Last weekend, the legendary jam band Zero concluded a prolific 35th anniversary run aptly named “Back to Zero.” Core members Steve Kimock, Greg Anton, Pete Sears, Melvin Seals, and Hadi Al-Saddoon were joined by friends and family for an invigorating reunion that pleased newer fans and decade-spanning devotees alike.
This incarnation of the band, which was established in the early 1980s, included Melvin Seals (keyboards), Pete Sears (bass, backing vocals), Hadi Al-Saadoon (trumpet, backing vocals), and Sebastian Saint James (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), with Miles Kimock contributing additional guitar passages in the second set. Steve Kimock had worked with Seals and Sears in the recent past, and with Al-Saadoon in Zero’s early days. Saint James, who was new to the Zero fold, gelled well with the group.
Thirty-five years ago, having met when Steve Kimock auditioned for former Grateful Dead members Keith and Donna Jean Godchaux’s Heart of Gold Band (which already had Greg Anton as its drummer), Greg and Steve recorded an album, Greg on drums and piano, Steve on guitars and bass. Then they started a band to play the music.
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.
Jam veterans Barry Sless, Rob Barraco, Pete Sears and John Molo team up with singer/ songwriter/guitarist Katie Skene to perform original music, classic Americana and rock n’ roll, blending uninhibited jams, swamp blues, old style twang, traditional roots music, and southern soul into a musical truth that pushes forward the tradition of the California Jam Band movement.
Barry Sless – guitar & pedal steel (David Nelson Band, Phil Lesh, Moonalice, Cowboy Jazz)
Pete Sears – bass & vocals (David Nelson Band, Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna, Moonalice)