When musician Mike Morningstar was asked to play a gig in Marietta but not prepare too many of his own songs, he couldn't have been happier.
That's because Morningstar and his musical partner Rick Roberts were asked to instead play the music of one of their heroes, Bob Dylan.
"I love Bob Dylan's music and have been playing it for a long time," said Morningstar, a West Virgina native. "It kind of inspired me to do what I do, as far as being a singer and songwriter. I was really tickled they asked me to do this."
The annual BandFest, organized by the Right Path for Washington County, will serve as a Dylan tribute this year, with several local musicians and the student band High Schools That Rock tackling his tunes at the show, held at Washington State Community College's Graham Auditorium.
"It's something a little different for us," said Right Path coordinator Cathy Harper. "We've always used the BandFest to showcase our youth talent, but now many of those that started with us are out performing gigs on their own, which is great."
The organization turned to Morningstar and Roberts, who will headline the event, in addition to well-known Marietta musicians Michael "Moon" Mullen, Vinnie Mele and Dave Martin.
If you go
What: A Tribute to Bob Dylan, featuring Mike Morningstar and Rick Roberts, Michael "Moon" Mullen, Vinnie Mele, Dave Martin and High Schools That Rock
Where: Washington State Community College's Graham Auditorium.
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Cost: $5 per person, benefits The Right Path for Washington County.
Morningstar said he'll have some tough choices to make as to which Dylan songs he'll cover.
"I'll probably do some of his earlier songs, when he was a folk singer," he said.
Morningstar himself had an early start in the music business, learning to play guitar at 12 and joining a rhythm-and-blues/soul band by age 16 in 1964. Today, one of his signatures is playing a homemade invention called the electric hickory stick.
"It is unique," said Morn
ingstar, who created the instrument about 25 years ago during a bout of cabin fever. "It's a bowed piece of hickory with one string and an acoustic microphone ... I have become known for it."
Local students who are part of the High Schools That Rock band have also been prac-
ticing Dylan songs for a performance Friday. Displayed at the concert will be brief composi
tions written by the students
about their experience with
"Every student can shine on this project ... as they will write from their own perspective and experience," said High Schools That Rock organizer Mark Doebrich.
The doors open for the tribute concert at 7:15 p.m., with the show scheduled to start at 7:30.
Admission is $5 per person, with all proceeds to go toward funding of the Right Path's summer events for youth.