played the labor anthem, "Who's Side Are You On?," which had particular resonance with an audience in economically hard-hit Michigan, and the Sam Roberts Band played to the home state with "Detroit 67" as well as his hit "Kids."

Detroit's Hard Lessons, meanwhile, impressed early risers with its energetic set, while frontman Augie Visocchi, whose parents have both been impacted by General Motors' financial woes, handed out free copies of the group's new album, "Arms Forest," as a "stimulus" for the crowd.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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