I could tell you how their set included fun covers like the Rolling Stones’ “No Expectations,” John Hartford's "Granny Wontcha Smoke Some Marijuana," and Jesse Stone’s “Don’t Let Go” (a familiar Jerry Garcia Band tune for many in the audience who sang along with the refrain). I could tell you they picked and fiddled as tight as ever. I could tell you they had a guest fiddler named Coleman Smith and that he and Piccininni had a lot of fun fiddling eye to eye. So much to tell!
“Best Damn Band We’re Ever Gonna Hear.”
The Bay Area was awash with live music during the final days of 2023. During the week leading up to and including New Year’s Eve, live music fans in the region could choose The String Cheese Incident, LCD Soundsystem, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Les Claypool’s Bastard Jazz, Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew’s “Remain in Light” Talking Heads tribute, Charlie Musselwhite, and Jerry’s Middle Finger, among others. And of course, some folks stayed home to stream Phish.
Phish returned to the iconic Madison Square Garden in the heart of New York, NY on December 28, 2023, for their eightieth show at the famed arena. They also commenced their annual four-night New Year's run for a sold-out crowd of donut-clad individuals. Like a fine wine, this band only gets better with age, and the proof is in the pudding: a first night full of old favorites and a four-song encore.
December is for holidays, and this year was no exception. The rising jam rock band Dogs In A Pile put on an outstanding, sold-out show at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ on December 16, 2023, that included a visit by Mr. Grinch, as well as some stellar covers. This performance was part of a two-night stand at the legendary Jersey Shore venue in honor of the December holidays. Percussionist Adrian Tramontano (Twiddle) sat in for the second set.
Nat Keefe’s Concert Carnival came to town and performed “without a net” at The Independent on Sunday night, December 17, 2023. The venerable San Francisco club was full of talent, musical and otherwise, for the 18th annual fundraiser produced by Keefe (Hot Buttered Rum, BeatMower).