DylanFest: Bob Dylan's 75 Birthday | Nashville


It's Bob Dylan's 75th birthday, and no better place to be than Nashville in celebration of this country music legend! Dylan Fest, now in its 15th year, celebrates Bob Dylan and his artistry, bringing over 30 big star musicians on stage to perform tribute songs and their songs dedicated to him.


This is a two day celebration, with today's show having an even bigger line up, but last night was pretty special too. 


Country legends from Emmylou Harris (pictured left- I mean have you ever seen a guitar actually twinkle?), to Charlie McCoy joined this spectacular line up, as well as more contemporary artists, such as Nashville's very own Moon Taxi, a more rock band, and even took on Dylan's song 'All Along the Watchtower' in the right rock Classic it is! These guys had the biggest reception on the night, receiving an endless standing ovation in Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. Other legends such as Butch Walker joined the stage too. 


The most interesting part of the night was seeing acoustic guitarist Tommy Emmanuel. He performs a completely instrumental set with just his guitar and the band - The Cabin Down Below Band - who also deserve mega recognition as they played all the dozens of songs with the dozens of artists and carried the night! Emmanuel's playing was fast paced, upbeat, and lighthearted, making it an all round enjoyable instrumental, and a great switch up from the other soft ballads that beautifully occupied the rest of the night. 


We were even honoured enough to have a performance from the late George Harrison's son Dhani Harrison (pictured at top), showing that music always goes on!


Kesha, after performing Dylan's 'It Ain't Me Babe' on the Billboard Music Awards the previous night, joined the stage at Dylan Fest to perform his gospel folk style tune 'I Shall Be Released.' I've never heard stronger vocals from Kesha, and it's great to see her in a stripped back, extremely musical setting, rocking out the nudie suit again!


It was great to be so genuinely introduced to the raw country music that fills Nashville, and to be in a room full of love for the legend Bob Dylan. This man changed the landscape for country music so deserves a celebration in honour of his 75th! As well as celebrating Dylan, all proceeds from the festival go to Thistle Farms, a charity to help women to survive abuse and giving them back their life. 


All in all, what a great first night ever in Nashville!