On Friday night, Goodnight, Texas & Midnight North descended on Phil Lesh’s own The Grate Room @ Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. This was the first time GN, TX played together at Terrapin, meanwhile Midnight North has been a resident artist since their inception in 2013. The night was met with additional anticipation as Phil Lesh was billed as a guest bassist
Thirty minutes before show time on February 9, the musicians had all arrived at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, California, but band leader Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz was not finished prepping. Backstage, Lebo, bass player Steve Adams, and a three-piece brass section worked on a special arrangement of “China Cat Sunflower” that sounded like a tie-dyed New Orleans Mardis Gras Brass Band.
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.
I first saw Jorma play an acoustic solo show in 1980 at the Palace Theatre in Albany, New York. I remember shooting a bunch of photos of him playing that night, and I tried to find my film negatives before seeing him Friday night at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, California. I wasn’t able to find my old pics, but I’m glad I couldn’t. Because to really experience the wonder that is Jorma (instant recognition from just his first name speaks to his sing
It’s a little bit strange that in 2015, almost twenty years since drummer Dave Watts began holding impromptu free form improvised funk jams under the moniker Motet, that now the band is finally getting the national recognition it’s due. Maybe it really isn’t so surprising. They spent their formative years developing original material and finding the right full-time players and much of the 2000s throwing impressive tribute shows to the finest icons of rock, funk, soul, jazz and disco.
It was bound to happen that the San Francisco-based Brothers Comatose, one of the hottest bohemian bluegrass bands on the circuit would wind up pickin’ and grinnin’ from the Terrapin Crossroads stage at Phil Lesh’s lair in San Rafael, California.
This year slamgrass pioneers Leftover Salmon celebrate their twenty-fifth anniversary. Beyond the musical splendor, a blend of Cajun, bluegrass, zydeco, and hard psychedelic rock, is a lovable raucousness. Their triumphant resurgence into fulltime touring has been strengthened by the presence of founding Little Feat pianist Bill Payne.