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Dead & Company resumed their summer tour last night, after stops in the Northwest and Shoreline, at the Mattress Firm Amphitheater in Chula Vista, CA.  Though the area is gripped in a heat wave like most of the country, the near 100-degree temperatures did not dissuade the faithful from coming out in full force.

Moe., the crafty, veteran improv-jamming five-piece out of upstate New York, completed a four-day residency at Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads on July 1 with a fine show in the venue’s Beach Park. Phil Lesh & the Terrapin Family Band closed out the show, and then they all joined together for a three-song finale that turned it into a five ½-hour event.

Whether layin’ it down with his revered trio, his new five-piece band, accompanying fellow performer Mama Kin as a duet, or mesmerizing the crowd with an epic solo of guitar gymnastics, Australian roots rocker John Butler held the crowd visibly spellbound from start to finish in Sacramento’s ornate Crest Theatre on June 19.

Night two, “One More Saturday Night” at Citi Field is in the books! Very lucky to have attended both shows. The weather was spectacular on this second night of the two-night run at the ballpark. The Dead & Company 2018 Summer tour is in full swing and at the halfway point. I have been following Dead & Company since their inception and witnessing what I see as an evolution.

Several Bay Area musicians who were already friends on and off the stage appeared together at The Fillmore in San Francisco on June 9 to spotlight Blue Rose Music’s stable of artists, and of more importance to raise money and awareness for the Blue Rose Foundation, which commits itself to preschool scholarships for impoverished children.

His regional dialect has become global without being worldly. He is still very relatable and full of soul as he took the audience on a wild ride thru his musical journey of life. While the Sensational Space Shifters band backing him up continued with a smokey sweet guitar solo, he grabbed the tambourine, and it took on an instrumental balance to his vocals. It was no longer a child’s play toy of percussion but a jingling charm added to his one and only Robert Plant vocals; vocals that have come to define what it means to be the lead singer of a band.

SPAC, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center is one of those venues that has always been a special place to visit. The concert shed is located in the State Park, a couple of miles from downtown Saratoga Springs, NY. Saratoga State Park is known for its healing springs. The waters are rumored to be magical. FDR bathed in these spring waters during the Great Depression as a treatment for his Polio.

After a successful tour together last year, classic rockers and long-time friends Steve Miller and Peter Frampton return on the road together again for some summer shows.

The temperature was perfect, and there was an early start to the night with the leader in British funk, The New Mastersounds. The Wales Ambassador, Eddie Roberts and his boys took the stage and wasted no time at all. Their flavor of funk is a unique, intricate, classy guitar-heavy instrumental sorcery. On this night, they even added a horn section to join them. As a side note, once at an ARISE Music Festival press conference that I was leading, I unexpectedly asked Roberts why he thinks that the tiny area of Great Britain produces so much brilliance in music, art, literature, etc. It was an idea that always baffled my mind how an area the size of Kansas can make so much beautiful art. His answer was brilliant. He responded after a pause with, “Misery.” Everyone in the room got a laugh, and one of my life long-burning questions was revealed. When their set came to an end after only 45 minutes, Roberts thanked the crowd and said that it seemed short, but that was because they are so used to often playing for 3 hours plus.

Once ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons and bassist Dusty Hill began dishing out shared vocal duties, truculent lead solos and iron-fisted bass lines with hard-working drummer Frank Beard at the helm on a warm Tuesday night at Chicagoland’s Ravinia, it became hard to keep track of the star-studded hits that just kept rolling down the rocker pipeline at full force.

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