In the town that still believes in magic…

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

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

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

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

KPFA’s annual Grateful Dead marathon 3/2/19

February 28th, 2019

Saturday, March 2, 2019, 9am to 1am Pacific Time
Broadcast live on KPFA 94.1.fm Berkeley CA, KFCF 88.1 Fresno CA, and K248BR 97.5 FM Santa Cruz CA
Streamed live on kpfa.org, gdradio.net, and nugs.net
Hosted by Tim Lynch, David Gans, and David Ogilvy
Featuring unreleased Grateful Dead concerts, miscellaneous audio treats, and live performances by Joe Craven & The Sometimers and the Fragile Thunder Duo.

PLAYLIST updated as we go…

DONATE ONLINE at kpfa.org, or call 1-800-439-5732
Thank-you gifts include music, concert tickets, coffee – and t-shirts by Darrin Brenner!

Phone room volunteers are welcome – just come on down! We’ll treat you to caramels and chocolates by Lillie Belle Farms and coffee from Grateful Beans!

THANKS TO:
Charlie Miller
Tony Ferro
Brooke Caputo
Kevin Cartwright
Katie Tertocha
Quincy McCoy
Phil Osegueda
Darrin Brenner / D Brenner Art and Design
Dan Bern
Stephen Inglis
John Whalen / gdradio.net
Brad Serling / nugs.net
Stuart Steinhardt
Beauty’s Bagel Shop
Jeff Shepherd / Lillie Belle Farms
Sandy Hall / Grateful Beans and Leaves
Chef Jeff Rosen / Blue Heron Catering

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1588

February 24th, 2019

Week of February 25, 2019

Part 1 30:42
Jerry Garcia Band, Electric on the Eel (Round Records)
EVERYBODY NEEDS SOMEBODY TO LOVE
Grateful Dead 5/26/77 Baltimore Civic Center
JACKAROE
NEW MINGLEWOOD BLUES
BERTHA

Part 2 23:59
Grateful Dead 5/26/77 Baltimore Civic Center
SAMSON AND DELILAH
HIGH TIME
BIG RIVER

Electric on the Eel is a 6-C set comprising three complete JGB shows at French’s Camp in Piercy, CA: 8/29/87, 6/10/89, and 8/10/91. They’re taking pre-orders now.

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes from The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. Melvin Seals and JGB channel the spirit of the Jerry Garcia Band at The Cap on Saturday, March 9. And March 14, 15, and 16 will be Phil Lesh’s 79th Birthday Celebration with Benmont Tench, John Scofield, Jackie Greene, Grahame Lesh, John Molo, Luther Dickinson and Amy Helm. The Cap is Phil’s home away from home and they’re gonna give him a grand birthday celebration. Every Wednesday is Grateful Dead night at Garcia’s, The Capitol Theatre’s venue-within-a-venue. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1587

February 17th, 2019

Week of February 18, 2019

Part 1 27:08
Grateful Dead 5/26/77 Baltimore Civic Center
THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED
SUGAREE
MAMA TRIED

Part 2 28:48
Grateful Dead 5/26/77 Baltimore Civic Center
SUNRISE
DEAL
PASSENGER
BROWN-EYED WOMEN
LOOKS LIKE RAIN

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 Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. Melvin Seals and JGB channel the spirit of the Jerry Garcia Band at The Cap on Saturday, March 9. And on March 14, 15, and 16 it’s Phil Lesh’s 79th Birthday Celebration with Benmont Tench, John Scofield, Jackie Greene, Grahame Lesh, John Molo, Luther Dickinson and Amy Helm. The Cap is Phil’s home away from home and they’re giving him a grand birthday celebration. Every Wednesday is Grateful Dead night at Garcia’s, The Capitol Theatre’s venue-within-a-venue. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1586

February 10th, 2019

Week of February 11, 2019

Part 1 34:50
Bob Weir & Wolf Bros 11/8/18 Landmark Theatre, Syracuse NY
TWO DJINN
ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER

DOWN BY THE RIVER (with Mikaela Davis, harp and vocals)
RIPPLE (with Mikaela Davis, harp and vocals)

Part 2 21:23
David Nelson Band 12/31/18 River Theater, Guerneville CA
DIRTY BUSINESS
Barton Hills Choir, Dead Songs vol 2
UNCLE JOHN’S BAND

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from The Capitol Theatre and Garcia’s in Port Chester, New York. On Saturday, February 23, Pink Talking Fish will take on Phish’s 1989 Junta album while intertwining Pink Floyd and Talking Heads songs throughout the setlist. Then on Friday, March 1, the soulful sounds of Big Head Todd and The Monsters join forces with swamp-rockers JJ Grey & Mofro for a co-headlining show. And every Wednesday is Grateful Dead night at Garcia’s. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

Fragile Thunder Trio update

February 3rd, 2019

The Fragile Thunder Trio is about halfway through our Indiegogo campaign! The record has been mixed, and now we’re looking for pre-orders etc so we can get it mastered, packaged, pressed, and on the market! Here’s a link to the campaign – click through, take a look at the video, and see what your options are for contributing.

Here’s an audio montage of moments and textures from the record.

Contributors of $50 or more can sign up for a two-set live recording of Stephen and David (with Marty Pell of On the Bus joining in on keyboards in set 2), from a house concert near DC in November of 2018. Here’s an excerpt: jam into Days Between

The Fragile Thunder trio is:
Anela Lauren – harp and vocals
Stephen Inglis – guitar and vocals
David Gans – guitar and vocals

We appreciate your support!

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1585

February 3rd, 2019

Week of February 4, 2019

Part 1 32:38
Dead & Company 6/30/18 Autzen Stadium, Eugene OR
DARK STAR->
EL PASO->
DARK STAR

Part 2 22:32
David Nelson Band 12/31/18 River Theater, Guerneville CA
IKO IKO
Darol Anger, Emily Phelps & Friends, Music of Our People: Songs of the Roaring Sixties
RIPPLE

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 www-dot-deadandcompany.com That’s Dead and Company, on tour May 31 to July 6.

The Capitol Theatre and Garcia’s in Port Chester, New York. Bluegrass rockers Railroad Earth are here on Saturday, February 16 with their extensive live improvisations and lyrical songwriting. Then on Sunday, February 17, eight-piece Birmingham, Alabama band St. Paul and The Broken Bones blend rhythm and blues with soulful southern charm at The Cap. Wednesday is Grateful Dead night at Garcia’s. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

11-17-18 sampler montage

January 31st, 2019

A montage of moments from the 11/17/18 performance by the Fragile Thunder Duo (Stephen Inglis and David Gans), with Martin Pell on keyboards (set 2). We are offering this two-hour live show to contributors of $50 or more in our Indegogo campaign for the Fragile Thunder Trio!

Fragile Thunder duo – live!

January 30th, 2019

Here’s a piece of the live show I was mixing today – Fragile Thunder Duo 11/17/18 jam->Days Between

We’re offering the complete two-hour live recording (mixed from multitrack) to contributors of $50 or more to our Indiegogo campaign.

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Grateful Dead Hour no. 1584

January 27th, 2019

Week of January 28, 2019

Part 1 38:27
Grateful Dead 4/5/89 Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor MI
SPACE->
CHINA DOLL->
THROWING STONES->
NOT FADE AWAY

Part 2 17:00
Grateful Dead 4/5/89 Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor MI
THE MIGHTY QUINN (QUINN THE ESKIMO)
Jerry Garcia, Garcia (Round Records)
DEAL
Bob Weir, Ace (Rhino)
BLACK THROATED WIND

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes from The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. The Cap will be pickin’ and grinnin’ with bluegrass rockers Railroad Earth on Saturday, February 16. It’ll be Pink Talking Fish’s Junta Circus on Saturday, February 23, their third headlining performance at The Cap. And every Wednesday is Grateful Dead night at Garcia’s. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.

Fragile Thunder Trio – new crowdfunding campaign

January 20th, 2019

The Fragile Thunder Trio (Anela Lauren (harp and vocals), Stephen Inglis and David Gans (guitar and vocals)) went into the studio with bassist Robin Sylvester a few months ago, and emerged with a record that includes two long, exploratory “Dark Stars,” a “St Stephen” with a jam in the middle, and a sweet rendition of David’s song “Jacqueline.”

Here is an audio sampler of the final mix.

We have just launched an indiegogo campaign to get it out. We’re looking for a heap of presales – options include downloads, CDs, a bonus live recording of Stephen and David from November of 2018, and more. Please click here and contribute if you can!

indiegogo.com/projects/one-afternoon-long-ago–4/x/1623294#/

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1583

January 20th, 2019

Week of January 21, 2019

Part 1 25:57
Bob Weir & Wolf Bros 10/22/18 Keller Auditorium, Portland OR
SHAKY GROUND->
LOVELIGHT

Grateful Dead 4/5/89 Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor MI
SAMSON AND DELILAH->
CUMBERLAND BLUES

Part 2 30:21
Grateful Dead 4/5/89 Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor MI
MAN SMART, WOMAN SMARTER->
TERRAPIN STATION->
DRUMS

Bob Weir & Wolf Bros have announced another tour. Deatils and ordering links here

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 www.deadandcompany.com.

The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. The Disco Biscuits return to The Cap on January 31 and February 1 and 2, with their spectacular light show and high-energy jamtronica sound. Every Wednesday is Grateful Dead night at Garcia’s, The Capitol Theatre’s venue-within-a-venue. Events, information, and ticketing at thecapitoltheatre.com.