Did I say one? Better make it two. While Dead & Company trounced Dallas this past Friday with a meaty rocker of a show, Saturday night in Austin received a more deliberate performance befitting the band’s early era of improvised exploration. Which was better? Well, that depends on the opinion of the most opinionated fans in music. But we can all agree that for one weekend there was a seventh flag flying over Texas: the Freak Flag.
I’m gonna tell you a story through my eyes, cause those are the only eyes I have. Eyes of a newbie, eyes so green you could almost smoke them (I’m looking at you Bob Dylan). My first major autonomous Dead show, first time, believe it or not, on Lot. Spectrum Center - Charlotte, NC.
The tenth date into their fall tour, Dead and Company played to a full house in Detroit at the newly opened Little Caesars Arena. The audiences were both longtime deadheads, and interestingly new fans that have come as a result of being John Mayer fans. Or simply new fans getting tuned in to the Dead only recently.
Jam Veteran Melvin Seals is generally acknowledged as the keeper of the flame for continuing the music of Jerry Garcia Band. The organist/keyboardist met Garcia thru his friend Merl Saunders in the early 1980s. Garcia was struck not only by Seals sheer talent and soul but that he was separate from the whole Grateful Dead world. In fact, as a man of the church, he was only marginally familiar with the Dead and Garcia.
Just in time for Record Store Day on November 22nd, a truly under-sung live masterpiece is to be re-released. Many fans know of Jerry Garcia & Howard Wales 1970 memorizing fusion studio album Hooteroll?, which was notable (aside from the inspired flowing free-jazz) as Garcia’s first studio recording outside of the Grateful Dead since the band’s inception. Indeed Garcia saw something remarkable about Wales playing.
For the first time ever, Side Trips: Volume One, the celebrated live collaboration between Jerry Garcia and keyboardist Howard Wales will be reissued on vinyl and made available at streaming services on Record Store Day (November 24th). Side Trips: Volume One is the latest in a line of special reissues, live recordings, concerts and events planned throughout 2017 & 2018 in celebration of Jerry Garcia’s 75th birthday.