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  • Originally posted by FestJester View Post
    As an aging DeadHead who is grateful to have seen the original Dead a number of times along with the great JGB, I heard a version of Dark Star on the XM Dead Channel by John Mayer and "Dead & Co." that sounded like absolute dreck - terrible. Had visions of Jerry either laughing boisterous or spinning in his grave. I do understand this fraud of a tribute band is ending soon. Any opinions on this? Am I missing something?
    Being 90 minutes away from the Bay Area and Marin County puts us in one of the inner target rings for "all things Grateful Dead", and I have yet to indulge in a Dead'n'Co show. I'm not as ambivalent about Mayer's playing as I am, say, Bonnamossa's, but I think one of the more obvious issues for me is this - I can't immerse completely in a cover band's Dead tunes unless they're re-invented to some degree, or if the guitarist(s) never played the blues, or specifically blues-rock music. Those "blues ism's" sneak through at the most inopportune times and it's like a record needle skipping across the grooves for me. And I'm one of those players, unfortunately. It's something that Jerry was almost completely free of in his playing. And our locality has a few decent Dead tribute bands, as you'd guess, with one of our favorites being Todd Gardner and his band. He's a lefty with a nice Tiger replica guitar and gets a great sound live. Here's a Dark Star sample a friend of ours recorded a few nights back https://archive.org/details/SoC2021-...mtx_d3t04.flac
    Last edited by duende; 08-18-2022, 02:21 PM.

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    • The slowing down by Weir really gets to me. I heard a version of "The Other One" that was way slowed down and it totally lost the drive inherent in that song when the Dead would tear down the house with it. Some songs need the tempo they are at. It's not like "Friend Of The Devil" which works fast or slow.

      As good as he is, I also don't like Oteil. Phil's sound and approach is key to the Dead's music and it loses something without him. No Phil is a deal breaker, it sounds like a jeep with a flat tire to me. I find the drummers just kinda slapping along these days, as well. Now I will admit the Drums segments have been great but I find their playing in the songs lazy.

      And I have trouble articulating this but, good as players like Warren Haynes and John Mayer may be, they lack the ability, in my mind, to take the music into a new realm, particularly emotionally. When the Dead would head into the Playing In The Band jam (you know, the part after the screech...,) it would quickly be in a new place. One of the magic tricks of the Dead in their heyday was to be able to return to from where they started and it was always such a mindblower given how far they had gone from that. Hayes and Mayer just get more "notey" in solos, they don't take the music to a new place emotionally.

      Steve Kimock is the best at that and Kadlecik can do it, too. They both get accused of being Jerry clones but I see it more that they just speak the same language.
      Last edited by chopitulas; 08-18-2022, 03:12 PM.

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      • I actually like Mayer's playing and I like that he's a fan, but I have never seen Dead & Company and I don't like what I have heard. When they come on the Grateful Dead Sirius channel I change the channel instantly. Many good friends (and one of my daughters) really enjoy them though and have urged me to see them, but so far I have resisted and have no plans to change that. I note that the vast majority of the people I know who like them either never saw the Dead, or didn't see them much.

        I have enjoyed several Phil & _____ shows over the years since Jerry died. Not the same as the Dead--not as magical or enjoyable to my ears--but still plenty to enjoy.

        But I will say it again: JRAD is the most enjoyable, exciting and interesting form of that music that I have seen since Jerry died. I like that they are not trying to recreate it, but use it as a springboard for a new exploration of that space. By my observation that seems to start with Joe and Marco.


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        • Originally posted by chopitulas View Post
          The slowing down by Weir really gets to me. I heard a version of "The Other One" that was way slowed down and it totally lost the drive inherent in that song when the Dead would tear down the house with it. Some songs need the tempo they are at. It's not like "Friend Of The Devil" which works fast or slow.

          As good as he is, I also don't like Oteil. Phil's sound and approach is key to the Dead's music and it loses something without him. No Phil is a deal breaker, it sounds like a jeep with a flat tire to me. I find the drummers just kinda slapping along these days, as well. Now I will admit the Drums segments have been great but I find their playing in the songs lazy.

          And I have trouble articulating this but, good as players like Warren Haynes and John Mayer may be, they lack the ability, in my mind, to take the music into a new realm, particularly emotionally. When the Dead would head into the Playing In The Band jam (you know, the part after the screech...,) it would quickly be in a new place. One of the magic tricks of the Dead in their heyday was to be able to return to from where they started and it was always such a mindblower given how far they had gone from that. Hayes and Mayer just get more "notey" in solos, they don't take the music to a new place emotionally.

          Steve Kimock is the best at that and Kadlecik can do it, too. They both get accused of being Jerry clones but I see it more that they just speak the same language.
          I tried listening to that Wolf Bros stuff. It sounds like Bobby on downers. I would fall asleep if I was at one of their shows. Worse than the "Steal Your Face" era of the Dead when they slowed some songs down.

          Again Phil is the only Dead associated band I'd go see and even that would depend on who is playing with him. He would be a good choice to play The Fest.

          Comment


          • Some good constructive criticism. I've always thought they enjoyed too much unconditional love from the fans. Saw some absolute stinker shows - Boreal Ridge anyone? Afterwards people gushed about how great it was "Jerry was playing right to me". That doesn't do anyone any good.

            Originally posted by chopitulas View Post
            Phil's sound and approach is key to the Dead's music and it loses something without him. No Phil is a deal breaker
            Good point and its worth noting that Phil started off on the trumpet and that approach seems to have influenced his bass playing.

            The major lasting impact they had on me is the music/musicians I was introduced to - David Grisman, Zakir Hussain, Neville Brothers, Olatunji, Hamza El Din, Dr. John etc etc.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Meters Fan View Post
              Some good constructive criticism. I've always thought they enjoyed too much unconditional love from the fans. Saw some absolute stinker shows - Boreal Ridge anyone? Afterwards people gushed about how great it was "Jerry was playing right to me". That doesn't do anyone any good.



              Good point and its worth noting that Phil started off on the trumpet and that approach seems to have influenced his bass playing.

              The major lasting impact they had on me is the music/musicians I was introduced to - David Grisman, Zakir Hussain, Neville Brothers, Olatunji, Hamza El Din, Dr. John etc etc.
              It's no secret The Dead and especially Jerry were very inconsistent and could be pretty bad on some nights the last few years he was alive.

              Except for one early 90s show which was great, all of the other times that I saw them were in the mid to late 70s and they really were great, especially at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ back in '77 along with Marshall Tucker and The New Riders and over 100,000 other Dead fans. That was the craziest event that I ever attended. I dragged a few of my buddies to the show as they were not really Dead fans like I was. We parked miles away and walked with a blue bong, some Thai Sticks and a bottle of Jack. Those were the days.

              https://open.spotify.com/album/5uzn9YQ9XS2OoAt65U8Drg

              Looking at all of these photos from that day I notice not a single tie-die t-shirt. They really were not a thing yet at Dead shows. Plus hardly any older fans, mostly all young people. https://jranderson.photoshelter.com/...000h4y2U8YMBPU


              http://www.gratefulseconds.com/2017/08/englishtown.html
              Last edited by jjazznj; 08-19-2022, 01:27 AM.

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              • Originally posted by Jim View Post
                Here is the webcast of Phil’s set at Stern Grove.

                https://youtu.be/5ZQtd809S8M
                I watched through "Shakedown Street" and will finish it as I really enjoyed it. Phil brought a very interesting group to Stern Grove and it musta sounded wonderful there. Things seemed to really come together during the "Shakedown" with some very cool playing by Stanley Jordan. The sax, harp and violin and Jason Crosby on keys were nice additions. The gal on violin played with The Who at Jazz Fest and came out at the end to totally nail the hoedown at the end of "Baba O'Riley" to bring the show to a close.

                The way they were lined up was interesting, basically across the stage in a line. But with good monitors, everyone musta been able to hear what was going on even if Jason Crosby was quite a ways from the sax player. Phil is starting to show his age, it seems to me, but heck, the man is 82 and is still keeping things fresh. His son has really grown as a player.

                What a sweet SF afternoon for Phil and all concerned. I am sure it meant a lot to him to play outside in the City like that...
                Last edited by chopitulas; 08-21-2022, 07:16 PM.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by jjazznj View Post

                  It's no secret The Dead and especially Jerry were very inconsistent and could be pretty bad on some nights the last few years he was alive.

                  Except for one early 90s show which was great, all of the other times that I saw them were in the mid to late 70s and they really were great, especially at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ back in '77 along with Marshall Tucker and The New Riders and over 100,000 other Dead fans. That was the craziest event that I ever attended. I dragged a few of my buddies to the show as they were not really Dead fans like I was. We parked miles away and walked with a blue bong, some Thai Sticks and a bottle of Jack. Those were the days.

                  https://open.spotify.com/album/5uzn9YQ9XS2OoAt65U8Drg

                  Looking at all of these photos from that day I notice not a single tie-die t-shirt. They really were not a thing yet at Dead shows. Plus hardly any older fans, mostly all young people. https://jranderson.photoshelter.com/...000h4y2U8YMBPU


                  http://www.gratefulseconds.com/2017/08/englishtown.html
                  Correct, and the Dead could be inconsistent, even bad, in some of their early era shows as well - have some early bootlegs where Jerry just couldn't "land" some of his adventurous solos. But they were never the same which added to the novelty and desire to catch that next show. As for the tie dyes, many of us probably remember taking a shot at making our own in home washing machines at the time. And for modern iterations, John Kadlecik really "gets it" and the David Nelson Band can really "channel" some of that early jam spirit...

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Jim View Post

                    I was there and agree 100%. I thought I would enjoy it but it easily exceeded my expectations. Very cool show.
                    I am really enjoying this set. To me it is more jazz than rock, something that was always a part of the Dead's appr0ach, particularly before the '74 hiatus. It reminds me of Alice Coltrane with the harp as well as how everyone may not actually hit the same chord at exactly the same time...but close. There is a freedom in that that harkens to a larger jazz ensemble playing a legacy repertoire set to me. You wonder how much rehearsal they had but it is surprisingly together for the size and makeup of the band. Very interesting indeed...
                    Last edited by chopitulas; 08-23-2022, 03:22 PM.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by chopitulas View Post

                      I am really enjoying this set. To me it is more jazz than rock, something that was always a part of the Dead's appr0ach, particularly before the '74 hiatus. It reminds me of Alice Coltrane with the harp as well as how everyone may not actually hit the same chord at exactly the same time...but close. There is a freedom in that that harkens to a larger jazz ensemble playing a legacy repertoire set to me. You wonder how much rehearsal they had but it is surprisingly together for the size and makeup of the band. Very interesting indeed...
                      I watched it the other night for the first time since seeing it live. Such a beautiful SF day. All spirits were lifted in the grove that afternoon.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Jim View Post

                        I watched it the other night for the first time since seeing it live. Such a beautiful SF day. All spirits were lifted in the grove that afternoon.
                        Being a native, having been to Stern Grove several times and, needless to say, a Phil aficionado, I can well imagine what a great SF afternoon that was. Thx for posting the link.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by chopitulas View Post

                          I am really enjoying this set. To me it is more jazz than rock, something that was always a part of the Dead's appr0ach, particularly before the '74 hiatus. It reminds me of Alice Coltrane with the harp as well as how everyone may not actually hit the same chord at exactly the same time...but close. There is a freedom in that that harkens to a larger jazz ensemble playing a legacy repertoire set to me. You wonder how much rehearsal they had but it is surprisingly together for the size and makeup of the band. Very interesting indeed...
                          Yeah, pretty cool. I like the way Phil mixes things up while still playing some Dead tunes. The harp really fits in well. I just wish he'd leave the singing to someone else. haha.

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