It was never going to be easy to honour Bob Dylan's six-decade discography in a two-hour performance, but 10 devout Central West fans proved they were up to the challenge at The Victoria Bathurst over the weekend.
To honour Dylan's 80th birthday, a 10-piece band made up of noteworthy Central West musicians paid tribute to the popular music icon through rousing performances of his greatest hits, including 'Hurricane', 'Like a Rolling Stone' and 'Blowin' in the Wind.'
The event also served as a charity, with close to $2000 raised for the Daffodil Wig Library from ticket sales.
Millthorpe musician Jason Roweth, who performed in the band alongside wife and regular musical partner, Chloe, said it was a great event to be part of as their first post-COVID gig.
"It was a real joy to see the pub full of people smiling and happy to see each other, which is always motivating from a performer's point of view," Mr Roweth said.
"The band featured such a diverse range of musicians, from some we've just met to others we've known for 20 years, and we've had a lot of fun bringing Bob's outstanding legacy to life."
In addition to the Roweths, the band also featured Bill Browne, Kris Schubert, Jim Driscoll, Mark Adams, Clare Moore, Jason Neville, Roger Hargraves and Mick Moffitt.
Mr Roweth said each member was invited to bring their own selections to the band for consideration, which resulted in a concise snapshot of Dylan's 39-album career.
"We originally had over 30 songs picked, but when we whittled down the setlist, we made sure to include a balance of Dylan's biggest hits and some lesser known favourites," he said.
"In my opinion, Dylan is the great artist of the 20th century, and the fact he's still alive and creating vibrant, thoughtful work is nothing short of extraordinary."
Mr Driscoll said he had never played a gig with so many people on stage, and found the experience a renaissance of his long-time adoration for Dylan as a musician.
"I've been playing 'Mr Tambourine Man' on guitar for around 40 years, but never before with such a dynamic band," he said.
"I saw Dylan live once, and his band certainly made the performance; his songs certainly lend themselves to large band arrangements."
Mr Roweth said Dylan's biography served as inspiration to pursue his own musical career.
"He is such an inspiration because he didn't have a central figure to build his career off, he wrote his own history," he said.
"Bob himself said it best: 'I was the spokesperson for a generation, but I didn't belong to them or even know about them'."
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