Best Show Stopper: Ruby Amanfu
Ruby Amanfu's voice is exquisitely unique, and at Dylan Fest the Ghana-born beauty used it to stunning effect on the lilting "Not Dark Yet," a track she included on her 2015 album Standing Still. Dressed in a striking ruby-red gown (naturally), Amanfu presented Dylan's ode to ever-impending doom in stop-you-in-your tracks style. You could hear a pin drop in the Ryman Auditorium as her voice swayed between barely audible and rising in waves of passion. Released by Dylan in 1997, "Not Dark Yet" was one of the most recent offerings to be shared at Dylan Fest, and Amanfu seemed to find a way to expand on its thesis. Built on a lifetime of searching the human condition for some kind of meaning, it was delicate, patient and profound, but presented no answers. Instead, it seemed to say the best to hope for is that darkness stays just over the horizon, and that's an achievement worthy of collective pride. When she finished, the longtime Nashville favorite was treated to a standing ovation that sent fears about dark times away for the rest of the night.