Dylanfest Brings Peace to Memorial Day

UNT music profs play as Dylan and band at benefit

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Protest songs on Memorial Day? It's not so unlikely, really -- as we remember the battles our fallen soldiers fought, there are scenes of the movement that tried to shield the world from war in the background, inseparable from history.

And it was Bob Dylan who gave a tattered voice to that unrest with call-to-action anthems during the wrenching Vietnam War, songs like "The Times They Are A'Changin'" that remain relevant and iconic, even instructive to those of us who weren't born when that war ended.

Dylan's songs -- and his journey to find his identity before crowds of people with expectations of Messianic scale -- are just as American and, certainly, as legitimate a mode of commemorating Memorial Day as barbeque and beer.

A band of particularly informed fans of Dylan's music will play the second of two tribute shows as part of DylanFest 2009 Monday at Dan's Silverleaf from 6-9 p.m.

University of North Texas College of Music professor Mike Steinel performs under the moniker "Tex Zimmerman" for the occasion, backed by UNT heavyweights Steve Weist, the new leader of the One O'Clock Lab Band; Jazz Studies guitar chair Fred Hamilton and ten others who act as Zimmerman's revue.

UNT English prof James Baird, who teaches a class examining Dylan's lyrics, will emcee. Brave Combo and Paul Slavens are featured guests.

Tickets are $20; all proceeds go to Instruments of Change, a music outreach program close to Steinel's heart that establishes music camps and schools for underprivaleged kids in Africa, Asia and the U.S.

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