While thankfulness is inherent to a Deadhead’s makeup, oftentimes, we don’t stop and fully let our gratitude overwhelm us. The Skull & Roses Music Festival in Ventura, California this April 2nd-5th will easily remedy that. Offering a most wonderful setting in a most sacred spot, Skull & Roses provides the perfect opportunity to allow our appreciation to soar. I sense the familiar thrill rise within me as I digest this year's lineup— Billy & the Kids, Oteil & Friends, Jeff Chimenti, Steve Kimock, and George Porter Jr.
A new, cavernous San Francisco concert venue was put to use by Dead & Company on Dec. 30, and while it is the biggest indoor venue in Grateful Dead-hometown history, the party was no less enthusiastic. On New Year’s Eve, balloons would drop and a vintage plane would fly through the arena at midnight, but here on the 30th, the penultimate night of the year, Dead & Company delivered a big, powerful show worthy of review.
Amid a brief West Coast stint, Bob Weir and Wolf Bros graced the newly rebranded Oxbow RiverStage in Napa, California last Saturday. The trio led by the legendary guitarist and bandleader alongside constant collaborator Jay Lane on drums and prestigious producer/bassist Don Was has deservingly garnered an attentive following of its own. For many Bobby fans, his best work after the Grateful Dead was with RatDog throughout the mid-1990s into the 2000s.
Our journey through day three of Outside Lands began with a heartfelt performance on the main stage from the original queen of soul and gospel music, Mavis Staples. Her set was packed with so many songs that have helped her career take flight throughout the years such as “Build A Bridge,” “Change,” and “We Get By” but her performance was about so much more than just hearing her hits, the ambiance of her performance was electrifying and the 80-year-old Staples simply put on a clinic on how music keeps us all young.
Grateful Dead cofounder Bob Weir refuses to stay stagnant, and his latest occasional side project, the Weir & Wolf Bros trio, set up camp for a three-night, hometown residency August 1 to 3 in Marin County’s idyllic Mill Valley. Reports that tickets for these performances at the 300-capacity Sweetwater Music Hall sold out in 30 seconds are probably not exaggerated. Grateful Web was lucky enough to attend the first show of the run.
On Sunday be sure to wake up early to catch the barefooted, Keller Williams lead LOCKN in some Grateful Dead tunes with his “Grateful Gospel” group. If you’re looking for some soul, then St. Paul & The Broken Bones are the ticket at the 5:30 PM slot on The Main Stage. Closing out the seventh annual LOCKN Festival will be Bob Weir & The Wolf Bros. (Jay Lane & Don Was) featuring Susan Tedeschi & Mikaela Davis.
By 1987, the Grateful Dead had lived many of their nine lives but were about to embark on one not a soul had seen coming. In The Dark , their first studio album in seven years, had spawned a hit (A TOP 10 SINGLE FOR THE GRATEFUL DEAD?!) and "Touch Of Grey" begat a new generation with their fanny packs and their MTV and their undeniable quest to join the party already in progress. And boy, did the Dead let them in! But not without fine-tuning their sonic vibes to meet the new demand.