Archive for March, 2019

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1592

Sunday, March 24th, 2019

Week of March 25, 2019

Part 1 16:43
Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, Acoustic on the Eel (Round Records)
FRIEND OF THE DEVIL
Bob Weir & Wolf Bros 2/28/19 State Theater, Ithaca NY
BOMBS AWAY

Part 2 38:23
Grateful Dead 12/2/81 U of I Assembly Hall, Champaign-Urbana IL
BERTHA->
GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
FENNARIO
MAMA TRIED->
MEXICALI BLUES
BROWN-EYED WOMEN
PASSENGER

A couple of months ago I got a package from Candace Brightman, who was the Grateful Dead’s lighting designer for more than 20 years. The box contained a handful of cassettes she had found in a closet, and she thoughtfully sent them along to me in case there was anything worth putting on the radio. Here’s one of those tapes – set 1 of December 2, 1981 at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. We’ll hear the rest of set 1 next week (but I don’t have set 2, sorry to say). Enjoy!

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes from:

The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. Lettuce comes to The Cap on Saturday, 4/20 with their classic funk, smooth and soulful grooves, and hip-hop-inspired beats. On Thursday, April 25, Nile Rodgers & CHIC come for a disco dance party at The Cap. The Fab Faux play fan favorites and music from the Beatles solo years at The Cap on Saturday, May 4. Every Wednesday is Grateful Dead night at Garcia’s, The Capitol Theatre’s venue-within-a-venue. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

Airshow Mastering, putting the finishing touches on new and classic music, including recent releases by the Grateful Dead, Mandolin Orange, Robben Ford and Bill Evans, Keller Williams, Fragile Thunder, and Victor Krummenacher.

video from the recording session

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

Not much to look at, but you can hear what the song and jam sound like! The full story is here, with song lyrics.

In the town that still believes in magic…

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

I just had one of the highest experiences of my life, musical or otherwise.

Three weeks ago, Scott Guberman and I got together at his house in Fairfax to write a song. I had a line of lyric and three lines of music, and I said: “This song could be about Fairfax.” Three hours later, we had a new song.

“The Town That Still Believes in Magic” sounded like a folk song with a Pink Floyd bridge when I left Scott’s house with a rudimentary demo. We thought about it and conferred a little while later, and agreed that it should be speeded up some. Then we made a plan to record it. We recruited Greg Anton on drums and Robin Sylvester on bass, and we met on Saturday, March 16 at Megasonic Sound in Oakland.

This is one of the best rhythm sections I have ever worked with! I have played with Robin, onstage and in the studio, a lot in recent years, but Greg and I have not done much together. His playing on this session blew my mind.

I had suggested to Scott in a text the night before that we start with a keyboard-based groove. I had in mind a chunkier, more rock’n’roll rhythm than we had come up with on the day we wrote it. Scott showed us an intro that reminded me of Jackson Browne’s “The Pretender,” one of my role-model records for both composition and execution. That led us to an entirely new tempo and atmosphere – a most welcome one.

Our bridge had struck us as dangerously Pink Floyd-ish, and my initial impulse was to downplay that and alter the melody a bit. But we all arrived at the session ready to Go There, so we had a conversation about the arrangement and the vibe and then started playing, going from “The Pretender” to Pink Floyd.

On the second (?) take, the post-jam reprise had a nice bouncy “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” feel to it, and I loved the way that setting served the (decidedly self-serving, as you’ll hear in the song) lyrics of the last verse.

I think it was the third take that we kept. I had expected we would need one more, but we reviewed it over Beauty’s Bagels and cream cheese and determined that we had a keeper. The Neil Young feel was gone, but we were all very happy with what we had.

I was literally laughing out loud at the end of each take, from the pure joy of the experience. Robin is always magnificent, and Greg was just brilliant while bringing feels, textures and grooves unlike any other drummer I know. Scott and I discovered a nice way of playing instinctively together, sometimes doing very conscious conversation, other times just feeling our way along and trusting the synergy.

Some punch-ins, new vocals, some double-tracking – and then Greg suggested that instead of taking turns singing a solo verse in the first half, we do both verses as duets to match what had evolved in the rest of the song.

Once we had all the pieces we needed to complete the song, we set it aside and went back in the studio to jam. After a short throat-clearing thing that didn’t develop, we played a ten-minute jam, which came to an easy stop; without saying a word, we paused for a few seconds and then launched into another jam. That one was about six minutes, and then – again, with little to no discussion – we went into a third jam, which evolved into “Cassidy’s Cat”; we wound up with nine very satisfying minutes of that.

I’m going back in on Tuesday with engineer Jeremy Goody to finish the mixing of “Town,” and we’ll “release” the song and “Cat” on Bandcamp as a digital-only “single.”

The Town That Still Believes in Magic
Scott Guberman and David Gans
February 12, 2019; ©2019 Whispering Hallelujah Music (BMI)

In the town that still believes in magic
Children play and laughter fills the air
It’s a trip beyond imagination
A lovely place to have your soul repaired

In the town that still believes in magic
Music is the language of our peace
Every day is cause for celebration
Harmony, perspective, and release

Celebrate the ties that bind
Leave your fear and dread behind, and rise
You will see it and believe it
It’s revealed to you when you arrive

In the town that still believes in magic
People still buy records in the store
The concert hall is filled with people listening
You don’t find that too often anymore
You don’t find that too often anymore
You don’t find that too often anymore
You don’t find that too often anymore

Photo by Stuart Steinhardt

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1591

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

Week of March 18, 2019

Part 1 27:27
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead 8/11/18 Fox Theater, Oakland CA
TERRAPIN STATION

Part 2 28:37
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead 8/11/18 Fox Theater, Oakland CA
THE OTHER ONE->
TERRAPIN->
TERRAPIN TRANSIT->
AT A SIDING->
TERRAPIN FLYER->
REFRAIN

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

Dead and Company – Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge – on tour from May 31 to July 6. Complete details and ticketing at deadandcompany.com. That’s Dead and Company, on tour May 31 to July 6.

The Jerry Garcia Family and Round Records, announcing Electric on the Eel – six discs containing three complete shows played in a wonderful location in the wilds of northern California. Recorded in 1987, 1989, and 1991, Electric on the Eel includes 45 tracks of peak JGB. Electric on the Eel will be available March 25 from jerrygarcia.com

The Capitol Theatre and Garcia’s in Port Chester, New York. The Cap is in for a night of funky grooves with Deep Banana Blackout and Kung Fu on Saturday, April 6, including a third set featuring mash ups of classic funk, dance, and rock hits. Then “The Bizarre World of Frank Zappa” hologram tour will kick off Friday, April 19 at The Cap featuring former ZAPPA bandmates. Also of note is DeadCenter at Garcia’s, where every Wednesday is Grateful Dead night. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1590

Sunday, March 10th, 2019

Week of March 11, 2019

Part 1 35:57
Grateful Dead 5/26/77 Baltimore Civic Center
NOT FADE AWAY->
GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELIN’ BAD->
AROUND AND AROUND

Part 2 18:56
Jerry Garcia Band, Electric on the Eel (Round Records)
AND IT STONED ME
Grateful Dead 5/26/77 Baltimore Civic Center
UNCLE JOHN’S BAND

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

The Jerry Garcia Family and Round Records, announcing Electric on the Eel – six discs containing three complete shows played in a wonderful location in the wilds of northern California. Recorded in 1987, 1989, and 1991, Electric on the Eel includes 45 tracks of peak JGB. Electric on the Eel will be available March 25 from jerrygarcia.com

The Capitol Theatre and Garcia’s in Port Chester, New York. On Saturday, April 6, it’ll be Deep Banana Blackout and Kung Fu; the bands will join for a third set finale featuring mash ups of classic funk, dance, and rock hits. Then “The Bizarre World Of Frank Zappa” hologram tour will kick off Friday, April 19 at The Cap featuring former Zappa band members. Every Wednesday is Grateful Dead night at Garcia’s. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1589

Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

Week of March 4, 2019

Part 1 34:22
Grateful Dead 5/26/77 Baltimore Civic Center
TERRAPIN STATION->
ESTIMATED PROPHET->
EYES OF THE WORLD

Part 2 20:10
Good Old Boys Live: Drink Up and Go Home (Rock Beat)
DEEP ELEM BLUES
New Riders of the Purple Sage, Powerglide (Columbia Legacy)
CONTRACT
David Nelson Band 12/3118 River Theater, Guerneville CA
WHERE I COME FROM

Second half of the show focuses on David Nelson, who was a young picker in Palo Alto with Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter, and the rest in the early Sixties. Nelson started the New Riders of the Purple Sage with Garcia and John Dawson, and Jerry and David played together over the years in a great variety of styles and bands. Drink Up and Go Home is a two-disc live recording from February 1975, with Jerry on banjo. Bassist Pat Campbell has had the tapes all these years (recorded using Owsley Stanley’s legendary Nagra!), and the set came out a few months ago to very enthusiastic reviews.

“Contract,” from the second NRPS album, is now a regular feature on performances by the Davids Nelson Band. NRPS bassist Dave Torbert wrote it and sang it. The DNB did it on New Year’s Eve – the show from which “Where I come From” was excerpted – and that inspired me to revisit the original recording.

As for “Where I Come From,” that’s Robert Hunter’s lyric. I love this song!

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

Dead and Company – Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, John Mayer, Jeff Chimenti and Oteil Burbridge – on tour from May 31 to July 6. Complete details and ticketing at deadandcompany.com.

The Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York. On Saturday, March 9, Melvin Seals & JGB sing sweet Jerry Garcia Band tunes at The Cap with trumpeter and vocalist Jennifer Hartswick of Trey Anastasio Band. Warming up the show is Star Kitchen featuring Marc Brownstein of The Disco Biscuits. Tickets are still available for March 14, Phil Lesh’s 79th Birthday with John Scofield, Jackie Greene, Grahame Lesh and John Molo. And every Wednesday is Grateful Dead night at Garcia’s. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

The Jerry Garcia Family and Round Records, announcing Electric on the Eel – six discs containing three complete shows played in a wonderful location in the wilds of northern California. Recorded in 1987, 1989, and 1991, Electric on the Eel includes 45 tracks of peak JGB. Electric on the Eel will be available March 25 from jerrygarcia.com