Eileen Dahill/Minnesota

Tangled up in you. My life with a Dylan Fan.

My friend Patti Ryan is from Minnesota and a Dylan Fan. From her earliest years she has been a musician. She even met her husband of over 30 years, Paul, in band class. At that time Patti played the clarinet.


Is this a Bob Dylan Song?

Long ago Patti has stopped trying to explain references to Bob Dylan and the Minnesota music scene to me. Her eyes no longer glaze over at the naivete of my knowledge as a true bred and born Minnesotan of Bob Dylan. There is just an imperceptible pause in her yes or no reply to my occasional query “Is this a Bob Dylan song?”

Patti was a rocker. Patti Ryan and the Blue Thunder Band (named after her truck) was her last cover band. They toured the Midwest part of the United States. They played no farther out of the metro area then they could break down after their final set, drive home, and have enough gas to go to their day jobs.

In 2009 Patti signed up for Dylan Days in Hibbing, Minnesota. Patti and her husband drove their red Ford Escort up to Hibbing. There was only one other woman in the singer/songwriter competition. Patti’s husband backed her up on bass and she sang “I’ll be your Baby Tonight.” Patti didn’t win, but she also entered the visual arts competition and her artwork won 3rd place. It hung in the local restaurant, Zimmies for one year, that is sort of the Hard Rock Cafe of all things Dylan in Hibbing, Minnesota.

Here’s a picture of Patti Ryan singing at the 2009 Dylan Days in Hibbing, Minnesota.


Patti started writing her own music. Now her band is called Inushuk Pass. It is an Inuit American Indian word for “good path”. One of her songs, Hermano Mio – Brother of Mine (a verse for each of her 4 boys) won honorable mention in a Billboard Magazine new music contest. Patti has also gone on to win awards for visual arts.

In 2011 we were driving back from “up north”. Patti started humming a tune out the window as my old Volvo no longer had air conditioning. “Is that a Bob Dylan song?” I asked. “Nope, mine”. Patti replied.