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Thursday, May 16, 2019


(Tanner Wareham, Reese Cook & George Ogollo. Pic by Val Bottomley)

If you’re a Dylan fan – and even if you didn’t think you were – this is a show truly worth seeing! (Review by Barry Meehan)

One would expect a Bob Dylan tribute show to bring together a group of aging musos who lived through the golden era of 60s music and were influenced by Dylan’s iconic anti-war and civil rights stance, but what we are presented with at Tina’s in Kloof is a trio of young musicians all born well after the folk legend’s debut on the American music scene in the early 60s - frontman Tanner Wareham on guitar, keyboard and harmonica, Reese Cook (bass and acoustic guitar) and George Ogollo on drums.

When they first appear, the question naturally arises as to whether they can do justice to the genius that was (and still is) Dylan. The answer is an emphatic and heartily-applauded “yes, they can!” It really is heart-warming to watch young musos of today immersing themselves so deeply in what is essentially the music of yesterday, as the numbers featured in the show come from Dylan’s early (and dare I say best) years.

Dylan started out as a folk singer, releasing his debut album in 1962, but really made his breakthrough over the following two years with his classic albums The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan and The Times They are a-Changin’. He then caused a bit of a stir in the music world by introducing electrically-amplified rock instrumentation to his songs, but went on to record three truly influential rock albums – Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde On Blonde, which included one of his all-time classics Like A Rolling Stone, which features as the encore to this show. He has received the highest accolades in the music industry, with 10 Grammys, a Golden Globe and an Academy award. He has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He has also picked up a citation from the Pulitzer Prize jury for his “profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power”. In 2012, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and in 2016 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, selling over 100 million records, and with this show, we can understand why.

Wareham, Cook and Ogollo are truly accomplished musicians, and are obviously very much at home performing with each other in this, their first stage show compilation. Wareham is better known as a one-man artist, while Cook and Ogollo are sought-after session musicians, as well as being members of the local band Stone Palace. One of the things about their performance I truly appreciated was that there wasn’t a single sheet of music in sight – they knew what they were doing, and they got out there and did it! One thing I have never seen before was a drummer being handed the bass guitar and playing it while still seated at his drumkit, still keep the rhythm going with his kick drum and cymbals. Ogollo managed this with true aplomb, making it look entirely natural.

(George Ogollo. Pic by Val Bottomley)

Moods change throughout the show, and each is treated with the respect the songs deserve. Look out for Shelter From the Storm, Blowing In The Wind, the driving rock of Subterranean Homesick Blues, Mr Tambourine Man, All Along the Watchtower (made famous by Jimi Hendrix), Don’t Think Twice, Just Like A Woman, Knocking on Heaven’s Door (a Guns and Roses hit), Maggie’s Farm (with great bass and drum solos) The Times They Are a-Changin’ and the previously-mentioned encore Like A Rolling Stone, with a bit of Afro-fusion throw in for a fun climax.

As mentioned, this is the group’s first collaboration, and I certainly hope it won’t be their last. There are a few things that could be worked on, such as audience rapport, placement of the keyboard so Wareham is not playing with his back to most of the audience and his fellow band members, and a too-short first half, but these are minor things that can and will be sorted out as they grow in stature and stage presence. If you’re a Dylan fan – and even if you didn’t think you were – this is a show truly worth seeing!

Performances at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof run until Sunday May 25, 2019 - Thursday to Saturday at 20h00 and Sunday at 14h00. (The theatre venue opens 60 minutes before show for drinks)

Tickets R150 (R130 pensioners and students with a valid student card – discounts for the first week only) and tables seat 6. No alcohol or food may be brought on to the premises. Tickets are cash or EFT only. Secure parking is available. Booking is through Computicket or contact Roland (also for large group booking discounts of 20 or more) on 082 499 8636 or email: or visit

(For Restaurant reservations please contact 031 764 7843)

Tina’s Hotel is situated at 14 Beryldene Road in Kloof. – Barry Meehan

The show will also run at Rhumbelow, Northlands, on July 6 with a season at Rhumbelow in Umbilo in Durban from July 19 to 21 and 26 to 28.