The Block Island Times

Ataboy Bobby Dylan, Tony Garnier, Duke Robillard, et al.

By J. V. Houlihan, Jr. | Apr 08, 2013
Photo by: J. V. Houlihan, Jr Dylan and his posse, tearing it up at U R I

Ya gotta love Bob Dylan and his band's willingness to keep throwing down the music without flinching. Nothing ever surprised me about Dylan's deal; he just is who he is, and that is precisly his talent and charm. Forget expectations of his work, just enjoy the guy, he's a pro. Cindy and I had a blast, as Dylan played to a very large and enthusiastic  gang of boomers, and a younger representation of the tribe; a mixed bag. Bob Dylan still has his jab working, and he ain't afraid to use it.

I had to grab my bride and head for greener seats, after Cindy came close to dropping  a cluster bomb insult on some younger girl, who was  yapping during Dawes, the opening act. Dawes is a good, tight band. The said girl had a voice that had to be reined in or just shut down. Cindy gave her a finger pointing scolding, and we split for some much better seats.(boomers can roll like this, my wife is direct, and tough) I hit pay dirt with some seats close to stage left. Perfect.

What I loved about this gig, was that Tony Garnier played precision bass, and augmented Duke's guitar playing. At one point, Dylan just leaned on his piano and watched the masterful Robillard shred the fretboard. It reminded me of gigs I saw of Duke with "Roomful of Blues," at the Knickerbocker in Westerly and the old Lupos in downtown Providence back in my hell raising days. Dylan really let this horse out of the barn, and the Duke put the spurs to her. Garnier nailed his rhythm  shots, and showcased Robillard's blusey brilliance. This, was my favorite moment of the gig; musicianship at it's best. The giving and taking of a good bass player and a sharp guitar player, without upstaging each other, is about as professional as it gets.

Dylan is a performance artist with a constant reserve of audacity. From seeing him strap on a Stratocastor in '65, to other head turning moments, all that can be said, is that the guy fearlessly does his job. As stated in yesterday's blog, I said my wife and I would be "giggling," and we were. She got all babed out for our big date, and I cleaned up as best I could. Bottom line, we had a total blast, fun! We were hootin'!

The last time I was in the Ryan Center, I was giving the 2006 graduation speech for Narragansett High School. I was blowing this clambake and retiring from thirty years of teaching the youth of America, and the kids wanted me to speak. Reluctantly, I agreed, and did a spin on the Henry V Battle of Agincourt speech by Will Shakespheare. I told the kids essentially to rage against the machine, find your place in the world, and plant a flag on it. Then, live like you mean it; no retreat, no surrender. They gave me a standing ovation; nice way to leave a career, huh. Dylan did the same thing an hour ago. After his encore, he and his band claimed their place in the world, after doing their jobs like they meant it, and recieved a standing ovation. Dylan had me bashing my guitar in the basement in '64, he was my hero. He still is.


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