Bob Dylan tribute

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:49

    WARWICK-The hills were alive with great music and hundreds of people last weekend as the Warwick Valley Winery hosted the 9th annual Bob Dylan Tribute Festival, celebrating the folk icon's 64th birthday. As they have done for the past eight years, many local musicians were invited to sing nothing but Dylan. Several headliners mixed their own folk songs with those written by Dylan. But for one rain shower late Saturday afternoon, the Memorial Day weekend weather was perfect. Blue skies and moderate temperatures brought out some of the biggest crowds ever for the Dylan fest, especially on Sunday, when about 800 people came through the gates. On Saturday, Cliff Eberhardt, Peter Karp and the Roadshow Band, and Sloan Wainwright headlined the festival. Sunday, John Gorka and Free Range took the spotlight. And Monday featured Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams, Rod MacDonald and The Kennedys. Eberhardt was the only performer to have rain interfere with his set during three glorious days of music. He was the closer on Saturday, but his enthusiasm certainly rubbed off on the crowd that sat under tents and umbrellas till the end. On Monday, Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams showed everyone that their music is as unique as their name. They joined The Kennedys-Pete and Maura-to close out the festival, inviting all of the musicians up on stage for one last Dylan song—Mr. Tambourine Man. The crowd got into the act, too, singing and dancing to one of Dylan's most popular songs. But it's never just the headliners that make the Dylan Festival a must. Some of the best musicians in the area made it a true hometown event. Warwick was finely represented with Chip Murray, Mike Baglione, Suzy Arnowitz, Paul Siegel and Kyle Hancharick. New Jersey's own John Sheehan, Marty Koppel and Chip Robertson performed their favorite Dylan tunes. Bobby Barton, who runs an open mic in Cornwall, and his partner Paige Sessa did Dylan proud opening on Sunday. Juan Moreno, who Dylan remembered in his book, Chronicles, performed on Saturday and Monday. Moreno is the stage name of Jonathan Talbot, a well-known and respected artist who lives in Warwick. His artwork has been exhibited worldwide but he is also known as a flamenco guitarist who knew Dylan in the 1960s.