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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Bob Dylan Tribute

www.stonybrook.edu

Mimicked down to the Gibson guitar and the female accessory, the tribute remained true to the ever-evolving artist.  Russ Seeger and Caroline Doctorow played at the University Bookstore on Nov. 3, celebrating Bob Dylan’s music and collaborations with Joan Baez.

Throughout the course of five songs, from the obscure “George Jackson,” to the sing-along “Buckets of Rain,” an array of Dylan’s nearly 50-year-career was celebrated with two guitars, Russ’s guitar strap with suns, traded in only once for a fiddle and Caroline’s belt buckle-type strap, two voices and one audience.

Michael Cusanelli, a sophomore and journalism major working for the Provost Liaisom office, said that in collaborations with the bookstore they “try to do free events for staff and students to have fun at the bookstore.”  With borrowed chairs from the University Café and a dish of cookies complementing the background, Russ and Caroline sang while Charlie Backfish offered a historical perspective on Dylan’s career between songs.

Backfish, a professor of history and social studies education, and also a host of a WUSB radio program, commented on the tribute’s possibility for a double meaning since “Dylan is turning 70 in May so advance in happy birthday.”

The singers learned about Dylan through different mediums.  Directly from Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde” album, Russ was drawn to it “like an abstract painting or something” with its appeal laying in the “surrealistic imagery with the blues lyrics.”  Caroline “first heard Dylan as a songwriter through Joan Baez.”

Dylan’s constant evolution and somewhat cryptic messages were a constant appeal during the open performance at the bookstore.  The setting remained true to Dylan and the focus was about the emotion.

Caroline summed it up: “A lot of his songs, you don’t know what they’re about but they make you feel something.  [His] songs were enough.”

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