A Series of Small Observations About Last Night's Bob Dylan Tribute at Lincoln Center

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Sandra Bernhard ("Like a Rolling Stone") is actually funny, even if it pains one to admit it. Medeski, Martin & Wood ("Buckets of Rain") are just plain cool. Allen Toussaint ("Mama You've Been on My Mind") has some sweet, sweet pipes. And plays a mean piano. Fine threads to boot. Natalie Merchant ("Hattie Carroll") still has her voice. She also still looks like a bit of a bag lady. Warren Haynes ("I Shall Be Released") has a roadie who looks disturbingly like Haynes himself. Phil Lesh ("Thunder on the Mountain") carries a man purse, as spotted on Broadway post-show. Wonder what's in it. The Roots ("Masters of War") injected new meaning into an old warhorse by singing the first verse to the tune of the "Star-Spangled Banner." Cat Power ("House of the Rising Sun") has a voice so enchanting, all she has to do is open her mouth and you're hooked. Surprise guest Cyndi Lauper ("Ring Them Bells," with Jill Sobule) is still a screwball. With a squeezebox. Jamie Saft ("Ballad of a Thin Man") defies congruity with a two-foot beard and a prep-school haircut. Bottom line: Pretty much an excellent show.

Duff McDonald

The Music of Bob Dylan [Music for Youth]