Santa Cruz band Thanks Buddy
Local band Thanks Buddy is one of the Santa Cruz acts contributing to “Happy Birthday Uncle Bob!” in honor of Bob Dylan’s 80th.
(Handout)
The Here & Now

Double duty: Locally grown Bob Dylan tribute aims to help small venues, too

Thanks Buddy is one of the Santa Cruz acts contributing to “Happy Birthday Uncle Bob!” to raise money for small clubs and venues while celebrating Dylan’s 80th. Meanwhile, livestreaming shows will honor late KPIG operations manager Laurie Roberts all next week.

The most influential and the most enigmatic American musician alive — Bob Dylan, duh — celebrated his 80th birthday Monday. And old Hobo Bob got at least one birthday gift directly from Santa Cruz County.

“Happy Birthday Uncle Bob!” is a new compilation album, issued to commemorate Dylan’s 80th, put together by Santa Cruz musician Joe Gibeault of the band Thanks Buddy. The purpose of the 13-song compilation from a variety of under-the-radar artists, including a few from Santa Cruz, is to both honor the great songwriter and to raise awareness — and some money, they hope — for independent venues.

All proceeds from the sale of the compilation will go to the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), which advocates for small clubs and performance venues across the country.

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Gibeault said he first flashed on the idea last summer: “I was just sitting on the side of my garage one day smoking a butt, drinking a beer, and I had this idea. The pandemic had started and we musicians were looking for things to fill our time with. And I then I realized that Dylan’s 80th was coming up and I thought, ‘I bet I can get this together and have it out by his birthday.’”

And that’s exactly how it happened. The compilation features some of Dylan’s most beloved and well-known songs — “Boots of Spanish Leather,” “Positively 4th Street,” “Masters of War” — mixed with a few deep cuts such as “I Pity the Poor Immigrant” and “Oh, Sister.” The artist lineup represents friends of the band Thanks Buddy, other musicians and bands Gibeault had toured with over the years. They include the Santa Cruz band Enemy of My Enemy and singer-songwriter Hod Hulphers.

Thanks Buddy is a more of a straight-ahead rock band with a background in punk, and Gibeault said his bandmates have heard and performed more Dylan since the beginning of the birthday project than they ever had. But for Gibeault, Dylan was a formative influence.

“When I learned to play guitar,” he said, “it was because of Bob Dylan. His songs were so easy to play, just G, C and D. And that’s how I learned.”

“Happy Birthday Uncle Bob!” is available for download and unlimited streaming at bandcamp.com.

Livestream concert tributes to KPIG’s Laurie Roberts

The late Laurie Roberts (center) flanked by the Coffis Brothers band.
(Handout)

KPIG (107.5 FM) is honoring its late leader with daily livestream concerts next week. Laurie Roberts, KPIG’s operations manager, died May 4. She will be remembered with a string of live performances Monday through Friday, at 6 p.m. every day.

The lineup of the live shows, to take place on KPIG’s Facebook page, is as follows:

Monday: Henry Chadwick
Tuesday: The Coffis Brothers
Wednesday: Michael Gaither & His New Best Friends, with Ralph Anybody
Thursday: Carolyn Sills and Gerard Egan
Friday: Keith Greeninger and Friends

For more info on the series, go here.