Posts Tagged ‘music’

DG in Buffalo 8/19/12 – recording on the archive

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Lenny Stubbe recorded my performance at Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar in Buffalo last night. It was great to meet him in person after corresponding for 20 years! Here’s a link to his blog, which has a set list and links to his recording.

(There is an aborted “Stagger Lee” in this show. I had played it in a campsite jam at A Bear’s Picnic on Saturday, but I forgot a chord and just got completely lost, so I gave up. These things happen! I’ll get it properly committed to memory eventually.)

Big thanks to Kevin Kukoda of ECE Presents and the Garcia Preservation Society for taking the initiative to invite me to Buffalo!

DG returns to Buffalo August 19

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Sunday, August 19: Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar, 253 Allen St, Buffalo NY.

Doors open at 3. DG will host SiriusXM’s Tales from the Golden Road from 4 to 6, then play a solo set, followed by the Garcia Preservation Society. Admission is $10. More info at

“Seeds and Stems”

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The saddest song ever written! “Seeds and Stems,” performed at Al and Janice‘s house in Boca Raton FL on March 12, 2012. Thanks to Adam @ CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS

Live music on the KPFA marathon 2/4

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Just confirmed that Jeff Pehrson will bring his wonderful band The Fall Risk to the KPFA performance studio for a live set during the KPFA Grateful Dead marathon February 4.

We’ll also have a live set from the David Nelson Band, piped in frmo Hawaii!

Some Magfest highlights

Monday, October 26th, 2009

So many fun moments in this amazing MagnoliaFest weekend. Here’s the music we made with Donna the Buffalo in the closing set Sunday night (10/25/09):

Fennario (Pretty Peggy-O) – Donna the Buffalo with DG
Day Tripper/Satisfaction
– DTB with Rubber Souldiers (DG, Chris Rowan, Lorin Rowan)

More music to come!

Mike Seeger, RIP

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

From Suzy Thompson:

I got the email below tonight from Mike’s wife, Alexia. Mike went home from the hospital to be with family and receive hospice care a bit more than a week ago. He was a dear friend and a mentor to both me and Eric; each of us met him during our teenage years as fledgling musicians and he was an inspiration and also personally helped us to pursue the “real deal” traditional music. Eric recorded and performed with him. He helped me to get the NEA grant to study with Dewey Balfa, helped me get the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention going, and I spent the last 2 years working on the New Lost City Ramblers documentary which was a challenging project and Mike was always gracious and thoughtful. We will miss him more than I can express.  

Mike was one of the best friends that American traditional music has ever had; he helped so many musicians, in every kind of traditional music, including the blues. One of the most important things I learned from him was about how all the different kinds of vernacular old time music are connected: what we now call “old time” (fiddle & banjo music), country blues, Cajun music, bluegrass — all are part of a continuum and are not as compartmentalized as some people think.  

Mike was always eager to hear new sounds, always working to advocate for homegrown regional music, always wanting to encourage younger musicians, and older ones too, to play the music of what he called “the true vine”.  
Suzy T.

From Alexia:

Dear family, dear friends… Mike has completed his passage. He died this evening, August 7, some time before 9 pm. Family, home, peace. It’s what he wanted, and he did it so gracefully. It went too fast for me to comprehend–but he always said “I don’t want to linger!” Clear in what he’s about, as always.

The love coming from you and from friends all over is just amazingly helpful, sustaining. Thank you. Love——–A

PS Please pass on this news as you wish.

New DG music on the tunes page

Monday, July 21st, 2008

I played a street party in my neighborhood yesterday. Here’s a fun half-hour that starts with an original loop piece and then proceeds through three favorite covers.

Brown-Eyed Jersey Girl->
Ship of Fools->
In Another World->
Rocket Man

Lots more music – audio and video – on the tunes page.

Coming soon…

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

The Ones That Look the Weirdest Taste the Best


Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

The Cassette Tape Skeleton!

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Via Paul Scotton, a creative use of defunct media.

Recent listening

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

I loaded the iPod with stuff to study and stuff to check on on a five-day tour, and the results have been quite rewarding.

I grabbed a Sandy Bull album, Re-Inventions, at KPFA a couple of weeks ago – my first time really listening to him. Silly me, missing Sandy Bull from my musical consciousness all these years. “Blend” was the one that really nailed me.

Also: Mudcrutch! “Crystal River” really tickled me. The Byrds meet The Doors at Donovan’s house.

Sittin’ on a Gold Mine, the latest from Free Peoples. They’ve added a trombone player since their last CD, and the new one is a whole new level of cool. Three excellent songwriters; Johnny Downer is a killer guitarist; a sort of ’40s roadhouse feel, somehow. I love this band.

I’m editing an interview with Clay Eals, who wrote a biography of Steve Goodman, and multi-instrumentalist Jim Rothermel, who played with Goodman a lot. So I’m listening to a lot of my favorite Goodman CDs and some ones I had never heard before, issued after his death. The Easter Tapes is a radio show, Goodman and Rothermel and a delighted DJ; one of the great treats of this set is “Big Iron,” which Bob Weir covered with Kingfish. Goodman’s version is a whole nother brand of wonderful.

I wish I could remember who sent me “Donovan’s Reef Jam,” from a Country Joe and the Fish Live 1969 show that was released in the ’90s. It’s 38 minutes long, with Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Jorma Kaukonen, and Steve Miller joining in. I need to listen again in a quieter environment, but it seems to me there’s a longish stretch of this jam during which there were multiple disagreements over the “one,” but some thrilling music anyway!

Roy Schneider and the Roadside Turtle Rescue. “Friendly, funny, smart American songs in a down-home style,” as I blurbed his last CD. “Old Friend of Mine” is the one that got me today – a tale of a long-term musical friendship.

Claudia Russell, Ready to Receive. I’ve shared a songwriter stage with Claudia and her partner; this is a full-band CD. The title song and “Just Like You,” an intense song about breast cancer, in particular.

And The Missing Moonlighters, one disc of live and one disc of studio. “Let It Rock” and “Sittin’ on Top of the World” are two songs the GD also covered, which gives me an excuse to play some of this kickass band on the radio soon. Bill Kirchen is a guitar god!

Dawn’s Early Light – July 4, 2008

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

Gans on tour for Independence Day weekend

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

David Gans on the road this weekend:

  • Thursday, July 3, 10pm: Casey’s, 136 N. Whittaker Street, New Buffalo MI. $5. 269-469-5800
  • Friday, July 4: Rhythmfest Revival at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park, Garrettsville OH. Mickey Hart Band, moe., George Clinton and P-Funk, many more. DG plays late-night after Mickey.
  • Sunday, July 6, 8pm: Thunderbird Cafe, 4023 Butler Street, Pittsburgh PA. It’s Dead Night – David will alternate with DJ Tom Donaldson.

More dates on the gigs page.

Music for Democracy

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Join us!

Mastering with Joe

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Spent Wednesday in Oak Park CA, right on the line between LA and Ventura Counties, with this guy:

Joe Gastwirt is one of a handful of top-flight mastering engineers in the country. I’ve worked with him on several Grateful Dead projects. He’s a great guy to hang with, too. We have a zillion friends and the weird, eventful underworld of the Grateful Dead in common, so plenty to talk abut. And over the course of the day, we discovered a love of food and the farmers’ market, too.

I have a friend in Philadelphia working on the CD package art, which is based on my own photos of voluptuous produce from the Grand Lake market. The CD is titled The Ones That Look the Weirdest Taste the Best – a line from “The Bounty of the County,” a song I wrote with my beloved produce-expert spouse, Rita Hurault. If all goes well, the CD will be ready by the end of July.

Mastering is the process of making audio ready for replication. In the old days, mastering meant operating a disc lathe and cutting the groove in a lacquer master from which metal mothers were made; from the metal mothers were made stampers, which turned little hockey pucks of vinyl into discs. The art and science of that process involved making sure the deep bass notes didn’t knock the needle right out of the groove, and packing as much magic as you could into the mechanical limitations of that medium.

Mastering for CD is easier in certain respects, because the limitations if the medium aren’t as oppressive. The job is to place the tracks in the proper sequence for the CD, arrange them in time so the next song starts at the right moment, make seemingly-minor adjustments to level, dynamics and equalization (a much more granular set of adjustments than “bass” and “treble”) to give the collection as much sonic consistency as possible. With the whole project up in an edit window, you can spot-check the levels from track to track so you don’t have a quieter song seem to disappear if it follows a louder one.

My new CD has eleven songs and a “spoken word” hidden track. Four songs were recorded in January 2007 with an acoustic ensemble (and drums overdubbed on one song); six songs were recorded in the same studio in August 2007 with a different bass player, a fukl drum kit, and an additional musician playing pedal steel, electric guitar, and lap steel. The eleventh song was recorded in February of this year, in a studio 3000 miles away from the other sessions, with a third bassist and a different mandolin player. One of my songs has five clarinets; one has two electric guitars, banjo, and baritone sax; another has pedal steel, bowed cymbals, and prepared piano; etc. The artist and the producer collaborated on the song selections, and we collaborated with the players on the performances.

The mastering engineer’s job is to make the whole thing sound like a coherent musical presentation.