The planning and the PR are nearly over and the fun can begin. I can’t believe that the 7th DylanFest on the Lough, Stuck Inside of Moville, is only hours away. It’s very fitting that perhaps the best Dylan act we’ve had, Al Diesan, is opening the festival in Moville in Rosatos.

It’s opening in Derry also with a Dylan Jamboree at Jack’s Bar.

I remember three years ago I got an email from someone in Italy who said that he would be flying in from Sardinia to Milan to Belfast on the Thursday and staying in the Caiseal Mara. Just on the off-chance I asked him if could play any Dylan songs thinking about the Open Mics.


He gave me a few YouTube links. I though they were great and asked Paddy the Shoe what he thought. He thought the same as me. We booked Al and Pino. They were a revelation. They don’t normally go to the same place two years in a row in their Dylan Pilgrimages but they came back the next year.

Last year they couldn’t make it and I was fearful that they would never play here again. Pino couldn’t make it over but Al has come on his own. That’s great news.


The first time Paddy the Shoe heard him play he was amazed. he was purring like a contented pussy cat. While the rest of us watched Al Diesan’s face, Paddy was watching his fingers. Paddy said in awe that he would rather watch Al than Bob Dylan nowadays. When reminded of that a few days later he said “Maybe that was going a bit far” but is showed how good he is.

I can’t wait to see him open the DylanFest tonight in Rosatos. He’s got 30 Dylan songs prepared and just plays them one after the other without a break.