Are there any American songwriters out there who would say they haven't been influenced by Bob Dylan in some way? They probably won't be at the Great American Music Hall on Nov. 20, when the Best Fest, the Austin Scaggs-founded production company that brought you Petty Fest back in February, brings its crowning jewel -- that would be Dylan Fest -- to San Francisco for the first time.
In what's become an annual tradition in New York over the past decade (they just had their 2013 Dylan Fest at the Bowery Ballroom), the show brings together a handful of national acts and a slew of local ones for an evening of Dylan songs, often culminating in a sing-along with everyone on stage.
Dylan Fest's S.F. debut will include Elvis Perkins, Doyle Bramhall II, Craig Finn and Tad Kubler of the Hold Steady, Cynthia Robinson and Jerry Martini from Sly & the Family Stone, Nicki and Tim Bluhm, Chuck Prophet, and Boots Riley, among others (full lineup here).
Other reasons to go: All proceeds from ticket sales benefit the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, which provides financial assistance to career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet as a result of age, illness, or disability. Also, the whole shindig is sponsored by Jameson, a product which studies have shown makes it seem like a much better idea to put your arms around your friends' shoulders and belt the chorus of "Like a Rolling Stone" at the top of your lungs, in general, regardless of context. This should be a safe space -- do your thing.