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Brad Nelson: ‘That’s right, I’m from Duluth’

‘That’s right, I’m from Duluth’

“Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature will bring depth to our cultural heritage and notoriety to Duluth and Hibbing. Those things are great, of course. And, hopefully, it helps people in northern Minnesota understand what Dylan has done on the world stage. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize the impact (of) those closest to us. … Not that we need any more evidence of Dylan’s genius as a songwriter or as a cultural catalyst, but this puts an exclamation point on all of that.

“I think this award does something else for the future of Duluth. It blows the ceiling off of what’s possible for an artist from our region. We have current musicians from Duluth (who) are doing extraordinary things. Low is internationally acclaimed and has been covered by Robert Plant. Trampled By Turtles can fill large venues in other states, like Red Rocks in Colorado. Charlie Parr has become a legend of folky Americana music around the world. Honestly, it doesn’t matter where someone comes from; anything can be accomplished. But when you’re a young person from a small town, it’s easy to feel insular, stuck in an obscure place. This award helps to turn that feeling on its head. Instead of feeling diminished by the local-musician label, everyone can say, ‘That’s right, I’m from Duluth. I’m with him.’ This is the endpoint of a pipeline for young musicians to follow from humble beginnings to the world stage.”

Brad Nelson

Brad Nelson of Duluth, a committee member for Dylan Days, in comments last week to the News Tribune Opinion page