Westport, CT -- The Westport Historical Society’s next Coffeehouse at the Wheeler’s with singer-songwriter Suzanne Sheridan and guest musicians will pay tribute to Bob Dylan on his selection for the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. The concert will take place Friday, April 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Society’s Sheffer Gallery.
The Nobel Prize honored Dylan "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition." He is the first musician ever to win the award and the first American to win in the literature category since Toni Morrison in 1993. The New York Times called it “perhaps the most radical choice in history stretching back to 1901," when the first Nobels were awarded.
Over a career that has spanned more than five decades, Dylan has written songs in many genres, from folk and rock to the Great American Songbook. In the ’60s, songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’” became anthems of the civil rights and anti-war movements. Later, he composed some beautiful love songs, such as “Make You Feel My Love,” first commercially released by Billy Joel in 1997 under the title "To Make You Feel My Love."
“A lot of his songs are amazing,” Sheridan says, who especially likes “Make You Feel My Love” for its “sensitivity.” Dylan's version appeared later the same year as Joel’s, and the song has since been covered with commercial success by numerous recording artists, including Adele, Garth Brooks, Bryan Ferry and Kelly Clarkson. Two covers (one by Brooks, one by Trisha Yearwood) were featured in the 1998 film “Hope Floats.” Another of Sheridan’s favorites is “It Ain’t Me Babe,” which shows Dylan’s cynical side.
Sheridan says the Nobel winner’s output has been characterized by “telling the truth to power” and “poetic spirituality.” His list of accolades is a long one. In addition to the Nobel, he has received 11 Grammys, a Golden Globe, an Academy Award, a special Pulitzer Prize, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama. He is also a member of several music halls of fame, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Sheridan will perform the Dylan songs that “really appeal” to her and also capture “the essence of who Dylan is.” These most likely will include “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Like a Rollin’ Stone,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’, ” “I Shall Be Released,” “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall,” “Forever Young,” “Just Like a Woman” and “Hey Mr. Tambourine Man.” The Coffeehouse might even see Sheridan trying an imitation of Dylan’s scratchy, high-pitched vocalizations, she says.
Sheridan will be joined by musicians Bob Cooper on keyboard and organ; Colin Healy on harmonica, mandolin and fiddle; and drummer Jake Habegger ”. The fifth performer will be lead guitarist Paul Horton, a well-known studio musician in Nashville.
Sheridan did her first Coffeehouse at the Wheeler’s in 2012. She has done concerts featuring the music of Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen (her personal favorites), Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Linda Ronstadt, Carole King, James Taylor, Carly Simon and Pete Seeger.
Tribute to Dylan, Friday, April 28, 6 – 8 pm. $20 donation, light refreshments. Reservations strongly recommended, call 203-222-1424. Limited Spaces. Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place, Westport, across from Town Hall. For details, visit westporthistory.org.