Barry Sless

Music and merriment drifted from person to person on August 5 to 7, all wrapped in the loving embrace of the fabled tree-and-meadow acreage of Black Oak Ranch, aka the Hog Farm, for the second Days Between festival in far Northern California.

Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros—consisting of Bobby Weir, Don Was, Jay Lane and Jeff Chimenti—are heading out for a run of fall tour dates, kicking off September 30 at Waterbury, CT’s Palace Theater and concluding November 5 at Denver’s The Mission Ballroom, with stops in 13 cities including three nights at San Francisco’s The Warfield in celebration of Weir’s 75th birthday.

“They say the Grateful Dead played here about 14 times, in the old days,” said percussionist Mickey Hart as he took the stage on May 1 at the Frost Amphitheater on the Stanford University campus.

Moonalice, the long-time San Francisco Bay Area improvisational band of masterfully skilled characters led by Roger McNamee, triumphantly played the starring role in the famed Bandshell at Golden Gate Park on December 18 at a celebratory event dubbed, “HOWL: A Collective Cathartic Release Under the Last Full Moon of 2021.”  

The inaugural Days Between Festival, celebrating the legacy of late-Grateful Dead patriarch Jerry Garcia and the musical score he left embedded in our soul, was upbeat and a resounding success in northern Mendocino County, California on August 6 and 7, even amidst the rage of north-state wildfires and Covid-19 pandemic 2.0. Proof of vaccination or a negative, very-recent Covid test were required for entry.

Those familiar with the phenomenal exploratory bands Phil Lesh & Friends, Moonalice, and David Nelson Band are likely familiar with guitar virtuoso Barry Sless. His Pedal Steel guitar has transformed beloved Grateful Dead classics such as “Box of Rain,” “Peggy O,” “Pride of Cucamonga,” and “Cumberland Blues” into full-fledged country-rock bliss that Jerry Garcia is no doubt smiling down on.

The 12th incarnation of the Petaluma Music Festival, proceeds of which are allocated to local public school’s music programs, packed a potent punch on August 3. This year’s all-Bay-Area-band fest’s pleasing musical patchwork, which fueled lively dancing, swaying and foot-tapping, was led by prominent rock ‘n’ jam bands ALO, David Nelson Band, The Mother Hips, Hot Buttered Rum, Blame Sally, New Monsoon, and Royal Jelly Live.

When time and tour schedules allow, members of the Green Leaf Rustlers, an amalgamation of members of several current successful bands, present a stimulating array of classic adaptations of American Country Roots & Blues, including the Bakersfield Sound. Such was the case on March 28 at Sacramento’s enduring rock club, Harlow’s, where the band finished up a tidy 10-date California tour before heading to Alaska for a triad of early April shows.

Green Leaf Rustlers have announced ten shows in California this March. They'll also make their Alaska debut with a performance at Alyeska Resort in April.

“Love Will See You Through: Terrapin Nation for Butte County – A Musical Benefit for Victims of the Camp Fire” brought together Phil Lesh and a whole lot of friends for a stunning performance at a very sold-out Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, Calif., on December 19.

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