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.
About five years ago, Robert Hunter, sweet be his memory, sent his old friend David Nelson a stack of lyrics. David’s written music for several of them, some of which were on the David Nelson Band release Once In A Blue Moon.
The DNB finished another song, “Movin’ Right Along,” but for whatever reason—perhaps because it seemed so very intense—it sat and waited. And on September 23rd, Robert himself moved along to wherever we’re all going, and it seemed appropriate to share it with you.
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.
In a three-set, five hour night of music at the Warfield Theatre on February 25 that began with an unusual David Nelson Band performance, the current, proficient Melvin Seals and JGB turned in an fine set before giving way to special band roster, also led by monster organist Seals, but with the addition of Stu Allen on lead guitar, Oteil Burbridge on bass and 1980s-‘90s-era JGB v
2016 was a big year for psychedelic rock pioneer David Nelson and his longtime David Nelson Band. Nelson alongside veteran members Barry Sless (guitars, Pedal Steel Guitar), Mookie Siegel (keyboard, organ, vocals), Pete Sears (Modulus bass, vocals), and John Molo (drums) had their biggest tour in at least a decade, hitting the East Coast and Colorado for the first time in a long time.
In a surprisingly absent addition to the Jerry Garcia canon, Round Records/ATO Records are releasing the earliest known recording from the beloved multi-instrumentalist on November 11th. Three years before Garcia cofounded the American Psychedelic Rock group the Grateful Dead, the twenty-year old was exploring the American folk and roots music tradition. He had learned to play guitar and banjo in his teens and was beginning to refine his skill set as a self-taught multi-instrumentalist.
While the San Francisco Bay Area might have some mighty fine music venues in the present, there are fewer that remain from the city’s bright musical past. One of the few that’s stood the test of time is The Warfield. Right off of Market Street, adjacent to downtown’s Tenderloin neighborhood, it’s hard to tell the insides majesty from the somewhat seedy exterior.
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.