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Posts Tagged ‘grateful dead’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

To start off the month of March, I thought we might begin with a celebration (or two)! Two of music’s great influences are soon to be 70 years old – Phil Lesh, bassist with the Grateful Dead, and Herbie Hancock, who needs no introduction.

Hancock’s birthday bash has been given the title ‘Herbie Hancock, Seven Decades: The Birthday Celebration.’ Even though the star will be turning 70 on April 12, the concert will run on September 1 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA. The Associated Press says that Hancock will be joined by comedian Bill Cosby, saxophonist Joe Lovano, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, Hancock’s bandmate in Miles Davis’ famed 1960s quintet.

Of course, that isn’t the full line-up just yet. More acts will be announced as the date gets closer. And the best part about all this is that all the money made from the concert will benefit The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Gotta love a good cause.

Our second 70th birthday boy is Phil Lesh, who will also be having a special concert to celebrate. Lesh’s birthday bash is a bit sooner, kicking off on March 12 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Fransisco, CA. Lesh’s new band, Furthur, will play, along with some of the musicians from his other band, Phil Lesh & Friends.

Like Hancock’s bash, this celebration will benefit a good cause. It will help support the Unbroken Chain Foundation, which is a huge part of the Haiti earthquake relief efforts. Charityfolks.com is having a bidding auction for a VIP ticket to the show, a t-shirt for the event, a signed poster, and a meet and greet with Phil. If you win the auction, you get to help him build a float and then ride on it with him! (Oh, the things rich people will do with their money.)

Nonetheless, I’d like to wish these two birthday boys a good one! It’s great that they use their birthdays to support good causes.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

You’ve all heard of the Grateful Dead. If you haven’t, please stop reading this. This post is meant for the Deadheads among us.

Last night, Furthur, a new kind of Dead cover band, performed a stellar show at the Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, PA. I say ‘new kind of Dead cover band’ because well, they’re not really a full cover band. You see, the new group is comprised of two original members of the Grateful Dead, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. The other members of the band include Dark Star Orchestra front man John Kadlecik as the voice and guitar of Jerry, Jeff Chimenti, Jay Lane, and Joe Russo.

Photo by Kate Langenburg

The arena was a good size, but not too big. Fans packed themselves onto the floor, in the upper decks, and sides of the venue, but left enough room between each other for dancing, of course. The vibe among the fans was a very positive one. Even the fact that the arena served no alcohol didn’t dampen the spirits of the Furthur fans. (See, you don’t need alcohol to have fun, kids.)

The band ripped off one Dead song after another, leaving room for improvisation and long spirited jams. Accompanied by a trippy light show, the music swirled around the venue, bringing fans of all ages together as one.

I have to stop right here and just mention that they played the ULTIMATE Dead song — Terrapin Station. Seeing the orignial members of the Dead play this song together is really something special. You can feel the bond between the musicians and hear the effects they create. I’ve seen both of these musicians play this song individually, but this was by far the best live version I have heard. People were dancing with arms held high in the air as they sang every single word to the much loved song.

Here’s the complete set list from the show:

Set 1: Golden Road (to Unlimited Devotion)>Gloria>Good Morning Little Schoolgirl>Ramble On Rose>Magnolia Mountain>Black Peter>Passenger>Next Time You See Me

Set 2: Bertha>Row Jimmy>Reuben and Cherise>No More I Do>Eyes of the World>Terrapin Station>The Wheel>Touch of Grey>Donor Rap

Encore: Brokedown Palace

Here’s a snippet from last night’s Eyes of the World. Check out the awesome piano jam:

I must say that John Kadlecik fits in quite nicely with the original Dead members. His voice is eerily like Jerry’s, but in a good way. I heard a few fans in the crowd commenting on how much they thought he sounded like the original frontman.

Good news for all you Furthur fans — the band has just announced that they will be playing the 14th annual All Good Festival in West Virginia. If you’re a jam band lover, this festival is for you.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

My own excitement overwhelms me…Furthur has just released their winter tour dates!

Okay, so who the f is Further? Remember the Grateful Dead? Yeah, it’s some of those guys — guitarist Bob Weir and bassist Phil Lesh to be specific. But it’s also John Kadlecik, the guitarist who plays Jerry in Dark Star Orchestra, the number one Grateful Dead cover band. And then there’s Joe Russo, Jay Lane, and Jeff Chimenti, too!

It seems that for their first ride around the country, they’ve decided to hit a lot of large venues…Radio City Music Hall to name one. But not only that, they’ve also booked college campuses, too. I think they’ve figured out where their audiences are! They’re going to colleges like Lehigh University, the University of Delaware, Cornell University, and the University of Massachusetts. Joy!

Well, rather than me just ramble on about how great this all is, let me give you the link to the tour dates page so you can see for yourself: FURTHUR TOUR DATES.

Okay, so what’s going to happen to DSO when John Kadlecik leaves them? According to the band’s website, they will press on. Having gone through quite a few members in the past years, this band has the oomph to keep on going. But good luck finding another “Jerry Garcia” quite as good as Kadlecik.

It’s all for the best, really. Furthur comprises some of the most talented jam musicians in the country. This band is sure to be a hit with Dead fans and jam band fans alike. They will play Grateful Dead songs, of course, but will also venture away into their own material, too. I’m ready for them to take me FURTHUR!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I know I recently did a post about Sirius Satellite radio and it’s celebration of “Jerry Week,” but today just wouldn’t be the same without some acknowledgement of the anniversary of his death. (By the way, Jerry Week ends today.)

Thank you, Jerry, for so many years of wonderful music. Photo from cuckoobird.net.

Thank you, Jerry, for so many years of wonderful music. Photo from cuckoobird.net.

On this date, 24 years ago, Jerry Garica suffered a fatal heart attack while he was at a drug treament center. He was only 53 years old. Not incredibly young, but young enough to declare that “only the good die young.”

Now he lives on through the thousands of recordings of his music. Also in the spirit of Dark Star Orchestra, a Grateful Dead tribute band, and Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, two of the remaining members who still tour the country regularly.

Many Grateful Dad fans paid their respects yesterday (and I’m sure more will today) by visiting Jerry’s hometown near San Francisco, CA.

Of course, Jerry has generated so much business since his death, it’s a real shame he couldn’t have been around to witness it. Think about all the commercial products available to consumers — Cherry Garcia ice cream, the Jerry Garcia necktie, t-shirts, photographs, Grateful Dead bears, books, music, and guitar picks. His family, I’m sure, is doing well in the horrible economy of today.

As the years go by, I can only hope that this important musician will stay as remembered as he is today. The Grateful Dead may not be one of the most recognizable bands in the world, but they are certainly one of the most loved. Deadheads are like no other fans around. They are loyal and always see the music for what it truly is.

I’d like to take this one opportunity to say “Thank you Jerry” for creating such an immense number of recordings and providing so many of us with a sense of good feeling and peacefulness.

We will always remember you.

Visit the New York Times for a very nice story on the anniversary of Jerry’s death.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

For those of you who don’t know, Sirius satellite radio is the best thing since sliced bread. It lets you listen to any kind of music…or talkshow…or comedy sketch or routine any time of the day with no commercial breaks.

It specializes in unique stations, like Radio Margaritaville, a channel devoted entirely to the musical likings of Jimmy Buffett. Or there’s a channel called Jam On, which plays only jam bands. Or how about a channel for all you classic rockers out there? Classic Vinyl will suit you. (Ok, enough. If I go on like this, I won’t ever get to my point.)

There he is...MY man, Jerry Garcia. Photo from jerryfest.com.

There he is...MY man, Jerry Garcia. Photo from jerryfest.com.

But for all you deadheads out there, the best channel by far just might be the Grateful Dead station. All GD, all the time, no commericals. They play live shows in their entirety!

All this week, the Grateful Dead channel is paying homage to its leader — THE man, Jerry Garcia. Welcome to Jerry Week, folks.

Since it’s already the middle of the week, I won’t dwell on what we already missed. Today and every day for the rest of the week, the channel will be playing three Jerry shows per day. Some are with the Dead, some are with other artists.

You can view a schedule of the shows programmed on the Grateful Dead Channel website. Tonight will feature a show from the Jerry Garcia Band in Columbia, MD, 9/2/89. That starts at 9 pm. If you’re a newbie to the GD channel, they also have listings of their regular programming, too.

If you have Sirius, go ahead and pay your respects to one of music’s greatests. If not, sign up!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

If you’re at all into jam bands, the summer time is the best time for music festivals. There are fests all over the United States, in places like New York, Tennessee, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Minnesota.

The only downside to some of these music havens is that if you’re low on cash, you might as well stay home. Sometimes, tickets to music festivals can run up to $250 for a weekend, not including food other expenses.

The good news — I have found you a mini festival that will satisfy all your jam band cravings and desires. If you live near the tri-state area, you’re set. The Mighty High Festival in Vasa Park (Hackettstown, NJ) is no three day camping extravaganza, but it’s just enough to give you a little taste of a big summer fest.

Three bands will play on the 18th of July, starting at 1pm. The Donna Godchaux band, featuring Donna Godchaux of the Grateful Dead, will kick things off. Then Keller Williams will take the stage, followed by a nice long set from Dark Star Orchestra.

Donna Godchaux has been touring for ages. Come on, she started out with the Grateful Dead for pete’s sake. It’s amazing that she is still out there, doing her thing. The same can be said for some of the Dead’s other members, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh.

Keller Williams jams out at a past performance in Pennsylvania.

Keller Williams jams out at a past performance in Pennsylvania. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

If you don’t already know him, let me introduce you to Keller Williams. You never know what you’ll get when you go to see him in concert. Sometimes he plays alone, other times he plays with a few back up performers, but it’s always great.

Keller usually breaks out several different instruments when he plays. Sometimes he stands in the middle of all of them, which he has arranged around him in a circle. He goes through them and picks which ones he wants to play, giving each one it’s turn. His instruments range from things like wooden sticks he bangs on his legs to something that looks like a xylophone. But he doesn’t hit the plates on it — he pulls up his hands above the plates to make incredible alien like noises. Some of his music is truly weird, but very creative.

You can read a review of a Keller Williams concert here.

John Kadlecik of Dark Star Orchestra.

John Kadlecik of Dark Star Orchestra. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

And finally, I will get to Dark Star Orchestra. In the Mighty High Festival, it is safe to say that this band will take the longest set. They are basically a cover band, but they cover a very special band that is near and dear to every jam band lover’s heart — the Grateful Dead.

The cool thing about them is that they usually recreate an entire GD show. They play the whole setlist from start to finish, and then at the end they tell their audience what set from which year they have just played.

But these guys sound SO much like the Grateful Dead. It’s really amazing. If you’d like to hear a podcast that yours truly composed about the band, click here.

Might I add on a side note that Vasa Park is a wonderful place to see a concert. It’s outside, it’s open, it’s full of trees and shade. You can come with a chair or blanket, or just chill on the grass. I promise you one thing, my friend. You won’t be disappointed.

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