Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Honoring Stu: update

Friday, January 24th, 2020

We’re hoping to raise $10,000 or more for KPFA in Stu Steinhardt’s honor (see the original post for all the details). As of this morning we have collected $2115.

Please read the original post and make a contribution if you can. It’s tax-deductible!

Here is Stuart wearing a KPFA GD Marathon t-shirt (as he often did).

Stuart Steinhardt in a KPFA Marathon t-shirt

Art auction for KPFA/Stu Steinhardt memorial

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

SPRING, BRIONES by Rita Hurault
Acrylic, 16″ x 20″, ready to hang

We’re raising $10,000 or more for a memorial to Stuart Steinhardt at our beloved KPFA in Berkeley. Here is the announcement of the fund drive.

Rita has offered this painting for auction. Please place your bids in the comments section of this post.

Starting bid is $500.

Fragile Thunder at Lockn’

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

I am thrilled to announce that FRAGILE THUNDER will be at Lockn’ this summer!

Have you heard our CD, One Afternoon Long Ago?

All-Star salute to Dylan/Dead in Cincinnati

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

Friday, April 17 at Stanley’s Pub in Cincinnati: Joe Marcinek, David Gans, Lee Owen, Scott Carnder, and Dino English play favorites from the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan.

More info and more gigs here.

Honoring Stu: update

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

We’re raising $10,000+ to honor our late friend at KPFA, where Stu was a devoted listener and a frequent donor and volunteer.

Here’s a link to the original post, and I’m here with an update: as of today’s mail we’ve collected $1215. Please click through, read the story, and contribute if you can. No amount is too small.

Stu and Sandy in Utah, 2004.

Book signing in Oakland Jan 31

Sunday, January 19th, 2020

Friday, January 31, at Open Mind Music, 5521 College Ave, Oakland CA (half a block from the Rockridge BART station).

Blair and David will talk and sign books; David will play a few songs.

Honoring Stu at KPFA

Friday, January 17th, 2020

Everybody should have a friend who brings you pie.

Stuart Steinhardt was that friend, to many of us. He loved to bake, and he was wise enough not to consume his entire output – so he SHARED.

Among the beneficiaries of his sweet largesse were the hosts of Stu’s favorite music programs on KPFA, Berkeley’s pioneering listener-sponsored free speech radio station. He brought pies to many of us on countless occasions.

In addition to copious carbs, Stuart also gave generously to KPFA in both time and cash. I co-host a 16-hour Grateful Dead fund-raiser every winter, and Stu was a godsend on that day, year after year. He’d hang out for all or most of the day and night, helping out by answering phones, picking up food, etc. And he invariably wrote a check before leaving the building.

A group of us who were the beneficiaries of Stu’s kindness have come up with a plan to honor his memory at the station: we’d like to raise $10,000 by February 15, the day of the 2020 KPFA Grateful Dead marathon. KPFA has agreed to put up a plaque over the door of the phone room, honoring our dear friend’s lifetime of support.

To that end, we’d like to ask you to contribute. You can make a check payable to KPFA and send it to me –

David Gans
484 Lake Park Ave #102
Oakland CA 94610-2730

Or you can contribute via PayPal to – make sure you mark it FRIENDS AND FAMILY so we don’t have to pay a fee – and include a note stating that it is a contribution to Stuart’s memorial fund.

We’re gonna “pay it forward” and give KPFA several years’ worth of the donations that Stu is no longer able to make. Nothing will replace the hours he gave to the station, nor the PIE he so generously baked for our music jocks. But this plaque will keep his memory alive at the station forever.


Stuart and I had a love of radio in common. He was a fervent supporter of public radio and especially of KPFA. I am deeply moved that a group of his favorite volunteer music jocks have arranged to name the phone room after him.

KPFA depends on our donations to survive as one of the very few truly independent listener- supported radio stations. In honor of Stuart, I hope you will join us in donating to the station. No amount is too small. Thanks in advance for your generosity.

P.S. Stuart is wearing KPFA Marathon t-shirts in both of these photos!

Gans gig update

Friday, January 10th, 2020

I’m too lazy to hand-code all the links for this post, so please go to for more info.

Saturday, January 11, 3pm: Scott Guberman and DG at Pt San Pablo Harbor Club, 1900 Stenmark Drive, Richmond CA

Saturday, January 25, 1-4pm: SoL Cannabis, New Washoe City NV. Free!

Wednesday, January 29, 7:30pm: DG opens for Craig & McGregor Band at The Marsh, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley CA

Sunday, February 9: DG opens for Grateful Shred at SLO Brew Rock, 855 Aerovista Place, San Luis Obispo CA

Wednesday, February 19: Orpheum Theater Lounge, Flagstaff AZ
Thursday, February 20: DG and Let It Grow at Moonlight Lounge, 120 Central Ave SW, Albuquerque NM
Friday, February 21: DG and Let It Grow at Tumbleroot Brewing, 2791 Agua Fria St, Santa Fe NM
Sunday, February 23: DG and Let It Grow at Taos Mesa Brewing, 20 ABC Mesa Rd, El Prado NM

Wednesday, February 26: Yerba Buena Orchestra at Iron Springs Pub and Brewery, Fairfax CA

Thursday, March 26: “Salute to Dylan and the Dead” – Joe Marcinek, DG, Adam Perry, Edwin Hurwitz et al. Fox Theater, Boulder CO. Advance tickets available

Sunday, March 29: Ten-Mile Ride: A Deadhead Ski Excursion, Frisco CO. DG & Joe Marcinek do a “Salute to Dylan and the Dead.” Advance tickets available.

April 3-4: Skull & Roses Festival, Ventura CA

Wednesday, April 15: Farnam Manor, 4223 Brecksville Rd, Richfield OH
Thursday, April 16: The Winchester, Lakewood OH
Friday, April 17: “All-Star Salute to Dylan and the Dead” at Stanley’s Pub, Cincinnati OH. DG, Joe Marcinek, Lee Owen, Scott Carnder, Dino English
Saturday, April 18: Plain Folk Cafe, 10177 State Route 132, Pleasant Plain OH. Free show! FB event
Sunday, April 19: Rumba Cafe, Columbus OH
Monday, April 20: DG and Joe Bellanti at 9th Ward at Babeville, 341 Delaware Ave, Buffalo NY
Tuesday, April 21: DG and Into the Now at Abilene Bar and Lounge, 153 Liberty Pole Way, Rochester NY
Wednesday, April 22, 8pm: DG and Randy Miritello at the B-Side Ballroom, 1 Clinton Plz, Oneonta NY
Friday, April 24: DG and the Deadbeats at Skyloft, Albany NY
Monday, April 27: DG and Pearly Baker’s Best at Funk’n’Waffles, Syracuse NY

Friday, May 1: Yerba Buena Orchestra at Murphy’s Irish Pub, Sonoma CA. Free!

A Heyday Hootenanny in Berkeley July 28

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

Sunday, July 28, 6pm
Heyday Books, 1808-A San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

It was Steve Wasserman who introduced me to Jim Page‘s music back in the 1970s. I was a young singer-songwriter out to change the world by persuasion, and there was Steve, out to change the world by more direct means. And here’s Jim Page, who embodies both our approaches. He’s been persuading and inspiring for decades, and also putting his ass on the line in the streets.

Jim and I met at the High Sierra Music festival around 20 years ago, in a late-night songwriters circle. We’ve played gigs together occasionally in the intervening years. I adapted his wonderful lyric to “Down to Eugene” to fit a fingerpicking tune of mine (which earned me a compliment from Jorma Kaukonen that I will treasure to my dying day); it’s on my album The Ones That Look the Weirdest Taste the Best and it’s one of the most popular numbers in my solo repertoire.

When Heyday Books moved into its current location in January of 2019, Steve posted a photo of his new conference room and made a crack about having me christen it with a song. That planted a seed in my mind that took a few months to bear fruit: why not do a ‘house concert’ in that room, for the benefit of Heyday as well as for the musicians?

Songwriters are always looking for venues that are interested in original music and/or ‘listening rooms’ as opposed to dance halls. I thought, a book publisher would be a great setting for an evening of conversation and original song. And given Heyday’s focus on California, I thought a series featuring California-based songwriters would make sense.

I sent a note to Steve outlining the idea, and he responded enthusiastically; we made a date to meet.

The night before our meeting I got an email from Jim Page, asking about the possibility of playing a show together the last week of July. ‘Your timing is perfect,’ I replied. ‘I am going to see Steve Wasserman tomorrow to talk about doing a ‘house concert’ at Heyday. How about you and I do that?

California-born, Seattle-based Jim Page has recorded 22 albums and toured in 14 countries. His songs have been covered by Christy Moore, Dick Gaughan, Roy Bailey, The Doobie Brothers, The Moving Hearts, Michael Hedges, Leftover Salmon, and many others. “The political and social awareness of those times was a part of all artistic expression,” he says, and it has stayed that way in Jim’s music ever since.

Page moved to Seattle in 1971 and performed in the streets an in the folk clubs. According to his web site, “In 1974, after being threatened with arrest for singing on the street without a permit, Jim took on the Seattle city government to… legalize street performing. He sang his testimony to a packed council hearing, and the streets were opened by unanimous decision. It was a landmark case and Seattle is now an internationally famous city for buskers of all styles.”

Utah Phillips, quoted in Page’s bio: “Jim Page’s songs get right to the point. He looks at the world clearly and reports what he sees with compassion, humor and a biting sense of irony. And boy! can he sing and play.”

Although I am best known for my work as a historian and curator of Grateful Dead music (four books, two national radio shows, and producer of several boxed sets and compilation albums), I have been writing and performing my own songs for fifty years. The first thing I ever played on the guitar was a song I wrote with my brother, who taught me the chords and set me on the path I’ve been on ever since.

I came up in that time when music was the primary cultural currency of the youth movement, and I have never stopped believing that music can and does change the world. I prefer inspiration and information over coercion.

Opening the show will be a performance by folk legend Barbara Dane and her son, Pablo Menendez. Oakland-based Dane, 92, has been a musician and activist for more than 60 years. Her son Pablo, born in 1952 and a resident of Cuba since 1966, has been an indelible part of many Cuban music scenes for more than fifty years. He is the subject of the 2017 documentary So Near…So Far.”

The evening will be hosted by Steve Wasserman.

All of the participants in this evening are committed humanitarians who have organized our lives around a desire to preserve, protect, and improve this planet and its population for the good of all.


Here’s a link to the Facebook event

My complete performance schedule is here.


Thursday, June 6th, 2019

David Gans, Home Sweet Home – Solo loop improvisations, Spring 2019

Available only on Bandcamp – free, or pay what you want.

Gans on tour this week

Sunday, May 12th, 2019

North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia!

  • Tuesday, May 14, 7:30pm: The Pour House Music Hall, Raleigh NC, opening for The Sweet Lilies
  • Wednesday, May 15: Charleston Pour House, 1977 May Bank Hwy, Charleston SC. With Reckoning and Tenth Mountain Division. Advance tickets here
  • Thursday, May 16: Smokey Joe’s Cafe, 510 Briar Creek Road, Charlotte NC
  • Friday, May 17: MadLife Stage & Studios, Woodstock GA with Frankly Scarlet
  • Saturday, May 18: Local Motive Brewing Company, 123 N Dargan St, Florence SC
  • Sunday, May 19, 12:30-3:30pm: Wicked Weed Brewing Co., Asheville NC. Free show!
  • And Illinois in June!

    DG: on the road again!

    Saturday, April 13th, 2019

    Back on the road next week! Details and links at

    Friday, April 19: Old Shoe and DG at Kenny’s Westside Pub, 112 SW Jefferson Ave, Peoria IL

    Saturday, April 20: Deadfest at The Wire, Berwyn IL. Solo and with Old Shoe

    Sunday, April 21: House concert in Holt MI. Contact me for info/reservations.

    Tuesday, April 23: DG and Deadicated at Otus Supply, 345 E Nine Mile Road, Ferndale MI

    Wednesday, April 24, 7pm: The Parlor, Columbus OH

    Thursday, April 25: Bigfoot County and DG at the 5 Points Music Sanctuary, 1217 Maple Ave., Roanoke VA. Doors open at 6, show starts at 8

    Saturday, April 27: Greensboro NC – UNCG Grateful Dead conference! DG plays 6-8pm at Tate Street Coffee House w/ Jon Walters and joins Spartans Play Dead in The Van Dyke Performance Space at 9pm

    Sunday, May 5, 2pm: Yerba Buena Orchestra at the Art House Gallery, 2905 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley CA

    Thursday, May 9, 7:30-9pm: Yerba Buena Orchestra (trio) at Iron Springs Public House, 901 Fourth Street, San Rafael CA. Free!

    Tuesday, May 14: The Pour House Music Hall, Raleigh NC, opening for The Sweet Lilies

    Wednesday, May 15: Charleston Pour House, 1977 May Bank Hwy, Charleston SC. With Reckoning and Tenth Mountain Division.

    Thursday, May 16: Smokey Joe’s Cafe, 510 Brar Creek Road, Charlotte NC

    Friday, May 17: MadLife Stage & Studios, Woodstock GA with Frankly Scarlet

    Saturday, May 18: Local Motive Brewing Company, 123 N Dargan St, Florence SC

    Sunday, May 19, 4-7pm: Wicked Weed Brewing Co., Asheville NC

    November 21-25: Steal Your Cruise, Port Everglades FL. DG joins Unlimited Devotion for a cruise! On sale now!

    “The Town That Still Believes in Magic”

    Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

    Last month, Scott Guberman and I got together and wrote a song, “The Town That Still Believes in Magic.” We recorded it on March 16, and finished the mix yesterday.

    The Dead to Me podcast premiered the track in this week’s episode, “Zen of the Dead” (And I was interviewed in last week’s episode).

    And here is the finished song, uncut.

    Scott Guberman: piano, organ, vocals; David Gans: guitar, vocals; Robin Sylvester, bass; Greg Anton, drums. Recorded by Jeremy Goody at Megasonic Sound, Oakland, March 16, 2019.

    We spent $935 making this recording; we’re offering it on a “pay what you want” basis (including free!) – we’d love to recover that money so we can invest it in another session!

    by Scott Guberman and David Gans. ©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

    Photos by Stuart Steinhardt

    Kind review of a recent live show

    Monday, April 1st, 2019

    David —

    can’t remember the last time I looked up a performer’s lyrics the next morning.

    quality, thoughtfully written stuff that I happen to culturally agree with. . .

    and exactly the stuff that needs reinforcing in this particularly weird time. you gave a ton — very genuine and complete performance — the content of the lyrics, the fingerpicking, the cosmic loop music — really terrific assortment of sounds and feelings, all from one musician. plus a good message of firmness, resolve, and hope.

    Rob Catterton

    (He attended my house concert in Santa Rosa CA on Saturday, March 30)

    Review of DROP THE BONE

    Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

    Derk Richardson reviews Drop the Bone in the March 2019 issue of Oakland Magazine.

    ‘…the superbly produced Drop the Bone captures his eclectic range and deep Bay Area relationships….the openhearted, good-time feel bends through several genres in the original songs, instrumentals, and renditions of Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho and Lefty” and George Harrison’s “Here Come the Sun,” with stellar contributions by Thompsonia, Terry Haggerty, Lorin and Chris Rowan, and many others.’

    More info and ordering links here.