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Bob Dylan’s 71st Birthday to be Celebrated with All-Star Concert

Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Bob Dylan will turn 71 tomorrow (May 24), and while he’ll celebrate his special day with a rare break between concert runs, an impressive list of other musicians will take the stage to pay tribute to his inestimable legacy.

We’re talking about this year’s Dylan Fest, which Rolling Stone reports will take place over two nights (May 24 and 25) at New York’s Irving Plaza. The bill features an eclectic all-star lineup that includes a house band anchored by Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen and guest performers such as Boz Scaggs, Cory Chisel, and members of the Strokes, Dawes, and Guster.

“There are very few artists that wouldn’t list Bob Dylan as a major influence,” Chisel explained to RS. “‘Time Out of Mind’ remains one of the single most important pieces of art in my life. The fests are the highlight of my year.”

Aside from honoring Dylan, the event will also serve as a tribute to the recently deceased Levon Helm, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Amnesty International.

Also on the 24th, the Atomic Cocktail radio program will host its own Dylan birthday celebration, with a unique twist: Its third annual ‘It Ain’t Him Babe’ special will serve up songs from a passel of artists who, as a press release put it, “were inspired by Dylan enough to want to actively mimic his signature sound.”

Some of the performers receiving this somewhat dubious honor include Barry McGuire, P.F. Sloan, and David Blue; producer Gene Sculatti explains the show by saying, “It’s light-hearted, but hopefully it’s informative too. In an hour you’ll get a pretty good idea of how pervasive Dylan’s impact has been and the often weird lengths others have gone to to try and recreate his magic.” You can catch the show tomorrow night from 5-6 P.M. PST.

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