A group of acclaimed Tauranga musicians are joining forces later this month to celebrate Bob Dylan's birthday in concert.
Popular local band Kokomo are combining with singers Marion Arts and John Michaelz, as well as multi-instrumentalist Robbie Laven for a concert at Tauranga Boys' College's Graham Young Youth Theatre on May 24, Bob Dylan's 77th birthday. They're promising a multitude of Bob Dylan songs, from the 1960s to the present day.
Marion and Robbie are considered musical royalty by many, first coming to prominence on the New Zealand music scene in the 1970s with the ground-breaking band Red Hot Peppers. Even then Bob Dylan was a big influence.
Marion will be reworking two songs she used to sing with the Peppers. She finds Dylan's songs exert a continuing fascination. “His composing is so good that you can keep re-visiting the songs, making something quite different out of them each time.”
Robbie says when he first heard Dylan's music in 1964 his “whole world turned upside down.” That influence has lasted. “Even now I get inspiration and immense musical satisfaction out of playing Bob Dylan's songs,” he says.
Tui-nominated singer John Michaelz discovered Dylan at an early age. “I first saw Bob when I was 14,” he says, “and he blew me away. It was a special concert too, the only time he ever sang 'Blowing in The Wind' twice in the same show.”
Kokomo is one of the few New Zealand bands to release a full album of Bob Dylan songs, highly-praised 2008 collection ‘In The Well’.
The Songs of Bob Dylan concert is on Thursday, May 24 at Tauranga Boys' College. Tickets available from www.eventfinda.co.nz
The Weekend Sun has two double passes to Bob Dylan's birthday concert for two lucky readers.