American Express Unstaged, Dead & Company, Tonight!

Fans of the legendary Grateful Dead and John Mayer, get ready! These two forces are joining together to perform as Dead & Company for their #AmexUNSTAGED concert on 11/7 at 7:30PM ET. You can watch the livestream and the 24 hour rebroadcast at http://AmexUNSTAGED.com/DeadAndCompany.

This Webcast is going up on the living room wall via HiDef, Optimum, Macbook Pro, and Google Chromecast baby!! Thanks American Express and Dead & Company!

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Dead & Company Is Going To Be Way Cool!

I am pleased to learn that John Mayer, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann have formed the next evolution of The Grateful Dead. They will be known as Dead & Company.

They will be joined by Oteil Burbridge on bass and Jeff Chimenti on keyboards. Such an awesome nucleus of talent, I really must say.

The Dead & Company will start the tour on Halloween night at the Madison Square Garden Arena. The Madison Square Garden event will not be Dead & Company’s only show as Bob Weir confirmed they are in talks to book additional dates.

I respect how John Mayer carries it forward with the Dead and their music. He is the catalyst for The Dead’s raison d’etre.

I’m deeply excited and energized to be joining some of the Grateful Dead guys in the band Dead & Company. All I’ve really wanted to do in life is play deep, real music – and this is some of the deepest and realest there is. It’s also some of the most satisfying to play as a musician. It’s going to be a challenge and a joy to help make those waves that people can ride wherever they want it to take them. This adventure reminds me a lot of the one I had with the Trio, exactly a decade ago, when I took a break from recording what would be Continuum. Going back to “pure” playing experiences is what keeps the creativity in my own work flowing. I’ve followed the guitar wherever it pointed, and it’s never steered me wrong. I hope you’ll ride along with me, because we’re going to have some fun. Thanks for always letting me go where the spirit takes me…

Bob Weir’s quote about Dead & Company is quite appropriate.

“Those songs weren’t done with us. It was a matter of who wanted to get back out on the road and keep doing it.”

Here is John Mayer performing Althea with Bob Weir, Jim Keltner (drums) and Sean Hurley (bass).

Gathering of the Vibes – 20 Years Strong

The Gathering of the Vibes Music Festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year. The Vibe Tribe has an exciting “initial schedule” to look forward to in 2015 in Bridgeport at Seaside Park. The festival takes place July 30-August 2, 2015.

I am stoked for Wilco, The String Cheese Incident, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and Billy & The Kids.

Can’t wait to see who else gets added to this event!

Gathering Of The Vibes 2014

Next month in Bridgeport, Ct. The Gathering of the Vibes will take place. This will be the 19th year for GOTV. I have attended three times thus far, 2007, 2009 and 2010. The festival is 20 minutes from the house. We love The Vibes!

GOTV2014-VibesLogo-FULLCOLOR

I am planning to attend again in 2014. In reviewing the schedule for 2014 my present thinking is to attend Saturday August 2 and Sunday August 3. I do hope I follow through on that commitment 😉

The music acts that interest me Saturday 8/2 are:

1) Kung Fu

2) Rodrigo Y Gabriela

3) Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

4) Umphrey’s McGee

5) Widespread Panic

6) The Disco Biscuits with Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann

Sunday 8/3 acts of interest are:

1) moe.

2) Ziggy Marley

3) Headlining Artist To Be Announced

17th Annual Gathering of the Vibes Festival

Yesterday the Gathering of the Vibes 2012 lineup was announced. We love this outdoor festival held at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, Ct.

I’m underwhelmed by the GOTV artist lineup compared to recent years to be very honest. I’m hoping the schedule is not complete as Sunday July 22nd is very weak without a major artist anchoring that day. The Gathering of the Vibes has been known to add more major acts as the festival gets closer so I am hoping Ken Hays has some aces up his sleeve for Vibes 2012.

All that being said I am happy as a Dead head that all four members of the Dead will be performing with their respective bands over two days. I am looking forward to Friday the most which features Phil Lesh and Friends, Bob Weir & Bruce Hornsby along with Branford Marsalis and 7 Walkers (Bill Kreutzmann).

Anthem of the Sun – Grateful Dead

grateful dead- anthem of the sun
Image by cdrummbks via Flickr

I was turned on to the music and positive chemistry of the Grateful Dead by an article I read in Circus Magazine in 1968. The author made a profound impact upon my consciousness by describing his concert experience in the California desert at a Grateful Dead concert. He articulated well what the concert felt like for him, how karmic the Dead were live. I went to the record store the very next day and bought Grateful Dead, Anthem of the Sun on vinyl for $2.79. It proved to be one of the best music values I would buy in the initial phase of my record collection.

I played that record on my hi-fi system in my bedroom. I would leave the selector arm over to the left-hand side so that the needle would pick up at the end and replay from the beginning again.

I must admit my first few plays of Anthem of the Sun did not exactly click with my mind. I found the tracks densely layered and I couldn’t concentrate on what they were trying to communicate to me. But by the fourth full listen I had a couple of breakthroughs and I was forever hooked on the acid sound of improvisational psychedelic jamming.

Adding to the psychedelic madness on the album was Tom Constanten, a friend of bassist Phil Lesh who joined the band in the studio to contribute piano and prepared piano (influenced by John Cage) tracks; Constanten would formally join the band in November 1968. His contributions to the band’s sound were always much more clear in the studio than in their live shows, and Anthem of the Sun was no exception. Constanten made it so that the piano pieces seemed like three gamelan orchestras were playing all at once. He even went so far as to use a gyroscope set spinning on the piano soundboard.[6] (Courtesy wikipedia)

My favorite track on Anthem of the Sun is “That’s It for the Other One”.  I liked its four-part interwoven thematic interpretation.

"That's It for the Other One" – 7:40
I. "Cryptical Envelopment" (Garcia)
II. "Quadlibet for Tenderfeet" (Garcia, Kreutzmann, Lesh, McKernan, Weir)
III. "The Faster We Go, The Rounder We Get" (Kreutzmann, Weir)
IV. "We Leave the Castle" (Constanten)

Anthem Of The Sun - LP (Back)

One More Saturday Night – Bob Weir

aceThe song, “One More Saturday Night” was written by Bob Weir for the superb solo debut of Bob Weir’s album Ace

It’s been said that Ace is less of a solo album and more a derivative of the Grateful Dead as Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh and Bill Kreutzmann all perform on the recording.

The song was first performed on 19 October 1971 by the Grateful Dead, and first appeared on Bob Weir’s Ace album (May 1972) and The Grateful Dead‘s Europe ’72 live album.

Its become a set staple and crowd pleaser ever since. It gets played often on Saturday nights somewhere on the planet…

7 Walkers Looking Down From Heaven

 The concert I have looked forward to all year is tonight!!!!

Copyright Rob Chapman

7 Walkers will be appearing in an intimate, 300 seat setting in Torrington, Ct. Backstage at the Nancy Marine Studio.

Studio Theatre

The McLovins are the opening act. Pinch me to see if I am dreaming. Can you think of a better way to spend a cool summer evening?

Owsley “Bear” Stanley 1935-2011

I was upset to learn of Owsley “Bear” Stanley‘s untimely death last night. I had just come home from Brooklyn, logged into Facebook when I picked up the R.I.P. Bear discussion threads taking place with Sam Cutler and Bill Kreutzmann.

It hit me like a thunderbolt…. sigh…

As one of many extended Dead family members my heart goes out to Bear’s family, Sam Cutler, the members of the Grateful Dead and all who knew him in San Francisco, Australia and elsewhere.

My purpose in writing this blog post today is to pay tribute to Owsley “Bear” Stanley. He made significant contributions to our counter-culture as a chemist, genius sound engineer, band manager, and music archivist.

I just read Bob Weir and Phil Lesh‘s thoughts about Bear and wanted to share them with you from dead.net

Bob Weir wrote:

I met Owsley at the age of eighteen. I had just left home, having run off with a Rock&Roll band. Bear, as we knew him, was one of my all-time biggest influences. Always, when I think of him, I think of the endless stuff he taught me or somehow made me realize, all stuff that I’ve been able to use to the benefit of countless people who probably don’t know much about him or how deeply he influenced me and the rest of the band. Most important was the approach he taught me and us: Always be open and engaging – always critical and questioning, but not negatively so much as playfully. He taught me to take myself and my interests out of the picture and work with the subject under consideration so that the best deductions or conclusions are made. I guess this means working from the point of view of the higher self, though that term never came up; it was always just assumed…

-Bob Weir

From Phil Lesh:

A Beautiful Mind

I received a text in the middle of last night that Bear Stanley has died in a car accident in Australia. Bear, for me, was a true kindred spirit; when we first met, it was as if I had met a long-lost brother from another lifetime. I am heartbroken and devastated at his passing.

He was a friend, a brother, an inspiration, and our patron at the very beginning of our creative lives. We owe him more than what can be counted or added up- his was a mind that refused to accept limits, and he reinforced in us that striving for the infinite, the refusal to accept the status quo, that has informed so much of our work.

He never gave up his quest for pushing the limits of whatever he was working on. We had just been discussing his concept of point-source sound reinforcement in relation to a new project of mine, and his vision incorporated the latest developments in technology and perceptual research.

My heart goes out to his family, for whom he had such love and pride- his wife Sheilah, his children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren- who have lost their patriarch.

A mind like Bear’s appears very rarely, and it’s been my privilege and honor to have known and loved two such minds- Jerry and Bear. I always laugh when I think about what Jerry once said about Bear: There’s nothing wrong with Bear that several billion fewer brain cells wouldn’t fix.

I am eternally grateful for all of the gifts that Bear brought to the scene and to the music.

Fare you well; I love you more than words can tell.

– Phil

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