The news that Bob Dylan, voice of his generation and national troubadour laureate, was speeding down Highway 60—his big six-oh was in May—gave some fans pause. It also inspired Red House Records owner Bob Feldman to release A Nod to Bob: An Artists' Tribute to Bob Dylan on His Sixtieth Birthday. "It's an emotional love letter to Bob from our artists," he says of the recently released compilation. Acoustic versions of Dylan classics like "Love Minus Zero/No Limit," "Girl of the North Country," "It Ain't Me, Babe" and "All Along the Watchtower" (the offbeat "Clothes Line Saga" is among the more obscure tunes) are performed by Red House singer-songwriters like John Gorka and sisters Suzzy and Maggie Roche. Dylan, a native of Duluth, Minn., "created this genre," says Feldman, whose label is based in St. Paul. "Having Bob be from here is something we're proud of."
Among the contributors are two Dylan pals: Spider John Koerner, 62, met Dylan in 1959, when the latter was living in a frat house during his freshman—and only—year at the University of Minnesota. And Ramblin' Jack Elliott's fond memories include watching the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night with Dylan and Joan Baez at a drive-in theater near Woodstock, N.Y., in 1964. "I haven't seen him lately," complains Elliott. "I don't know how to reach him, except maybe to bounce it off God on a very quiet day. This might be my day."