I confess my favorite versions of Bob Dylan and Neil Young songs are from other musicians. One More Cup of Coffee (Dylan) by The White Stripes, Powderfinger (Young) by The Beat Farmers, and Make You Feel My Love (Dylan) by Adele are just a few of my preferred picks from the massive catalogs from the prolific artists. That’s why it’s clever for the tribute band Rolling Harvest (named after a combination from Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue and Young’s Harvest Moon album) to cover select Dylan and Young songs. The musicians are veterans from legendary local groups assembled by former Gasoline Lollipops drummer Adam Perry.
On the night of September 16th, the stellar dance moves and the distinctive fashion choices didn’t come from the band. They came from the unique characters gathered at the Pearl Street Mall watching Rolling Harvest perform at Boulder’s Fall Festival.
Alexandra Schwan who previously performed with The Sweet Lilies and Gasoline Lollipops sang lead vocals for most of the set. Her resounding voice echoed off the Pearl Street Mall. Her version of Young’s Down by the River inspired a young man in a newsboy cap to do an interpretive dance. The crowd stood motionless and stared in wonder while Schwan belted out Young’s heartbreaking Helpless.
A Santa Claus looking dude wearing a revealing tank top twirled a wooden wind instrument around like a weapon in front of the stage (I am ninety-three percent sure the guy is not in the band). That’s when Hunter Stone, a member of the roots-based trio Famous Men, sang an impressive version of Young’s The Needle and the Damage Done.
Guitar player Gabe Cwern channeled his inner Dylan when he took the reins for Like a Rolling Stone. Schwan and Stone sang backing vocals while Maddie McCoy (a former member of Aos Si‘) provided heartfelt fiddle playing. The song motivated an energetic couple to showcase their well rehearsed dance moves. Delivering a steady groove the entire set was Banshee Tree bassist Jason Bertone and Adam Perry on the drums (despite the wind causing the Toyota banner behind him to whack him repeatedly during the entire performance).
Near the end of the night the band played The Doors’ Roadhouse Blues. Dylan and/or Young did not write that tune (I looked it up). Revealing Rolling Harvest broke their own guidelines proving there are no rules in Rock and Roll even for a tribute band.
You can catch Rolling Harvest perform all over the front range in the coming months at your favorite venue or festival.
See you at the next show. I’ll be the in one in a revealing tank top dancing to Bob ballads in Boulder.
Categories: Americana, Denver Music, Live Music, Music, show review, Tribute Bands
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