Archive for March, 2008

RS likes DJ&T

Friday, March 14th, 2008

David Fricke gives Donna Jean and the Tricksters a positive review on the Rolling Stone web site:

…. The pairing of [Donna Jean’s} Southern-gospel alto and the Tricksters’ roots-and-groove interplay on Donna Jean & the Tricksters (Heart of Gold) is a warm, perfect fit, especially in the early-Seventies Boz Scaggs-style R&B of “All I Gotta Say” and “No Better Way.” …

Another Rubber Souldiers photo

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Rubber Souldiers - photo by David Clark

Dave Clark sent along this photo from late in the second set at the Iron Springs Pub on 3/12/08, when Peter Rowan joined Rubber Souldiers for a few songs to close out a wild, wonderful evening.

Martin Fierro, RIP

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Martin Fierro

Originally uploaded by dgans

Today we lost Martin Fierro, a crazy sweet man and a hell of a fine saxophone player.

Rubber Souldiers in Fairfax 3/12

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Rubber Souldiers 3/12/08
Rubber Souldiers at the Iron Springs Pub 3/12/08: Chris Rowan, 12 string guitar; Paul Knight, bass; Lorin Rowan, guitar; David Gans, guitar. Photo by Rita Hurault

We had us a great time at the Iron Springs Pub! It was a Beatle jam all the way, until big brother Peter Rowan showed up late in the second set. It was thrill for me to sing with all three Rowans at once! We did “Midnight Moonlight,” “In the Still of the Night,” “Stir It Up,” and I forget what-al else. We had a great crowd, and the management was delighted, so we’ll be back in April or May for sure!

Quoted in the New York Times

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

I’m quoted in today’s New York Times, in an article by Miguel Helft titled “Tech’s Late Adopters Prefer the Tried and True.”

“Every other online conversational space has a toolbar where you can plug in your favorite winking face,” said David Gans, a musician and radio host, who has been a member of the Well for 22 years. Mr. Gans says he uses the Well’s text interface, in part, because it helps to keep the quality of conversations high.

“Just because you can have a nuclear-powered thing that can dry your clothes in five minutes doesn’t mean there isn’t value to hanging your clothes in the backyard and talking to your neighbor while doing it,” Mr. Gans said.

I’m talking about the WELL, the small but still thriving online community that has been my home in cyberspace for more than two decades. I was part of a group that started a Grateful Dead community in the WELL on March 1, 1986, but there is way more to the WELL than that. I get help with Macintosh problems there, engage in deep and almost entirely idiocy-free discussions on a wide range of cultural and political topics, learn about new restaurants in my town, meet online scrabble partners, etc. It’s not for everybody, but it’s a great hangout for those who like this sort of thing. Check it out, why don’t you.

This week’s DTTW

Monday, March 10th, 2008

I am taking Wednesday off from KPFA to play a Rubber Souldiers gig with Chris and Lorin Rowan, Paul Knight and some surprise guests.

Wednesday, March 12, 8:00 pm: Rubber Souldiers (DG, Chris Rowan, Lorin Rowan, Paul Knight) and special guests play Beatle songs and maybe a few other favorites at the Iron Springs Pub and Brewery, 765 Center Blvd., Fairfax, CA. No cover! 415-485-1005

Meanwhile. Tim Lynch will have Chris and Lorin’s big brother on my show!

Some more cross-over from the city-PIG to DTTW to report. :-)

Peter Rowan will be my guest on Dead to the World Wednesday night 3/12/08. Rowan will chat about his career in music and pick a few songs live, including some new compositions, from 8:30-9:30pm.

“Humble Stumble” ends

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Roy Schneider’s comic strip The Humble Stumble ended yesterday. He had his characters deal with it in the strip, and he had some visitors from other comics, too. Fun stuff! Start here.

The Humble Stumble page at says: “Roy Schneider is ending The Humble Stumble on March 9 so that he can focus his creative energy on other comics-related projects and his music career. You can still see Joe and Molly in The Humble Stumble Classics, which will remain on”

I met Roy at the Suwannee SpringFest a few years ago – he won the Songwriting Contest there one year. I like his CD The Humble Sessions, and I am looking forward to hearing his next one, in the works as we speak.

And I guess Roy liked my music, too, because he put me into the strip once. I wasn’t actually seen, but I was the (more or less desirable) object of a case of mistaken identity.

Best of luck to you in your future endeavors, Roy. I look forward to pickin’ with you at Suwannee again soon.

“Wire” writers vs. the Drug War

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Opinion piece in TIME magazine by Ed Burns, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, and David Simon – all writers and producers of the amazing HBO series The Wire, which wraps up its five-season run tonight. If you haven’t seen The Wire, get the DVDs and watch them in order from the first one.

The Wire’s War on the Drug War

An excerpt:

What the drugs themselves have not destroyed, the warfare against them has. And what once began, perhaps, as a battle against dangerous substances long ago transformed itself into a venal war on our underclass. Since declaring war on drugs nearly 40 years ago, we’ve been demonizing our most desperate citizens, isolating and incarcerating them and otherwise denying them a role in the American collective. All to no purpose. The prison population doubles and doubles again; the drugs remain.

Our leaders? There aren’t any politicians — Democrat or Republican — willing to speak truth on this. Instead, politicians compete to prove themselves more draconian than thou, to embrace America’s most profound and enduring policy failure.

Nice article about the Suwannee SpringFest

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Julie Hauserman writes in the St. Petersburg Times about one of my favorite gigs: the Suwannee SpringFest. I’ve been fortunate enough to play almost every Suwannee SpringFest, and all but one of its fall counterpart, MagnoliaFest.

I am among the thousands who flock to Springfest each year to hear an outstanding, eclectic lineup of musicians – not just bluegrass. Musicians travel from all over the world to play in the tiny town of Live Oak, along the Suwannee River.

The music is so good, and such a value, you almost don’t want to tell anybody about it.

I’ve seen a 14-year-old Tampa Bay area mandolin prodigy kick out a tune by funk legend Prince; a young Canadian band segue improbably from an Afro-Cuban-French-Canadian pop tune into a smoking rendition of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love; a North Florida string band play acoustic arrangements of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I’ve danced myself sweaty while a Miami House of God steel guitar band whips the crowd into a gospel frenzy at 1 a.m.

RIP Ted Freed

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

I only got to play one gig for Ted Freed, in Clearwater FL a couple of years ago. I wish there had been more – he had a great vibe and clearly loved the music.

Ted lost his third battle with lymphoma and passed away on March 4 at age 51.

From that Creative Loafing story:

A benefit for Freed’s family to help them pay for his outstanding medical expenses will take place at Skipper’s Friday, March 21. Uncle John’s Band, COPE, Rob Pieniak (formerly of Buffalo Strange), and Christee Lennee perform; admission is $10.

Rest in peace, Ted Freed, and thank you for doing what you did.

Grateful Dead Hour #1016

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Week of March 10, 2008

Part 1 27:32
Grateful Dead, Road Trips vol 1 no 2 – October ’77

Part 2 28:33
Grateful Dead, Road Trips vol 1 no 2 – October ’77

Weird that this turned out to be an all-Jerry GD Hour, but I wanted to play some of the longer pieces on this excellent new release and it just turned out that way. Bobby’s “Let It Grow” from Road Trips 2 was featured a couple of weeks ago; he is of course well-represented in the set. And Donna Jean sings “Sunrise” on the bonus disc, too!

The Grateful Dead Hour is made possible in part this week by:

Grateful Dead Productions, announcing the second release in the Road Trips series. Road Trips Volume 1 number 2 features great musical moments from October 1977, with highlights from several shows, a historical essay, and rare photos along with carefully remastered music from the original masters. More information, cover art, reviews, message board, and details of a limited-edition bonus disc, are online at

Fantasma Productions, presenting the Wanee Festival April 11 and 12 at The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. Bob Weir & Ratdog, Allman Brothers Band, Government Mule, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, Levon Helm Band, Oteil & the Peacemakers & many more on two stages. The Wanee Festival, April 11 and 12 in Northern Florida. Complete artist, ticketing and festival information can be found at

Visiting Pigpen’s grave

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

Ron “Pigpen” McKernan died 35 years ago today – March 8, 1973.

Here’s an article from 2003 about visiting his grave in Palo Alto.

Songwriters at Spuds 3/8/08

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Spuds March 8

Angie’s back!

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Angie Coiro is back on the air with a regular call-in show on Green 960. “The Green Show” airs from 3 to 4 pm every weekday on KKGN 960 AM in the Bay Area.

Angie was the Friday host on KQED-FM’s Forum for many years, and not coincidentally, Friday was the only day Forum was worth listening to.

Full disclosure: Angie and I are friends in real life and have an ongoing Internet Scrabble rivalry. I don’t keep track of the wins and losses; I’d say we’re about evenly matched.

Give Angie a listen today at 3, and call in at 866.960.5753. Green 960 also has Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller, Rachel Maddow, and other progressive talkers.

Buy my music online

Thursday, March 6th, 2008