“Dylan Revisited - Bob Fest 06”                                         

by Uncle Mike 

 I understand that according to the Internet there were numerous tribute concerts scheduled across the country in honor of Bob Dylan’s 65th birthday. Well, let me tell you this, you would be hard pressed to find one any better than Pat Guadagno’s  “Bob Fest 06 – A Bob Dylan Birthday Celebration” held last Wednesday night at the Two River Theater in Red Bank. Produced by co-founder Tom Moog and hosted by 101.5’s Big Joe Henry, this sold-out benefit concert for the local charity, The Rock & Roll Music Fund, was a night that local music fans won’t soon forget. And if you missed it, all I can tell you is you missed a tour de force performance by a very special group of musicians. Accompanied by Tired Horses, Rich Oddo (electric guitar/vocals), Phil “Red River Barbaro” Rizzo (bass/vocals), Frank Sabo (acoustic guitar/vocals), Rene Wolley (drums), Dickie Thomas (mandolin), Andy McDonough (keyboard/vocals) and Mary McCrink (tamborine/vocals), as well as special guests Aura Guadagno (vocals) and Steven Delopoulos (acoustic guitar/vocals), Pat Guadagno (lead vocals/acoustic guitar) was nothing short of spectacular. Simply put Pat Guadagno and the Tired Horses tore the roof off the beautiful, state-of-the-art Two River Theater.

Opening up with an inspired rendition of  “Forever Young” featuring Pat Guadagno and his daughter Aura on lead vocals, Pat and the Tired Horses kicked up their heels early and often as the band performed outstanding renditions of “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” (down and dirty vocal by Pat G.), “Jokerman” (big crowd fave), “I Want You” (Rich Oddo rocks on electric guitar as the Horses roll), “Brownsville Girl” (wonderful intro and vocal by Pat G.), “As I Went Out One Morning” (great vibe and feel with Phil on lead vocals/terrific melody), “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues” (heads were bobbin’ and feet were tappin’ as the band was rollin’ & tumblin’/huge #), ‘When I Paint My Masterpiece” (big d’s by Rene W./way cool slide guitar by Rich O.) “Tangled Up In Blue’ (boys get funky), “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (big time house rocker), “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” (Andy’s keys turns this one into a old time saloon #/cool sing-along/standing ovation) and “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” (quintessential Dylan) And all this was just the first set.

And believe me, as good as the first set was, Pat Guadagno and the Tired Horses’ second half performance was simply brilliant. Kicking things off with Phil “Red River Barbaro” Rizzo’s unique interpretation of “Tired Horses,” the second set featured impressive Guadagno solos on “Chimes Of Freedom” (haunting), “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” (killer acoustic guitar) and “All Along The Watchtower” (acoustic guitar play garners Pat a richly deserved standing ovation) as well as moving duets with Mary McCrink on “Boots Of Spanish Leather” (angelic vocalsmost memorable duet) and Steven Delopoulos on “Gospel Plow” (fearless acoustic guitar play), before all three gather for a stirring rendition of Dylan’s “Blowin’ In The Wind”. And once the band returned there were soaring renditions of “Girl From The North Country” (stellar electric g. by Rich Oddo/monster band #), “Man Gave Names To All Of The Animals” (a Candles Brothers staple/the Horses rocked), “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” (Pat blues it up as Rich rules, Andy tickles the ivories and the band wails), “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” (free wheelin’ and high flyin’ #/another big crowd pleaser), Tombstone Blues” (hot, hot, hot, as boys rock), “Just Like A Woman” (Dylan doesn’t get any better than this), My Back Pages” (out of this world/Bob would be proud) and “Like A Rolling Stone” (supersonic/brilliant/thunderous standing ovation).    

Back in 1975 Bob Dylan called some friends together and formed the Rolling Thunder Revue. Dylan and friends hit the road for little over a month performing 30 critically acclaimed shows in 22 towns and cities across America before wrapping things up with a legendary performance at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Well, on May 24, 2006, Pat Guadagno and the Tired Horses totally recaptured the spirit and incredibly enough once again fulfilled the promise of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue. When you haven’t heard the music of Bob Dylan for a while you tend to forget just what an impact he has had on the lives of five generations of Americans and for that matter the world. Thanks to this tour de force performance by Pat Guadagno, his Tired Horses and special guests Aura Guadagno and Steven Delopoulos , Bob Dylan’s musical genius and role in American popular music and culture were once again brought to the forefront and took center stage at the Two River Theater. And you know what? It just doesn’t get any better than that! Happy Birthday Mr. Dylan!