Make us your home page

Americanarama Festival brings Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket

Bob Dylan performs at the Vieilles Charrues music festival in France in July. When the singer plays Tampa, the lineup also will include My Morning Jacket, Wilco and the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir.

FRED TANNEAU | AFP | Getty Images (2012)

Bob Dylan performs at the Vieilles Charrues music festival in France in July. When the singer plays Tampa, the lineup also will include My Morning Jacket, Wilco and the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir.


Not only is it super fun to say, but as the title of Thursday's music fest at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, Americanarama is also a puckishly perfect handle for this summer's most inspired tour.

RELATED: The 20 best Bob Dylan cover songs

Bob Dylan, My Morning Jacket, Wilco and the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir make up a sterling lineup of eclectic, eccentric dudes who have taken the dusty roots of American music and interpreted them with their own trippy, seductive twists.

This is folk music made for midways, a history lesson in wicked wordplay and blistering solos. Each one of these award-gobbling acts is a music critic's dream, but don't let that kill your buzz: They also throw a party.

The Americanarama Festival of Music is the 72-year-old Dylan's baby. But he is so famously cryptic, his reasons for anything are shrouded in deep Dylan-ness.

And yet, you can openly see what he was trying to build here, and it has the potential for greatness. Louisville's exceptionally bearded My Morning Jacket hasn't played Tampa in about a decade, so that right there is a major boon. But more than that, MMJ, led by the sound-shifting jester Jim James, blends blues, country, rock and psychedelia; its lyrics are as swirling and pretty and oft-impenetrable as Dylan's.

Led by the equally mercurial and guarded Jeff Tweedy — talk about fantastic lyrics — Chicago's Wilco started as the hooky champs of the y'alt movement. But Tweedy only had so much interest in No Depression stuff, and his palate has gone on to range from sugary jangle-pop (see 1999 album Summerteeth) to obtuse dreamscapes (see 2004 album A Ghost Is Born).

And then, of course, there's Bob himself, the legend, pop's poet laureate, still bullfrogging away on his "Never Ending Tour," which has been going on (and on and on) since 1988. I've seen him play live 15 times now, so let me say this: If you leave the show complaining about his voice — well, you shouldn't have been there in the first place.

Dylan's band, which features Duke Robillard on guitar and long-running sideman Tony Garnier on bass, allows him to chug hard, a rollicking show that is often short on articulate nuance but fat with energy. His recording output lately has been old-timey and swingin', but his gigs have a solid rock backbone.

Still you need to pay attention. Just when you think it's all just a cool, croaky jam session, Dylan will drop some beautiful knowledge on you, tying together the last 60 years of music. For instance, of late he has been including 1966 ballad Visions of Johanna, from classic LP Blonde on Blonde. You want to make a Dylanologist sob? Play that one.

So yes, there are several reasons not to miss this tour, each one a thrill, and a rich musical education, on its own.

One more time with feeling: Americanarama!

Sean Daly can be reached at Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.

Americanarama Festival brings Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket 06/26/13 [Last modified: Thursday, June 27, 2013 11:08am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hernando Events for Sept. 22


    22 Friday

    Academia Hernando Fall 2017 Lecture Series: "Eleanor Roosevelt at the U.N. — Human Rights," by Susan Marie Frontczak. Series includes eight lectures and one field trip. Field trip only open to subscribers. 10 a.m. to noon. $65 for the entire series, including field trip; $9 per …

  2. Things to Do in Pasco and Hernando counties starting Sept. 22



    Music and brews: "Brews and Wine on the Bayou," a benefit for Youth and Family Alternatives, will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at Gill Dawg Marina, 5419 Treadway Drive, Port Richey. The event will feature all-you-can-taste beer and wine, with 20 craft beers and 20 wines. There will be a …

  3. 5 things you didn't know about 'Wall Street' on its 30th anniversary


    It’s hard to think of the 1987 movie Wall Street and not picture Michael Douglas as a megalomaniac tycoon spouting “Greed is good” until shareholders fall in line. 

  4. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Luis Flores, executive chef at Ciccio Restaurant Group, prepares an Impossible Burger at Epicurean Hotel's Food Theatre. Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger that will launch on Sept. 27, 2017 in all the Ciccio Restaurant Group locations, except for Fresh Kitchen. "This burger caters to the carnivorous, not just the vegetarians" said Jeff Gigante, co-founder at Ciccio Restaurant Group. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  5. Plan your weekend: Sept. 22-24: Buffyfest, Arcade Fire, Howl-O-Scream, Wanderlust 108 and 'Rent'


    Plan your weekend

    Pop show

    Florida Björkestra's Buffyfest: Pop culture meets pop music when the Florida Björkestra, a 20-piece alternative-classical ensemble that tributes ground-breaking pop artists, on Saturday will play with eight vocalists for "Once More with …

    The 20th anniversary tour of RENT, shown in 2016, comes to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts Sept. 19-24, 2017. Photo by Carol Rosegg.