Let’s put the “news” right up front: Bald Hill, those surprisingly hip purveyors of blues-inflected newgrass, folk rock and Americana, will return to the warm & cozy confines of the She Doesn’t Like Guthries Restaurant & Café tonight, in The Lew. That’s right, tonight — Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. The show runs 8-10 p.m. but join us there early and soothe the wintry soul with a cup of tea, maybe some crafty brews, and definitely a signature burrito.

Incidentally, BH will welcome at least one special guest this evening — guitarist Frank Fotusky, he of our friends at Yellow Sun Wreckers, but he of a piedmont blues aesthetic all his own. Check out more about Frank here, and when you arrive tonight, compliment him on that bolo tie… There might well be ANOTHER special guest tonight, so don’t miss out.

We’re also pleased to report that Gritty McDuff’s, just across the mighty Androscoggin from Lewiston, in Auburn, has invited Bald Hill back for another three-gig run this spring. Mark these dates down in your preferred calendar medium: Feb. 11, April 1, May 20. These are all Saturday nights, and we look forward to seeing you at least once there at Gritty’s before school lets out.

Bald Hill would like to close this communication (it’s great that we can have these little chats) with a word about Dylan. Yeah, he of leopard-skin pill-box hats, idiot winds and the 2016 Nobel laureate for literature. We play a lot of Dylan tunes. Hell, most everyone does. And so it struck us as right and proper that the Swedes might recognize someone like Bobby for his many decades of artistic output, which, while it might strike some as something beneath “literature”, fits mighty well when we consider the oral, bardic tradition. Think Homer.

In these uncertain times, one in which Cleon would feel very much at home, Dylan’s work hits home all the more. For a summation of those complicated feelings and themes, check out Patti Smith’s tribute performance at the Nobel ceremony, an event Dylan (never leaving character) chose to skip. Don’t make that mistake. Her performance of “Hard Rain” could not have been more moving, timely and humbling.

Oh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall