Local musicians bring Bob Dylan’s works to life

CeNique Yeldell

Every year for the past seven years, local bands have gathered to pay homage to the influential and award winning musician, Bob Dylan.

This year, there will be performances by Nicholas James and the Bandwagon, Ian Gorman, the Jukejoint Handmedowns and more. Each band will choose five songs, allowing for a full representation of all the phases of Dylan’s music career.

The tribute will take place May 17 at Founders Brewing Co.’s Taproom starting at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and only those who are 21 and older will be permitted.

Nicholas Thomasma, a singer and songwriter, came up with the idea for the annual tribute to honor the famous musician and says that Dylan is his favorite songwriter of all time.

Thomasma added that Dylan has an unapologetic approach to music and he rarely sticks to one genre of music for very long, so there’s such diversity in his albums that he never gets tired of him. Thomasma’s favorite song by Dylan is “The Hurricane,” which he said is a factual song about a boxer who was falsely convicted of murder.

“Not only does the song ring with a fiery intensity for its eight-minute duration, but it also was powerful enough to spark a movement which got the case reopened and eventually led to the release of Rubin Carter,” Thomasma said. “That song got a man out of prison. That’s the power of music.”

Thomasma and his band, Nicholas James and the Bandwagon, will be playing “The Hurricane” at the tribute in honor of Rubin Carter who recently died, as well as a song entitled “Isis.”

Ian Gorman, a musician and board member for the Great Lakes Acoustic Music Association, will also be performing. Gorman said Dylan has been a huge influence for him ever since he was in high school.

“You can learn so much from his songs, about love and life and politics and people. Also, the stylistic journey his career took is inspiring in its variety and courage, from political folk to heady rock to country, and beyond,” Gorman said.

A few songs that Gorman said he will be playing are “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding),” “Nobody ‘Cept You” and “Wallflower.”

More information about the Bob Dylan tribute is available on the Founders Brewing Co. website at www.foundersbrewing.com and on their Facebook page.

[email protected]