The Dylan Project

It's the band that Bob deserves

Meet the Dylan Project

Steve Gibbons, Dave Pegg, Gerry Conway, PJ Wright and Phil Bond of the Dylan Project
Take four of Britain's most talented folk-rock musicians and a unique singer, add the repertoire of a genius, and you've got the recipe for a dream band.

The musicians in question are PJ Wright (slide and electric guitars, pedal steel) Gerry Conway (drums and percussion) Phil Bond (keys) Dave Pegg (bass) and the singer is Steve Gibbons. As The Dylan Project, they present an exhilarating tribute to the work of arguably the greatest postwar songwriter in the English language.

The Dylan Project's repertoire spans the whole of Dylan's oeuvre – everything from Highway 61 to Mississippi – and new material is frequently brought into the setlist. Whether you are a diehard Dylan fan or just enjoy great songs performed with flair and brio, The Dylan Project will take your breath away. Go and see them or buy one of the albums – you won't be disappointed.

All band photos on the site were taken by and Ian Burgess.

"Saw you for the first time in South Petherton tonight. What a night. YOU BLEW US AWAY. did not expect that! Best night ever. Thank you xxxxxx." Kate, Yeovil

"First time I have come across you guys and very much enjoyed the concert. Will look out for you again when local to Wiltshire. Having seen Dylan four times, one for each decade from the 70's it was a pleasure to hear his songs presented with such quality.." Andy Slade

"You were all brilliant the other night at the Junction in Cambridge and what you brought to Bob Dylan's work last week was the best. His songs have always benefitted from good re-workings and you did them proud. Especially brilliant versions of Not Dark Yet and Man in the Long Black Coat and Ballad of a Thin Man." Brin Hughes

"Saw the band last night. Loved it. You were on top form. As I said to Dave Pegg, you are the only band in the world who could play "Sweetheart Like You" at that speed without me reaching for a sub-machine gun. You get away with it, somehow. And the rest was just brilliant." Neil Roberts

News from the Dylan Project

Bid on these fantastic items and contribute to the recovery of ex-Fairporter Jerry Donahue

The following items are being auctioned on behalf of Jerry Donahue, guitarist with Fairport Convention and Fotheringay amongst others and who is recovering from a stroke which has left him requiring occupational, physical, and speech therapy.
Fairport Convention / Autographs, A Harvey Bentone Guitar signed by Judy Dyble, Richard Thompson, Ric Sanders, Simon Nicol, Gerry Conway, Chris Leslie, PJ Wright, Dave Pegg, Sally Barker, Maartin Allcock, Ralph McTell, Danny Thompson, Paul Mitchell, Matt Pegg. This item has been donated by Ralph McTell.
Jethro Tull / Dave Pegg, Jack In The Green - One of Dave Pegg's Stage gear sets for the Jethro Tull USA tour 1982. A green boiler suit festooned with different coloured leaves made from cloth. This item has been donated by Dave Pegg.
Jethro Tull / Dave Pegg, Dave Pegg's first stage costume after joining Jethro Tull. A towelling suit of green and yellow with different coloured cloth laces attached. This item has been donated by Dave Pegg.

Dylan Project Tour Dates - Latest

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Jerry Donahue Benefit Concert

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As some of you may know, virtuoso guitarist and former Fairport member Jerry Donahue suffered a stroke last year. Jerry is recovering in Los Angeles but he needs further beneficial therapy to improve his situation.

To help fund Jerry’s treatment The Dylan Project and Fotheringay will play a special benefit concert on 13 December at the Trades and Labour Club in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

This will be an evening of great music for a very good cause. However, the Trades and Labour Club is a small venue (the capacity is only 200) and this concert will sell out quickly so don’t delay when the tickets go on sale at 12 noon on Thursday 1 June. Priced at £25.00, the tickets are only available from the Fairport Convention online store.

(Note: please do not phone the Cropredy box office because tickets will only be available from the website).

Wirksworth Town Hall Gig Photos

Many thanks to our good friend Tim Freeman for this fantastic collection of photographs from the Dylan Project's recent gig at Wirksworth Town Hall. Here's just a few but you can find the whole collection on Tim's Flickr page so head on over there and check them out.

New CD from the Dylan Project

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1 You Ain’t Going Nowhere 3.43
2 You’re a Big Girl Now 5.00
3 Senor 5.32
4 Man in the Long Black Coat 3.18
5 Handle With Care 3.08
6 Not Dark Yet 5.26
7 Cold Irons Bound 7.14
8 Mississippi 5.15
9 Make You Feel my Love 3.23
10 Rainy Day Women #12 + 35 5.27
(Bonus track recorded at Cropredy 2011)
1 Don’t Think Twice, it’s All Right 4.59
2 Spanish Harlem Incident 3.11
3 To Ramona 5.06
4 Subterranean Homesick Blues 3.37
5 Positively 4th Street 4.43
6 Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues 5.23
7 Ballad of a Thin Man 6.33
8 Pledging my Time 3.15
9 You Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine 3.55
10 To Be Alone With You 4.50
Caught in the Convent
No one (but no one) does Dylan like the Dylan Project. The songs herein – recorded live (itself testimony to the outstanding musicianship of all involved) – are not covers: they are reinterpretations and in many cases total reinventions of both classics and rarities, crafted with love, respect and affection for the originals. The songs take us chronologically on a magic swirling timeship from one of Zimmy’s first hits, 1962’s Don’t Think Twice (a love song that most fans did not associated with ‘protest singer’ Bob when Peter Paul & Mary took it into the charts) to Make You Feel My Love (a love song that most fans didn’t associate with ‘sixties throwback’ Dylan when Adele took it into the charts).

“It used to go like that… now it goes like this” declared Dylan in 1966 as he introduced an electric version a thousand miles ahead of the released acoustic take. The Dylan Project add the ghost of electricity to startling effect to songs like Spanish Harlem Incident.

Steve Gibbons is the consummate singer of Dylan songs, inflectively acknowledging his source, copping vocal licks that span Bob’s eras and, indeed, voices, while never becoming pastiche or (even worse) parody. Delving into Dylan’s dustier discographics, the DPs illuminate neglected gems: listen afresh to Cold Irons Bound (swamp funk that’s both miasmic and mesmeric), the prowlingly ominous Man In The Long Black Coat, the rock mariachi Señor (I swear you can hear the moustaches) or the iridescent You’re A Big Girl Now.

The Dylan Project are clearly having a great time – just listen to the way they reintroduce Subterranean Homesick Blues to its title: you will too, each and every time this casts its dancing spell on your CD player.

Nigel Schofield

Dylan Project Gig List - 2017


Broadstairs Folk Week, Broadstairs, KENT CT10 1JX


Kidlington F.C.
Great British Folk Festival, Butlins, Skegness
Morecambe Platform, Morecambe
Backstage at the Green Hotel, 2 The Muirs, Kinross, Perthshire, KY13 8AS
Victoria Halls, Settle, North Yorkshire
The Met, Bury
Liverpool Philharmonic Music Room
Banbury Trades and Labour Club with FOTHERINGAY - Benefit for Jerry Donahue SOLD OUT
Foxhole Arts Centre, Leek
The David Hall South Petherton
Guildhall, Lichfield SOLD OUT

The Dylan Project Videos

The chaps have been busy again. With the Winter Tour only a few months away now, here are a couple of storming performances from the world's friendliest festival - Fairport's Cropredy Convention. Ladies and gentlemen, Rainy Day Women and Cold Irons Bound. Keep you going till the next gig!

After that we present a couple of videos filmed by Kevin Smith at the Mill Arts Centre in Banbury, Oxfordshire on the Dylan Project's winter tour, 2010 - Ballad of a Thin Man and Dark Eyes.

Who's Who in the Dylan Project

Steve Gibbons of the Dylan Project
Steve Gibbons of the Dylan Project

Steve Gibbons

Steve Gibbons first leapt to prominence as leader of The Uglys, a band at the forefront of Birmingham's 1960s music boom.

It was while The Uglys were playing a residency at a club in Germany that Steve first heard Bob Dylan: "The voice made me tingle, the song made me shiver, the moment is frozen," he recalls.

By 1970 the Uglys had disbanded, and Steve released a solo album, Short Stories. In 1972 he formed the Steve Gibbons Band. In 1975 the band released Any Road Up (the first of many Steve Gibbons Band albums) and went on to success in the album and singles charts.

The Steve Gibbons Band was invited to support The Who on European and world tours and Steve penned One Of The Boys for Roger Daltry. The band went through various line-up changes down the years but remained perennially popular, partly because Steve not only has one of the greatest rock voices in the UK but is also an inspired songwriter.

There is more to Steve than rock 'n' roll, however. For example, the trio he formed at the end of the 1990s innovatively uses fretless bass, guitars, accordion and piano to perform classic songs as well as his own material.
P J Wright of the Dylan Project
P J Wright of the Dylan Project

P. J. Wright

PJ Wright was born in Leicester. His musical influences are many, particularly American music of the fifties and sixties, although his career has spanned the radical London-based Entire Population of China, a time in California, backing big-name American "oldie" acts such as Bobby Vee and the Coasters and being a member of Ashley Hutchings' Morris On Band.

PJ has worked extensively as a session player: his rootsier credits include recordings with Chris While and Julie Matthews, Ashley Hutchings, David Hughes, Julie Felix, Christine Collister and recently Katriona Gilmore & Jamie Roberts.

During the 1980s and 90s, PJ regularly recorded and toured as lead guitarist with the Steve Gibbons Band. Since 1999, he has been lead vocalist and guitarist with the five-piece folkrock band Little Johnny England as well as performing as a solo singer-songwriter. PJ released Hedge of Sound , his first solo album, in 2006 and has subsequently toured with Dave Pegg in the duo project "A Night Off With...". Currently touring with US folk-blues virtuoso Brooks Williams.
Gerry Conway of the Dylan Project
Gerry Conway of the Dylan Project

Gerry Conway

Gerry Conway got his first drumkit at the age of 11. By the time he left school, his vocation was clear and he went to work at EMI hoping for a chance to audition.

The chance came and Gerry found himself the drummer with The Jet Set, playing ska and soul. His next move was to blues legend Alexis Korner's band. After a year with Korner, Gerry joined Trevor Lucas in Eclection.

By the time Eclection folded in the early 1970s, Trevor's partner Sandy Denny had left Fairport Convention and Gerry was invited to join them in a newly-formed folkrock outfit, Fotheringhay. Though creative and greatly respected, the band was shortlived.

Next, Gerry played a studio session with Cat Stevens and was invited to join the band. After six years touring the world with Stevens, Gerry found himself back in London and in demand as a session man. However, in 1979 he went to live in the USA for a few years, working mainly with Jerry Donahue.

During the 1980s, Gerry returned to the UK and spent a year or so on the road with Jethro Tull. This was followed by a stint with Richard Thompson's band.

In 1985, Gerry joined Jacqui McShee's Pentangle and has been with the band ever since. He has also played drums and percussion for Fairport Convention and The Dylan Project since 1998.
Dave Pegg of the Dylan Project
Dave Pegg of the Dylan Project

Dave Pegg

Dave Pegg threw himself into Birmingham's vibrant 60s rock scene and soon found himself gigging most evenings with one or other of the city's young bands.

Dave heard that the Uglys was auditioning for a lead guitarist and went along. He didn't get the job but Steve Gibbons suggested he try his hand on bass guitarist and he has played the instrument ever since.

Dave joined the Ian Campbell Folk Group on double bass where he met fiddle maestro Dave Swarbrick. It was through Swarb that Peggy was introduced to Fairport Convention: little did he know the association would last over 35 years.

After founder-bassist Ashley Hutchings left Fairport in 1970, Dave took over on bass and backing vocals, a role he has fulfilled ever since. In fact, it was Peggy who kept the band together through the hassles and line-up changes of the 1970s.

By the 1980s, Dave had joined Jethro Tull as bass player. As if playing in two bands was not enough, he set up Woodworm Records to produce and market Fairport's albums.

Dave and his ex-wife Christine founded Cropredy Festival in 1980 and he has been a key organiser ever since. The event started as a small reunion concert and has now grown into a major festival.
Phil Bond of the Dylan Project
Phil Bond of the Dylan Project

Phil Bond

Phil Bond started playing in bands at school in Worcester where he was born in 1953. He played in a band called Near Springs in the 1970s where he met Ric Sanders. Shortly afterwards he moved to Birmingham playing in bands which played nothing but original music.

Bored with living on brown rice and baked beans he got a job in Del Shannon's backing band.Following this he moved to the Channel islands, then a spell in the Middle East, then sailed round the Caribbean. This was followed by some time in the US, thence Europe and Scandinavia.

After sleeping on many different sofas Phil has been back in Birmingham for the last 15 years. During his extended travels he was absorbing lots of different music, traditional forms, jazz and rock n roll. there's always been room for Dylan in his suitcase. Phil plays piano, organ, piano accordion, flute and guitar.
Don't be misled by the word 'tribute'. Although the phrase "tribute band" can mean a slavish facsimile or a big-name cash-in, The Dylan Project is far more than a mere copycat act. The members bring their own distinctive take on the music, Steve Gibbons interprets the lyrics with stylish individuality and, above all, respect for a master writer and performer shines through every word, every note. As Mojo's reviewer said: "The Dylan Project is a tribute in the best possible sense. Touching and deftly handled, it makes you marvel, once again, at the scope and majesty of this singular writer's work."

There is so much to relish in the Dylan Project. For a start there's the laconic and charismatic Steve Gibbons, sounding uncannily like Dylan while retaining his own inimitable vocal style. As well as Steve's homage to Dylan himself, the Project's musicians are equally fine interpreters of the virtuosity of The Band. There's PJ Wright's scintillating slide and haunting pedal steel; on the first studio album Simon Nicol adds compelling rhythm guitar and fine backing vocals; Dave Pegg bringing his beautifully subtle and powerful bass lines, and Gerry Conway holding the whole groove with a tour de force on drums and percussion. As a bonus on Dylan Project Live At Cropredy Festival (the second album) John 'Rabbit' Bundrick's keyboards commemorate the characteristic quality which Garth Hudson's organ brought to Dylan's mid-period, now provided live by Phil Bond's piano, organ and accordion work.

This musical cornucopia arose from an after-gig chat between Steve Gibbons and Dave Pegg when the conversation turned to Dylan. "One thing led to another," recalls Steve, "and Bob's your uncle –Peggy's offer of his services was just the spur I needed to do what I had long been considering, an album of Bob Dylan songs."

That album, The Dylan Project, was recorded at Woodworm's studio in Oxfordshire, produced by Peggy and released in 1998. As well as Steve, PJ, Peggy, Simon and Gerry, there are guest contributions from Chris Leslie, Ric Sanders, Maartin Allcock, Ben Bennion, and Mick Bullard.

But The Dylan Project is more than a studio ensemble. Since its inception, the band has been entertaining audiences with an electrifying stage show. As well as touring UK arts centres, concert halls and theatres, The Dylan Project has played in Europe and appeared at festivals large and small – including Cropredy of course.

Contact the Dylan Project

Technical & Publicity Info

For bookings or more information:
+44 1295 251447

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