In this interview, we get to know Scott Dineen, the lead singer of The Bob Band, a Bob Dylan tribute band based in Washington, D.C. We learn about his early beginnings in music, his inspirations, and how he describes his music style. Scott shares his excitement about his upcoming project, where The Bob Band will perform the entire Blonde on Blonde album at various venues. He also talks about his vision for a fully-fledged theater show to depict the various eras of Dylan’s music. It is clear from this interview that Scott has a passion for music and a dedication to honoring the great Bob Dylan.
Hey! Introduce yourself. Where are you from?
Scott Dineen here, lead singer with the fabulous The Bob Band (Bob Dylan tribute). Based in the Washington, D.C., area.
When did you start making music?
I got my first nylon-string guitar at age seven as a Christmas present. I may have had a toy plastic guitar much earlier than that. I started writing songs in elementary school and began playing mainly folk-rock-type music and songs I wrote on my own and with a next-door neighbor. This was the late 1970s. I would type my compositions out on an ink-ribbon manual typewriter, and my hands would get all messy from the ink. My neighbor and I called our band The Diamonds until we learned there was already such a band, and we changed it to The Emeralds. I got my first big break at age ten. I wrote a song called “Who Is Love?” that won a national contest sponsored by the PTA. I remember it was around the same time that the Bee Gee’s littlest brother, Andy Gibb, had a hit with “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water,” and people would always comment that our songs were similar, but I think mine actually came out first. It turned out to be a big deal in that I made live appearances on just about every local TV and radio program in the D.C. area and on some bigger programs (like Voice of America) performing that original song. The burst of fame lasted about a year and a half but really got me started with performing music and getting exposure at a young age.
Who inspired you to start making music?
I understood the language of music from my earliest childhood. I knew it was my calling. We all have to overcome certain limitations to find out what works for us, and that quest has huge peaks and valleys and is a lifetime effort. There were years when I didn’t play any music at all. I became a circus performer. I got a degree in rhetorical theory. I studied classical guitar for another decade as an adult before playing professional gigs. Everything we do informs our music. Who inspired me most? I think it was my Uncle Scott. He gave me my first electric guitar and amplifier when I was still a little kid. It was a Telecaster knock-off, and I loved it, and wish I still had it. The guitar was badly wired and sometimes would send shocks through my fingers.
How would you describe your music style?
Currently, I focus 80% of my effort on singing covers, and 90% of the covers are Bob Dylan songs. I sing every day to train my voice. I had to develop memory techniques to learn the voluminous Dylan material with enough confidence that I could forget about trying to remember words when I perform on stage and focus 100% on controlling my voice and conveying Dylan’s masterful stories. The other 20% of my effort is still devoted to practicing and performing different genres of classical guitar at restaurants, receptions, and weddings. Currently, I am engaged for what may be a standing gig at Le Meridien in Rosslyn, VA, for solo classical and jazz guitar.
Who are you listening to now?
Tom Waits. George Harrison. Lady Gaga. George Winston. Electric Light Orchestra. Andrew Lloyd Webber. Berta Rojas (the world’s greatest interpreter of Augustin Barrios). The Beatles (always). Bach. Dvorak. Mozart. Handel.
What’s your best project or single so far?
I am a really lucky guy because my best project is happening to me right now. In fact, it all becomes real tomorrow (as I write this) when The Bob Band performs the entire double-record album Blonde on Blonde for the first in a series of three concerts at some of the better venues in the region over the next few months. Blonde on Blonde is a perennial favorite with Dylan fans. We try to re-create the instrumentals just as in the original records, and while I do not try to imitate Dylan—I am not a Bob Dylan impersonator—I do try to capture the spirit of Dylan’s great vision and very pleasant and moving vocal performances on an album with hits like “I Want You,” “Just Like a Woman,” “Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat,” and of course “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.” There are many other great songs, and it was a delightful challenge learning them all as well as we have to, to be able to faithfully perform them in the spirit of the originals. The last song on the album, “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands,” is 11 minutes and 19 seconds long, so we’ll know we’re successful if everyone stays till the end, but it is such a beautiful album, we will leave them wanting more. I know it.
Any upcoming releases from you to look out for?
We focus as a band on live performance, not recording. However, we have a vision to present a fully-fledged theater show, not just a concert, and at the biggest venues we can. The idea is “Decades of Dylan” with multimedia depicting each era of Dylan’s music with news footage, images of Greenwich Village in the early 60s, Nashville in the 70s. Costume changes. White face paint for the Rolling Thunder years. You get the idea. Like what some of the great Beatles tribute shows offer but for Bob Dylan. If any group can pull a show like that off and do it well, it is The Bob Band for sure in its current incarnation.
Have any shoutouts?
Oh yeah, let me give props out to Bright Box Theater in Winchester, VA, and the famous Tin Pan in Richmond, VA, where we are playing our Blonde on Blonde concerts in May and June 2023. These are great “listening” venues, and we’re pleased and proud to be booked there for a show that means so much to us and, we hope, to all our fans out there.
Scott Dineen’s journey in music started at a young age, and it has led him to be a successful musician and the lead singer of The Bob Band. His love for music is evident in his dedication to perfecting his craft and honoring the great Bob Dylan. With upcoming projects and a vision for a fully-fledged theater show, it is clear that Scott and The Bob Band are not slowing down anytime soon. Check out everything The Bob Band at http://thebobband.com.