Posts Tagged ‘music’

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!

“Drop the Bone” update

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

We are at about 40% of goal on my new studio CD project, Drop the Bone

Here’s a short sampler of the work in progress.

Players on these tracks include Robin Sylvester (Ratdog), Holly Bowling, Bob Bralove, Jordan Feinstein, Eric & Suzy Thompson, Terry Haggerty, Neil Hampton, J Raoul Brody, and many more greats.

The record is a mix of electric and acoustic, small-ensemble and full-band, mostly original songs. There’s a lot of pure improvisation, too!

This Indiegogo campaign is basically a pre-order scheme. $15 gets you a digital download, $25 a signed CD; and $100 gets you both those items plus a bonus audio CD of alternate takes, jams, and demos.

Please contribute if you can, and please spread the link around your networks. Thanks!!

Cover painting by Vi©kisa

KPFA GD marathon results

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

The 2017 KPFA Grateful Dead Marathon raised more than $30,000 for listener-sponsored, independent radio! Thank you!

Innumerable kindnesses transpired all over the globe in service of this cause. This link will take you to a long list of people who contributed to the Marathon. Our thanks to all of them, and hooray for all of us!

Here is the playlist.

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1456

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Week of August 15, 2016

Part 1 35:41
Grateful Dead 12/30/87 Oakland Coliseum Arena

Part 2 20:00
Dead & Company 7/29/16 Toyota Amphitheater, Wheatland CA

Dead & Company live shows are available in a variety of digital formats (download and CD) from

Support for the Grateful Dead Hour comes this week from:

Love Some Tea – grown and harvested naturally in Northern Thailand by the Mung Hilltribe people. These plantation-free teas are flavored by hand, with all natural ingredients. Love Some Tea is sustainable hand-grown tea, and all the founders are Deadheads.

The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. On Thursday, September 8, The Cap will host Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers. Hornsby played over 100 shows with the Grateful Dead, including last summer’s legendary 50th anniversary “Fare Thee Well” shows. It’s a rare opportunity to see Bruce Hornsby at one of Jerry Garcia’s favorite venues. Events, information, and ticketing at

Grateful Dead Hour no. 1415

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Week of November 2, 2015

Part 1 41:33
Grateful Dead 3/14/82 Recreation Hall, UC Davis CA

Part 2 14:48
Grateful Dead, 30 Trips Around the Sun: The Definitive Live Story (10/3/76)

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 coast to coast November 11 through December 31. Complete details and ticketing at That’s Dead and Company, on tour from November 11 through New Year’s Eve.

The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. With a focus on live improvisation and unexplored extended grooves, moe. plays a two-night stand at The Capitol Theatre on Friday, November 13 and Saturday, November 14. For events, information, and ticketing visit

8/13/15 audio and video archives

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

We had a great time saluting One from the Vault at the original venue on the 40th anniversary of the show!

Here is a link to the video archive on
Here is a link to a “matrix” (audience and soundboard mix) recording by Michael Zelner
Here is a link to the torrent version of Zelner’s recording.
Jambase’s review of the show

Set list:

Cold Rain and Snow->
Brown-Eyed Women
Shakedown Street

Intro by Harry Duncan->
Help on the Way->
Franklin’s Tower

Big River – Roger McNamee

Sage and Spirit – Teja Gerken (solo)

It Must Have Been The Roses – Alex Bleeker & Kyle Field
Eyes of the World – Alex Bleeker & Kyle Field

The Music Never Stopped – Grahame Lesh, Mark Karan
Crazy Fingers – Grahame Lesh, James Nash

King Solomon’s Marbles – Totally Dead

Blues For Allah – Henry Kaiser quartet + vox

The Other One – David Gans, James Nash, Mark Karan

Sugaree – Mark Karan
Around and Around – David Gans
US Blues – David Gans

Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad – All hands
Brokedown Palace – all hands

Mark Karan, guitar and vocals
James Nash, guitar and vocals
David Gans, guiTar And Vocals
Danny Eisenberg, keyboards
Robin Sylvester, bass
Neil Hampton, drums
Elliott Peck, vocals

The Known Unknown – studio jams

Monday, April 13th, 2015

THE KNOWN UNKNOWN – studio jams 4/12/15.

First piece features Clayton Call on drums ’cause Neil was late. Second piece is a jam based on a Beatles theme, with our regular lineup: Phil Savell and David Gans, guitars; Zach Partain, bass; Nail Hampton, drums.

Our next performance is Saturday, April 18, 7:30pm at Second Act on Haight Street in San Francisco.

Dead to the World 3/18/15

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Hell in a Bucket->
Tons of Steel
Ramble On Rose
Me and My Uncle->
Mexicali Blues
– Grateful Dead 6/14/87 County Fairgrounds, Ventura CA

(I’ll play more of this show next week)

Huck’s SongRumpke Mountain Boys 3/14/15 St Louis MO
Hippy GirlDirty River Ramblers, Ramble On
Iowa PotMike Agranoff, Straight Lines

Van Morrison: Duets – radio special hosted by David Dye, featuring excerpts from:
Rough God Riding On In
Some Peace of Mind
If I Ever Needed Someone
Fire in the Belly
Real Real Gone
Higher Than the World
Irish Heartbeat
These Are the Days
Whatever Happened to P.J. Proby
Get On with the Show
How Can a Poor Boy

Gans gig update

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Happy Holy Daze, friends and fans and family!

The first bit of big news is that Blair Jackson and I met our deadline! Our manuscript, This Is All A Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History of the Grateful Dead, was turned in on time and we are now in the process of editing. It will be published next fall. More details when we know ’em!

This means I am now able to get back to music.

2014 has been an eventful and musically satisfying year, despite my having scaled back on the gigs for the last few months while I worked on the book.

A free-form jamming ensemble sprang up after a couple of holiday-party jams and acquired a name as well as considerable creative momentum. The Known Unknown is Phil Savell and me on guitar; Zach Partain on bass; and Neil Hampton on percussion. We played with a great variety of guests over the course of the year, and we’re on track to play more gigs in 2015.

Sweet Blossom is a new ensemble whose motto is “Grateful Dead Done Differently”: Jacob Groopman on mandolin on vocals; Jeff Hobbs on fiddle and sax and vocals; Roger Sideman on bass and vocals; Neil Hampton on drums; and me on guitar an vocals. We’re playing December 27 in San Francisco (with Russell Ives covering for Jacob, who will be out of town), January 7 at Sweetwater in Mill Valley, and January 10 at the Ashkenaz in Berkeley.

My long-time friendship and musical collaboration with Eric Rawlins, which mostly manifests at private events and performances for shut-ins organized by Bread and Roses, breaks out into public view twice in the next few weeks: This Saturday at a house concert in El Cerrito, and Thursday 1/8 at Duende in Oakland. Eric and I have released two duo recordings: Home By Morning (1997) and Desert Wind, Rollin’ River, (2011). The latter was recorded in my living room by Stephen Barncard, who is best known for recording the Grateful Dead’s American Beauty and David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name. Both CDs are available from (and we’ll have ‘em for sale at the gigs, of course).

My collaboration with Cincinnati’s Rumpke Mountain Boys continues. I’ll be with them in Newport KY on New Year’s Eve, and we’re planning more collaborations for 2015.

And of course, I continue to perform my “solo electric” show all over the place: festivals, clubs, farmers’ markets, and house concerts. I’ve got a southwest tour scheduled for February 5-15, and lots more in the works for later in the year.

As just in case you thought I wasn’t going in enough directions all at once, I’m doing other pure-improvisation gig here and there with other partners. TOMORROW NIGHT, December 18, I’ll be at the Monkey House in Berkeley with J Raoul Brody on keyboards, Robin Sylvester on bass, and Neil Hampton on percussion. No plans: we’re just gonna start playing and see what happens.


Here is the current schedule. More info at, and more gigs will be posted there as they are confirmed.

  • Saturday, December 20, 2pm: house concert in El Cerrito CA. Solo and with special guest Eric Rawlins (performing songs from our album Desert Wind, Rollin’ River). $10-20 sliding scale. Email for info/reservations.
  • Saturday, December 27: Sweet Blossom (DG, Russell Ives, Jeff Hobbs, Roger Sideman, Neil Hampton) opens for Lonesome Locomotive at the Brick and Mortar Music Hall, San Francisco
  • Tuesday, December 30: Stanley’s Pub, Cincinnati w/ members of Rumpke Mountain Boys
  • Wednesday, December 31, 7pm: Rumpke Mountain Boys’ Grateful NYE Ball featuring David Gans, Born Cross Eyed, and Restless Leg String Band. Thompson House, Newport KY. Link to Facebook event
  • Friday, January 2: Plain Folk Cafe, 10177 State Route 132, Pleasant Plain, OH. Free show!
  • Wednesday, January 7, 8pm: Sweet Blossom at Sweetwater Music Hall, Mill Valley CA. Free show!
  • Thursday, January 8, 9pm: Duende, Oakland CA. Solo and with special guest Eric Rawlins (performing songs from our album Desert Wind, Rollin’ River). Advance tickets are available here.
  • Saturday, January 10: Sweet Blossom (DG, Jacob Groopman, Jeff Hobbs, Roger Sideman, Neil Hampton) with Melody Walker and Jacob Groopman at the Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley. All-ages show!
  • Friday, January 16: The Known Unknown at Second Act, San Francisco
  • Saturday, January 17: The Known Unknown at the Art House Gallery, Berkeley CA
  • Thursday, February 5: House concert in Van Nuys CA. Potluck at 7, music at 8. $10-20 sliding scale. Email for info/reservations
  • Friday, February 6: House concert in Tempe AZ. Potluck at 6, music at 7. $10-20 sliding scale.Email for info/reservation
  • Saturday, February 7: House concert in Cornville AZ. Potluck at 6, music at 7. $10-20 sliding scale. Email for info/reservation
  • Sunday, February 8, 8pm: DG and Top Dead Center at the Boondocks, 3306 N 1st Ave, Tucson AZ. $8 at the door.
  • Saturday, February 14: House concert i Albuquerque NM. Potluck at 6, music at 7. $10-20 sliding scale. Email for info/reservations
  • Sunday, February 15: Orpheum Theatre, Flagstaff AZ. Free show! Doors at 6, music at 7.

A house concert manifesto

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

If you’re interested in hosting a house concert, please read this document and then get in touch.

Eagles Showtime documentary, and my 1981 interview with Joe Walsh

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

The Eagles’ Greatest Hit is a long, and very funny, article Bill Simmons, talking about the excellent documentary about the Eagles that aired on Showtime a few months ago.

I had the doc on my DVR for months before I finally watched it. It really is great, and there really is a lot to learn from the Eagles saga – both the ascent and the disintegration. A few choice excerpts to whet your appetite:

When an artist’s career takes off, they invariably battle three separate questions …

“Why me?”
“Do I really deserve this?”
“Why isn’t this more fun?”

Of the kajillion times someone has ever been interviewed for a documentary over the past 50 years, has any story ever been a bigger in-the-moment lock to make the final cut than Frey’s “How I came up with ‘Life in the Fast Lane'” story? It’s incredible. I was riding shotgun in a Corvette with a drug dealer on the way to a poker game … WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?

[Joe] Walsh brought an unpredictable edge that the Eagles desperately needed, a willing guitar foil for “Fingers” Felder (their “duels” were a highlight of every Eagles concert) and an addictive personality that made other Eagles say, “I know I’m drinking too much and doing too many bumps of coke, but at least I’m not as bad as Joe.”

And that led me to go into my files for the transcript of my June 14, 1981 interview with Joe Walsh, which led to a cover story in BAM (which recently reincarnated as an online publication).

Here are a few choice bits from that conversation:

How’d you happen to join up with the Eagles?

Well, the guys in the Eagles were getting stereotyped as ‘Jeans and T-shirts, Sons of the Desert,’ “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and “Tequila Sunrise,” tunes like that. Bernie [Leadon] was great, but he’s kind of a purist of flat-pickin’, acoustic guitar-mandolin, that kind of stuff. He was kind of fighting the direction the Eagles were going in. Those guys really wanted to rock out a little more, be able to play a little harder music. They wanted to play rock and roll because the ballads are real nice, but you kind of get killed in a live situation, sticking to acoustic guitars and mandolins and stuff. They were frustrated, kind of, playing live, and Bernie just was adamant about the way he wanted the Eagles to go, and unhappy with playing loud electric. They just got into a situation where Bernie didn’t want to do that; he just decided he’d rather not be a part of it.

They were looking for somebody who would give them the ability to rock out a little bit more on stage. I had put out a couple of solo albums and had been touring, and I was just kind of burnt on a solo career. It’s hard–it can wear you down. There’s a lot of non-musical things being the leader–hiring and firing, decisions, the crew, stuff in the office and keeping on top of it. It’s also kind of lonely, because you’re not one of the guys, you’re the boss.

Even when it’s personal friends like Joe Vitale?

Yeah. I’d done it for three or four years, touring heavily, and I felt kinda stagnant artistically because I was singing all the songs and I was writing everything and I was showing these guys the parts. I wanted to get into a group situation. I wanted to get in a situation where I was one of the guys, where I was in a band and I could sing harmony and maybe take some orders and have less to do with the non-musical things. So it just worked out perfect–I replaced Bernie. I remember everybody saying, “Oh God, that’s stupid. Walsh is gonna join the Eagles.” Why would I want to do that, and that’d never work because I didn’t fit in.

But we knew each other, we’d played some concerts together. We knew it’d work, so we just ran away and hid in a basement and out of that came “Hotel California,” which turned out to be a really special record for us and for everybody, yeah, world-wide. So we went out, and then we could do songs like “Life’s Been Good” and “Walk Away” and “In the City,” “Rocky Mountain Way.” It really helped the Eagles’ live show. And I was in a band!

I got great vocal coaching from Henley and Frey over a period of years, and I watched how they structured songwriting. They’re really gifted guys. I just kinda sat back. I just love playing guitar when Don Henley’s singing. It’s a privilege–the guy’s got an amazing voice. And I didn’t have to sing every song. I just enjoyed it–it’s artistically very rewarding. I didn’t do it for the money at all–that’s nice, but…

Felder and I got into double leads, stuff that I’d never been able to do because rhythm guitar players that I’d played with would move over. It was just without saying that in my band I was going to play lead.

Felder was strong enough to be co-equal with you?

Right. Felder wasn’t afraid of me at all. He can get right up there–he wasn’t intimidated, or nothing.

I’m kind of a specialist in that band. It’s their band– I joined their band, so there’s no ego thing about being the leader or me wanting to be the leader. I just enjoy being in it, but I kind of feel like a specialist. In the studio, I’ll play keyboards, like on “New Kid in Town.” I played all the keyboards on that–I didn’t play any guitar at all. On Timmy’s song, “I Can’t Tell You Why,” I played all the keyboards on that.

[Joe] Vitale’s kind of the pivot guy–he can come around and play double keyboard, flute–he and I have been together for like 15 years. We were in rival bands in college. He was in the greaser band, doing like Four Tops songs, and I was in the hippie bands doing the Byrds and Beatles songs. We didn’t like each other. I didn’t like any drummers particularly, and he didn’t like guitar players. We decided to get together because he hated me less than any other guitar players, and I hated him less than any other drummers. We just kinda called a truce and got together, and we’ve been friends for a long, long time.

One of the reasons my songs have satire content, are kinda jokey, is that I am really freaked. I can’t believe that we’re fuckin’ up this planet like we are. Like Love Canal–the toxic stuff that’s left over from technology. We’re gonna screw up the life-support system. We’re not doing anything about it, and I can’t understand why mankind would let that happen. It’s almost to the point that technology is one of our worst enemies. Hell, I don’t know what to do about it.

I suppose I should get real active, but if I did that I’d probably be in a lot of trouble.

I’m not a fatalist, you know, and I’m not saying the world’s gonna come to an end. It’s really too late to do all that stuff. You can’t go up against Westinghouse.

Make good music, that’s my job.

“Drop the Bone” video

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Short video for “Drop the Bone,” the song I co-wrote with Peter Rowan. It’s on his new CD The Old School.

My new guitar!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

It’s a Rick Turner Renaissance RS-6, with the magnetic pickup and a Roland GR interface.

‘Oli checks out my new guitar.

DG w/ Rumpke Mountain Boys 9/4/12

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

I sat in with the Rumpke Mountain Boys at Stanley’s Pub in Cincinnati on Tuesday, September 4. I sang “Bertha,” “Brown-Eyed Women,” “Jackaroe,” and “US Blues.” Next time, we’ll work up some original material. Check out the rest of the band’s show, too!

Here’s a link to the complete 9/4 show.

“Duquesne Whistle”

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Just got the new Bob Dylan album, Tempest. I’ve heard it half a dozen times or so, not enough to really know what’s going on, but I have some first impressions to report.

The first part of “Duquesne Whistle” sounds like something from one of my favorite compilation CDs: a Bob Brozman-curated collection of Hawaiian steel guitar recordings from the ’30s. The rest of the album seems to go for a similarly distant feel, as if he wishes he were releasing his stuff on 78s. Like band recordings of that era, it feels like he’s singing into a mic with the band playing some distance behind him. Retro to the max.

But really, the thing about “Duquesne Whistle” is that GROOVE! I was hooked instantly.

Tempest keeps drawing me in, as opposed to allowing me to take it out of the player and put something else in there. Last time that happened for me was Love and Theft, which remained in my top ten for a couple of years and still haunts my brain radio.

Additional notes: Robert Hunter has partial credit for the lyrics of “Duquesne Whistle.” Lyrics by Bob Dylan “with” Robert Hunter. I wonder how that worked.

Bob’s voice is really, really shot. Last time I saw him live, in Santa Rosa April 2006, I pretty much decided I’d stick with the records. His voice sounded like a tin can being shredded. But on this record, he makes pretty good use of what he’s got.