In honor of his 75th birthday on May 24th, the music of Bob Dylan was celebrated over two nights this week in Nashville on the hallowed stage of the Ryman Auditorium. Artists from all genres — from Kesha and Kacey Musgraves to Ann Wilson and Jason Isbell — performed some of Dylan's most well-known songs, as well as deeper cuts to satisfy even the most passionate of Dylan-ologists. Here's our exclusive gallery of all the backstage action. (All photos by Joseph Llanes.)
Kesha sang a soaring and dazzling "I Shall Be Released" during both nights of Dylan Fest.
Jason Isbell and wife Amanda Shires posed immediately after walking offstage, where they performed a three-song Dylan mini-set, including "Tweeter & the Monkey Man" and Shires' epic take on "Hurricane."
Emmylou Harris was the picture of grace as she lounged in her dressing room prior to performing "Every Grain of Sand" and joining Ann Wilson and Wynonna for "Ring Them Bells."
Nikki Lane took one last glance in the mirror before taking the stage to sing "I Threw It All Away."
TJ and John Osborne, of Brothers Osborne, had a special guest in the house: their father, who flew down especially for the show from their home state of Maryland.
Butch Walker turned in the most punk-rock performance of the night, with a blistering "From a Buick 6," off Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited.
Philadelphia singer-songwriter Kurt Vile found some quiet space to look over the lyrics to "North Country Blues" backstage.
Holly Williams delivered one of the most moving songs of the night: "The Times They Are A-Changin'."
Big-voiced singer Ruby Amanfu, who contributed backing vocals to Beyoncé's Lemonade album, received a boisterous standing ovation for her performance of "Not Dark Yet."
Prior to performing "Just Like a Woman," John Paul White ducked outside the stage door of the Ryman Auditorium.
Ann Wilson, who, with Heart, will tour with Cheap Trick and Joan Jett this summer, harnessed the sneering energy of 1965's "Like a Rolling Stone," Number One on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Bob Dylan Songs.
Master guitarist Tommy Emmanuel warmed up in the green room room before playing the instrumental "Nashville Skyline Rag."
Kacey Musgraves and her bandmate and boyfriend Misa Arriaga decompressed after collaborating on "Don't Think Twice It's Alright."
"Baby Let Me Follow You Down" was an early highlight of Dylan Fest, ferociously delivered by Dhani Harrison, who, despite a flat brim, looked every bit like his father George.
Wynonna Judd and her raucous band the Big Noise, including her husband Cactus Moser, posed in the dressing room just moments before hitting the stage with "Million Miles."
Langhorne Slim, who sang "Wallflower," chatted with Hugh Masterson, of Hugh Bob and the Hustle, backstage at the Ryman.
"Isis" was Brendan Benson's song of choice for both nights of Dylan Fest.
Members of the Whigs, who played "I Want You," caught up with Kings of Leon's Caleb Followill and Liam O'Neill in the halls of the Ryman.
Kacey Musgraves, in a long, flowing dress, was in stark contrast to the sea of denim backstage.
Brendan Benson and Brothers Osborne's John Osborne talked shop in the backstage green room.
Nashville singer-songwriter Cale Tyson, who recently returned from a sold-out tour of Europe, mingled backstage.
Danny Masterson, of the new Netflix series The Ranch, and Eric Pulido, of the band Midlake, performed Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue" with Masterson's wife Bijou Phillips.
Corey Chisel takes a bite out of Nikki Lane, as she and Hugh Bob catch up in the wings of the Ryman.