The songs they are a'changing for The Dylan Project

Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:10am EDT
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By Jeremy Gaunt

CROPREDY, England (Reuters) - When a band of veteran British rock musicians took to the stage with a different take on Bob Dylan's music at the weekend, they were so good someone in the crowd even shouted "Judas."

The reference to the infamous moment when Dylan turned electric was tongue-in-cheek. The musicians concerned make no pretensions about being acoustic folkies.

Slide guitar, driving bass and drums is what they are in this persona. More blow the house down than "Blowin' in the Wind."

The Dylan Project is fronted by Steve Gibbons, who like Dylan turned 70 earlier this year -- a happy coincidence given that he claims Dylan's music changed his life.

Gibbons is one of those musicians who is well known in certain die-hard music circles, making a critically successful career for years without achieving widespread celebrity.

The eponymous Steve Gibbons Band is said to be the first rock band from the West to have been invited to tour East Germany in the early 1980s when the Berlin Wall was still up. It has toured with The Who and shared the stage with a plethora of rock names.

But when friends got together to celebrate Gibbons's big birthday in Austria in July, it was The Dylan Project that tuned up.

The band is a side project for various musicians from the British folk-rock or roots-rock scene, notably bassist Dave Pegg of Fairport Convention and slide guitarist PJ Wright of Little Johnny England.   Continued...