If you're a fan of Bob Dylan and folk music, then May 12 at the Eccles is for you.
The two-time Grammy-winning folk group, Old Crow Medicine Show, is bringing its live tour of Bob Dylan’s “Blonde on Blonde” album to Salt Lake City to honor the album's 50th anniversary. "Blonde on Blonde" turned 50 in 2016.
Founding band member and slide guitarist Chris "Critter" Fuqua said, last year the Country Music Hall of Fame asked Old Crow Medicine Show to cover the album for two nights as part of its official birthday festivities.
“Somebody recorded the live performance, and we liked it so much that, a year later, we wanted to release it as a full album,” Fuqua said in an interview with the Deseret News.
One of rock and roll’s first double albums — meaning it was released on both vinyl and other mediums — “Blonde on Blonde” is the last of a trio of rock albums Dylan produced in the 1960s, starting with "Bringing It All Back Home" (1965) and then "Highway 61 Revisited" (1965), and is Dylan's seventh album overall. Rolling Stone ranked "Blonde on Blonde" as the ninth greatest album of all time, in 2003.
According to Fuqua, Dylan's music has long influenced his and fellow Old Crow Medicine Show founder Ketch Secor’s musical style, and almost everything they do is tied to that influence. The duo's most popular song to date, “Wagon Wheel,” was based on the Dylan outtake “Rock Me, Mama.” Old Crow Medicine Show shares a co-authorship with Dylan on the track, which has become something of a signature for the group.
“I just think that Dylan is an ever-present guy," Fuqua said. "With that kind of great talent writing, whether you’re Dylan or Shakespeare, that legacy is kind of inescapable."
Fuqua also said he was pleased when Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016, saying the nomination adds another feather to Dylan’s already full headdress of musical experiences.
In a press release, Secor, the band's lead vocalist, said Dylan is “the greatest of (the) time-bending, paradigm-shifting Nashville cats" and, by recording this album, Dylan “swung the gates of country music wide open." It was wide enough to allow Old Crow Medicine Show space to break into the scene 50 years later.
Old Crow Medicine Show has performed in Utah several times, most recently in 2016 at Red Butte Garden. Fuqua said Salt Lake City is always a part of the group's tour route, and they love playing in this city.
“It all makes sense when we do a west coast run, and Salt Lake City is a big market for us,” he said.
He encourages folk music fans of all ages to come to the show.
“We aren’t going to exclude anybody," Fuqua said. "Bring grandma, bring great-grandma, bring junior, bring them all."