“‘Twas in another lifetime
One of toil and blood
When blackness was a virtue
The road was full of mud
I came in from the wilderness
A creature void of form
Come in she said I’ll give ya
Shelter from the storm.”
—- Bob Dylan, Shelter From The Storm
A week ago, we found that there was a party honoring the Lakewood Brewing Company‘s one year anniversary – held at the Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House in East Dallas. This was a must-go. Lakewood has great beers and there would be music. Every hour they would be tapping special kegs and casks.
We arrived at about one-thirty, only a half-hour after the festivities started, and found the place already more than packed. It was tough to get to the bar for a beer – it took almost an hour for our first fill. But it was worth the wait – they had a small keg of the French Quarter Temptress on tap. I had tried this before – it’s the great Lakewood Temptress, “cask conditioned with chicory root and bourbon soaked Noble Coyote Papau New Guinea coffee.” I love that beer.
Temptress – black as death, thick as sin, sweet as tomorrow morning’s regret…. the French Quarter Temptress is all that… plus coffee and bourbon.
Then, wonder of wonders, we were able to snag half of a table right in front of the band. The first group was packing it up and the second starting to bring in their instruments. I should have been prepared… copied down a list of the music for the afternoon, and, especially, a list of the hourly tappings. But I didn’t… and that was cool too. I didn’t really want anything other than that French Quarter Temptress and it was fine to not know what music was on the way.
As the band set up I recognized Chad Stockslager. He plays in several local bands and I had seen him with Chris Holt as Holt and Stockslager… a Simon and Garfunkel tribute band, three times – first at the Patio Sessions in the Arts District, then at the Foundry and the Dallas Zoo. They put on a great show – a really fun and mellow evening. I recognized a couple other local musicians, but couldn’t place the lead singer… though he looked familiar and his voice, especially, I knew I had heard before.
Then they started playing and we discovered that the band was The Buick 6, a Bob Dylan tribute band. The singer was Mike Rhyner, best known as a DJ on 1310 The Ticket. No wonder his voice was familiar.
Mike Rhyner singing with The Buick 6
We really enjoyed the show. Afterward, we talked to Billy Bones, one of the guitar players, and he said they would be at Lee Harvey’s in The Cedars that upcoming Friday. Lee Harvey’s is a great place – a combination beer garden and dive bar – a great place to hear music. It’s a dog-friendly place and Candy loves that so many people bring their mutts along.
Billy Bones with The Buick 6
Chad Stockslager playing keyboards with The Buick 6
“You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin’ out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging
for your next meal.”
—-Bob Dylan, Like a Rolling Stone
I had an awfully tough week at work and when Friday came along it was really difficult for me to drag myself up and out and drive down for the show. I didn’t want to go – but I knew I would change my mind once I was actually there. I didn’t even have the energy to change clothes – so it was right in the car and out and down through the big evil city to the Southside.
It was a late show and we wanted to get there early so we could get something to eat. The fish tacos were great, and we settled in and waited for the festivities.
Storms were predicted – lightning shattered the horizon, someone held up a smartphone with an app that predicted heavy rainfall, but we didn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
Lee Harvey’s always has an amazing diverse crowd. A lot of different folks are there. Some are mathematicians, some are carpenter’s wives. A lot of pooches. The ages are all over – hipsters – college kids – some families with children…. all the way to people teetering on geezerdom.
Still a little stunned from the week I did manage to enjoy the music. A little food, a little beer, and I felt better. The Buick 6 do a great show. One nice touch is that they don’t try too hard to be absolutely accurate – staying in the spirit of Dylan more than the slavishly correct. A nice setlist selection too – there is so much to choose from. I guess it’s not surprising that the tune I liked the most had some sweet fiddle playing (Hurricane).
Everyone has their favorite Dylan tune – and there are so many of them. When faced with an oeuvre as vast as his it’s important to simply relax and let the band play what they want. Near the end of the second set, some young drunk blonde stumbled up to the stage and demanded the band play, “some of their own music.” I guess she doesn’t understand the idea of a tribute band… or much of anything else. Then her boyfriend loudly requested “Lay Lady Lay” – which is, I guess, a good enough song – but not… well, simply not a good idea. At least the two of them seemed well-matched.
Well, she don’t make me nervous, she don’t talk too much
She walks like Bo Diddley and she don’t need no crutch
She keeps this four-ten all loaded with lead
Well, if I go down dyin’ you know she bound to put a blanket on my bed.
—-Bob Dylan, From A Buick 6
So, despite my worn-out and beaten-down state that evening, we made it through the late set and, after petting the yellow Labrador Retriever sitting next to us one last time, headed for home. It was fun.
The festival was over and the boys were all planning for a fall
The cabaret was quiet except for the drilling in the wall
The curfew had been lifted and the gambling wheel shut down
Anyone with any sense had already left town
He was standing in the doorway looking like the Jack of Hearts.
—- Bob Dylan, “Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts”
Mike Rhyner also has a Tom Petty tribute band, Petty Theft. They will be at Lee Harvey’s next Friday. I think I’ll be there. No matter how worn out I am.
“Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free,
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands,
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves,
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.”
—-Bob Dylan, ‘Mr. Tambourine Man’
Across the street from Lee Harvey’s
“And she takes just like a woman
And she aches just like a woman
And she wakes just like a woman
Yeah, but she breaks just like a little girl.”
—-Bob Dylan, Just Like A Woman
Oh, if you were wondering what my favorite Bob Dylan song is – it’s “Isis”, from Desire. The band didn’t play it – which is cool, because it isn’t really that kind of tune. I like it because it tells a story – and I’m all about story. It’s also about redemption and I’m a sucker for redemption. Most importantly, I bought that album (on Vinyl, of course) right after I graduated from college and started my first real job – and would listen to it in the evenings until is sank in… and it’s still in there. I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.
She was there in the meadow where the creek used to rise
Blinded by sleep and in need of a bed
I came in from the East with the sun in my eyes
I cursed her one time then I rode on ahead.
She said “Where ya been ?” I said “No place special ?”
She said “You look different” I said “Well I guess”
She said “You been gone” I said “That’s only natural”
She said “You gonna stay ?” I said “If you want me to, Yeah “.
Isis oh Isis you mystical child
What drives me to you is what drives me insane
I still can remember the way that you smiled
On the fifth day of May in the drizzling rain.
—-Bob Dylan, Isis