In a three-set, five hour night of music at the Warfield Theatre on February 25 that began with an unusual David Nelson Band performance, the current, proficient Melvin Seals and JGB turned in an fine set before giving way to special band roster, also led by monster organist Seals, but with the addition of Stu Allen on lead guitar, Oteil Burbridge on bass and 1980s-‘90s-era JGB v
2016 was a big year for psychedelic rock pioneer David Nelson and his longtime David Nelson Band. Nelson alongside veteran members Barry Sless (guitars, Pedal Steel Guitar), Mookie Siegel (keyboard, organ, vocals), Pete Sears (Modulus bass, vocals), and John Molo (drums) had their biggest tour in at least a decade, hitting the East Coast and Colorado for the first time in a long time.
In a surprisingly absent addition to the Jerry Garcia canon, Round Records/ATO Records are releasing the earliest known recording from the beloved multi-instrumentalist on November 11th. Three years before Garcia cofounded the American Psychedelic Rock group the Grateful Dead, the twenty-year old was exploring the American folk and roots music tradition. He had learned to play guitar and banjo in his teens and was beginning to refine his skill set as a self-taught multi-instrumentalist.
Euphoric dancing paired nicely with a rock ‘n’ roll varietal that included flavorful notes of blues, psychedelia, and other jam-happy material on June 3, as performed by the David Nelson Band at the Center for the Arts in the Sierra Nevada foothill community of Grass Valley, California.
While the San Francisco Bay Area might have some mighty fine music venues in the present, there are fewer that remain from the city’s bright musical past. One of the few that’s stood the test of time is The Warfield. Right off of Market Street, adjacent to downtown’s Tenderloin neighborhood, it’s hard to tell the insides majesty from the somewhat seedy exterior.
David Nelson’s long strange trip dates back just as far as the Grateful Dead’s. Nelson, Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter were all pals from the Dead’s humble beginnings in Palo Alto. He was there for the acid tests, he saw the San Francisco scene blow up only a few years later, and of course cofounded New Riders of the Purple Sage with Garcia and John “Marmaduke” Dawson.
It all started back in 1960 when the folk craze was happening. People didn't know the difference between real folk music and popular folk music. The whole thing was pushed by the commercial success of groups like The Kingston Trio. Those were folk songs, but they were commercialized and popularized so they sounded like pop music. Much more compared to the Appalachian versions of those same songs.