Bob Dylan turns in a rare electric guitar performance as he surprises Farm Aid 2023 with the Heartbreakers backing him

Bob Dylan plays a surprise set at Farm Aid 2023
(Image credit: Gary Miller/Getty Images)

Bob Dylan rocked up at the Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana, on Saturday night with a modded Telecaster in his hands and the Heartbreakers as his backing band, as he surprised festival-goers at Farm Aid 2023 with a short but powerful three-song set.

Opening with Maggie’s Farm – what else? – he traded licks with the Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell, with both of them working a wonderfully skronky electric guitar tone, blessed with a little hot overdrive, that perhaps reminds us that there is a line that could be drawn between Electric Dylan – his attitude, his iconoclasm – and the grunge and alt-rock of the early ‘90s. 

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.