Tag: Grateful Dead

REVIEW: Dave Rawlings Machine at The Sheldon Concert Hall – St. Louis 6/25/14

Dave Rawlings Machine at The Sheldon Concert Hall – St. Louis 6/25/14

The five piece Americana string quintet put together by folk singer/songwriter David Rawlings is something really special. Rawlings has assembled an all-star cast of musicians that includes his partner in crime for the last 20 years Gillian Welch, former Old Crow Medicine Show member Willie Watson, and Punch Brothers bassist Paul Kowert. He also found this guy they call John Paul Jones that used to play bass in a little band called Led Zeppelin, and he just so happens to be really good with a mandolin and friends with Rawlings.

Dave Rawlings Machine

Independently, you have five incredibly well respected musicians in their genre that each bring their own unique aspect to the Dave Rawlings Machine. Together, you have a five piece bluegrass/Americana powerhouse that put on what can only be described as one of the best live music experiences of my entire life in front of a jam packed crowd at the Sheldon Concert Hall last Wednesday, June 25.

The show started just after 8:00PM as the band came out and the crowd erupted… half the crowd rose to their feet and began wildly applauding before the first note was played. Without introduction Rawlings picked up his 1935 Epiphone Olympic arch top guitar and began playing the John Hartford tune “Turn Your Radio On.” It has become somewhat of tradition for bands to honor Hartford around St. Louis, and it always gets the crowds attention right from the start! After the song Rawlings greeted the crowd and informed us that this was the first time he had played that one, but it seemed appropriate.

The always incredible and Grammy nominated guitarist Gillian Welch assisted throughout the night adding beautiful harmonies and even taking lead vocal duties on a few songs. Welch was also the comic relief on the mic, telling the crowd that “we broke out our best denim for tonight… it works, you know, with all the wood” referring to the fact that each band member was wearing at least one piece of denim clothing. David chimed in that the room was “very 70’s looking.” As Rawlings prepared his banjo and third guitarist Willie Watson switched to fiddle, Welch introduced the next song by telling us “if theres one thing people say about St. Louis, its that y’all love the banjo.” They went into a rousing rendition of “To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)” popularized by Ryan Adams, but co-penned by Rawlings. This one really woke the crowd up.

Willie Watson switched to the banjo for the next tune… a trend that would continue through the night as he shared time between the guitar, banjo, and fiddle. Watson led us in the bluegrass traditional “Dry Bones” while attacking the banjo claw hammer style. Rawlings introduced him to the crowd and asked him to “lead us in another one… how about a dirty song.” Watson sang the first of three songs from his newly released solo album, Folk Singer Vol. 1, a fun track called “Keep It Clean.”Dave Rawlings Machine 2

The highlight of the first set was a mashup of Bob Dylan’s “Dear Landlord” and the Grateful Dead’s “Candyman.” Rawlings flawlessly executed the transition about four minutes into “Dear Landlord” without skipping a beat… the transition really allowed John Paul Jones to shine for the first time all night on the mandolin. After playing pretty much all of “Candyman” they finsihed BACK into “Dear Landlord.” The crowd exploded in applause as Welch said “Only his brain would be able to come up with that mashup”

After a 30 minute set break Rawlings told us that he wanted to wait until the beer line was gone to start again, but realized that would never happen. Someone in the crowd took the opportunity to throw out a perfectly timed “If theres two things St. Louis is known for….” as the entire crowd and the band started laughing. The first song of the second set was the beautifully written “Ruby”, a song that appeared on the Dave Rawlings Machine album, A Friend of a Friend. Willie Watson then sang “Stewball”, another track from his new solo album, this one featured lyrics about a race car. Gillian Welch led a gorgeous rendition of her song “Wayside/Back in Time.” Rawlings then told us of his misfortune during the prior show where his banjo strap broke and he quickly replaced it with a shoe string he found in his case… problem was, he didn’t think to change it prior to this show so he informed us that “if the banjo hits the floor, its not part of the show” to which the capacity crowd laughed again.

After a Paul Kowert led number, the band left only Gillian and David on stage. Together they played “Sweet Tooth” before Willie came back out to join on banjo for the traditional “I Hear Them All” into “This Land Is Your Land.” The rest of the band came back out to join them for a song that Rawlings had co-wrote with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes fame, “Method Acting.” Rawlings actually recorded that song for the A Friend of A Friend album where he mixed it with Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer”, well that’s the incredible version we received at The Sheldon. The second set ended with another Bob Dylan song, “Queen Jane Approximately.” Another John Paul Jones intro led to yet another smattering of applause and a standing ovation as the band walked off the stage.

Dave Rawlings Machine 3

About a minute later they re-claimed their spots on the tiny stage for their take on the Led Zeppelin classic, “Going to California.” Rawlings introduced the entire band one last time prior to another traditional “I’ll Fly Away” with him and Welch sharing vocal duties. The encore closed with “The Weight”, originally by The Band, where verses were handled by Welch, Watson, and Kowert with the rest of the band joining in on the chorus. Again the crowd rose to their feet as the band joined hands and bowed before walking off the stage. A few people started to head for the exits while others remained in the spots, but on their feet going crazy. After about 2 minutes the band came out AGAIN for a second encore! Rawlings again thanked the crowd, and after a quick huddle the next song, “Midnight Special” was led by Willie Watson. The night ended with the five of them gathered around a single mic (above) for an acappella version of “Didn’t Leave Nobody But The Baby” before one last bow and exit as the house lights came on.

FOLLOW DARBYSTL on Twitter

LIKE DARBYSTL on Facebook

 

NOTE: This is only a brief clip of “Going to California” played at The Sheldon. Had to sneak this clip of JPJ playing mandolin before i was asked to stop by security. Please note that my recording in no way bothered other concert-goers as the screen was shielded.

Watch Bob Weir and Phil Lesh Sing The National Anthem Before Game 2 Of The NLCS

Watch Bob Weir and Phil Lesh Sing The National Anthem Before Game 2 Of The NLCS

As a native son of the Bay Area, you know watching Bob and Phil sing the National Anthem before a Giants playoff game is something very special. So you know we have to share this here and cross our fingers Bud Selig does not kick this off of YouTube. We of course also have to point out that Joe Buck’s annoying voice ruins this clip at the end and photo credit of Bob, Phil and Giants pitcher Barry Zito goes to TRI Studios. Enjoy.

http://youtu.be/UJ_RWyeVX7s

 

 

WAKARUSA 2012 5/31-6/3 Full Stage Schedule & Final Price Increase!

WAKARUSA 2012

  • May 31 – June 3, 2012
  • Mulberry Mountain – Ozark, AR (About 1 Hr from Fayetteville and Fort Smith)
  • Updated: 1/19/12 with complete lineup
  • Updated: 4/26/12 with link to full stage schedule
  • Updated: 5/9/12 Final Price Increase Information Added

Wakarusa 2012 is only a few weeks away and Full Event Passes are moving quickly!  Get your Full Event Passes today before the final price increase to Gate Price occurs on Saturday, May 19th at 11:59PM!  Save yourself some $$ to buy that extra Boulavard beverage or two…  I suggest the Single Wide IPA

http://www.wakarusa.com/2012/tickets.asp

4/26  UPDATED: As we are just about a month way from Wakarusa, the bittersweet day of SCHEDULE RELEASE has come. Jubilation for some who can now confirm that arriving Friday won’t force you to miss Umphrey’s McGee’s late night or Primus and the Avett Brothers. Yet it brings disappointment for others, who now have to wonder do I REALLY want to miss Perpetual Groove to see Pretty Lights? What about Dirtfoot in the small tent or Split Lip Rayfield on the ever so cool Backwoods Stage? DOH! Lucky for you, the stages are all close enough in proximity that you are able to split sets and catch a little bit of both acts, if that is what you have to do.

Some highlights and challenges for me will include:

Weir, Robinson, & Greene Acoustic Trio Thursday on Main Stage followed by Perpetual Groove in the Revival Tent is a must…. but then you have the choice of Split Lip Rayfield, Dirtfoot or Tea Leaf Green late nights!!

Friday brings Blitzen Trapper, followed by some of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, then off to The Avett Brothers and finish it off the Umphrey’s McGee‘s late night set in the Revival Tent, one of the only DO NOT MISS sets of the festival.

Saturday will offer a great chance to relax throughout the day with Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit and The Lumineers, but that interferes with one of my other DO NOT MISS sets, Gary Clark Jr. Good thing you can get from one stage to any other in less than 15 minutes, even faster if you catch a FestiCab! Saturday also features the 12 hour bluegrass takeover of the Kum & Go Outpost stage with Head for the Hills, Mountain Sprout, Hot Buttered Rum, Emmitt-Nershi Band, Travelin’ McCourys feat. Keller Williams, Del McCoury Band, and the Infamous Stringdusters all playing back to back… and you can certainly expect a few sit-ins that day! Hell, it may even just turn into a bluegrass ball!  If banjo isn’t your thing, Umphrey’s McGee will play their Main Stage set prior to the great Primus taking the mountain by storm.

Sunday Funday usually involves lots of rum, drank by way of pineapple,  and lots of lounging. Luckily the lineup helps with this area and we are given a reggae stacked Main Stage including Ugly Lion, Toubab Krewe, SOJA, Slightly Stoopid, and Matisyahu. Sunday also features second sets from Emmitt-Nershi, Infamous Stringdusters, Dumptruck Butterlips, Mountain Sprout, and a Keller Williams solo set.

Start making your schedules now, and dispute with your friends in the weeks to come. But you’re on the clock in just 34 days when it all kicks off with War Chief on the Backwoods Stage.

GET THE FULL STAGE SCHEDULE HERE

——————ORIGINAL POST BELOW——————

Only 2 / 3 of the Wakarusa Festival lineup has been released so far, and you should make it a priority to snag your tickets and premium camping passes now because they won’t last!

This year the Waka gods have decided to release the lineup in “3 equally weighted parts.” The first announcement was made last week and featured eletronic producer Pretty Lights, a once in a lifetime chance to see the Bob Weir, Chris Robinson, and Jackie Greene Acoustic Trio, Railroad Earth, Keller Williams, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and ALO as well as many more great acts.

Lineup 2 was just released moments ago and its easy to see that Waka is bringing the heat for their 4th trip to Mulberry Mountain located just outside of Ozark, Arkansas. The additions of Les Claypool and the boys in Primus, Umphreys McGee, Blitzen Trapper, Del McCoury, Tea Leaf Green, Gary Clark Jr, the grumble boogie boys Dirtfoot, and Quixotic have certainly elevated the interest for many people on the fence after seeing the first 1/3 of the lineup.

UPDATED: The final third of the lineup has now been released and the fine folks at Wakarusa aren’t messing around for the 9th installment of the festival. Todays announcement included the additions of The Avett Brothers, hebrew hip hopster Matisyahu, Ghostland Observatory, EOTO, as well as multiple sets from the likes of Slightly Stoopid, Perpetual Groove, Split Lip Rayfield, the Travelin McCourys (including 1 set feat. Keller Williams), and the March Fourth Marching Band, a band that is pretty much a festival in their own right and a MUST SEE.

Get the full lineup and all the details at Wakarusa.com!

GET THE FULL STAGE SCHEDULE HERE

 

 

Dark Star Orchestra Invades The Pageant in STL

Words/Pictures/Videos by Brad Darby

2/11/2012 – The Pageant – St. Louis, MO

Saturday marked the return of the famed Grateful Dead tribute band, Dark Star Orchestra, to St. Louis and The Pageant for their 2028th show (they number them on their website). Dark Star is not like other bands attempting to channel their inner Jerry, but they typically choose a show from the bands 30 year history and perform the show as it was intended. Sometimes, however, they choose to just come up with an original set… tonight was one of those nights.

The first set started off right on time at 8 and seemed to be kind of dragging on for the first half. The band seemed very laid back and casual on stage taking extended breaks between songs and just kind of taking their time to hit their stride. The healthy turnout of Deadheads seemed to be growing restless but DSO picked it up with a Bob Dylan cover thrown into the mix, and ended the first set with “To Lay Me Down” and “Don’t Let the Deal Go Down.”

After a short break Dark Star went onto a tangent with a hour long medley of songs thrown together including a ten minute drum solo, “Scarlet Begonias” and the rarely played “If I Had The World to Give” which was only performed by the Grateful Dead three times.The set ended right around 11:30 and after a short break, DSO came back out and closed the night out with a tribute to a St. Louis legend, and a man who’s legacy will live on forever just 1 mile up the street from The Pageant in the form of a statue, “Johnny B. Goode” written by the great Chuck Berry, often performed by the Dead.

  

This was my first non-festival Dark Star Orchestra show and I was happy to have gone, but would have certainly preferred a set that was a recreation of a historic Dead show. The crowd certainly got into the show as it went on and it was just crowded enough that you were left room to dance and maneuver as you wished which made for a great atmosphere. I would certainly take another voyage with the Dark Star Orchestra on their tribute to the legacy of one of the most iconic bands ever.

Set 1 : New Minglewood Blues, Might as Well, Passenger, Blow Away, Waiting For A Miracle, Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues, Mister Charlie, To Lay Me Down, Cassidy > Don’t Let the Deal Go Down

Set 2 : Feel Like A Stranger, Believe It or Not, Let It Grow > Saint Stephen > The Eleven > Drums > Space > Scarlet Begonias > Not Fade Away > If I Had the World to Give > Going Down the Road Feeling Bad > Not Fade Away

E: Johnny B. Goode

7 Walkers Friday, Sept. 2, 2011 at the City Winery in NYC

The eponymous 7 Walkers album has been in constant rotation in my car stereo this summer (my iPod recently took a suicide dive at the gym, unfortunately for me… and my iPod).  The album has the perfect summertime down-South kind of feel.  Not only does it make me feel like I could be driving down to the bayou in Louisiana instead of the beach in New England, but I find every song to be endlessly interesting.  There’s always something more subtle to notice about a track, or a new lyric that speaks to me. Each song is distinctive enough to appreciate but each contains the same Southern sparkle.

Even in grey downtown NYC last Friday, the 7 Walkers were able to channel that Summertime sunshine.

The cool thing about the City Winery is that it’s a restaurant and bar, too.  I arrived an hour before the show and dined on crispy chicken and grilled cactus (!).

When the band came out, they began with a warmup jam, creating space and mood for their music to flow.  After a few minutes, they sidled into the classic Grateful Dead tune He’s Gone.  Papa Mali and Matt Hubbard, the keyboard/harmonica/trombone/organist, shared some sweet vocal harmonies during the choruses.

Sue from Bogalusa revved up the slower mood by injecting a youthful energy to the show.  It’s a song about lighthearted puppy love that has a distinct Southern twist.  The driving music is a blend of old time rock’n’roll (think: the Twist) and blues.  Rockin’ guitar and harmonica solos totally brought it home.

The next two songs were covers – the bass player, George Porter Jr., belted the Meters’ I Just Kissed My Baby while Papa Mali artfully copied the funkadelic guitar licks.  Despite sitting on tall, uncomfortable bar stools, we all managed to groove pretty hard to that one.  Bob Dylan’s song Positively 4th Street was especially appropriate when performed so close by to the real thing!  This cover was modeled more after Jerry Garcia’s version than the original.

For those of us who were still in our seats, an energetic I Know You Rider did the trick.  The bluesy Southern twist was played up with a slide guitar and thumping piano accompaniment.

The psychadelic rocker Let the Good Times Roll was led by George Porter Jr. again, while he belted out the soulful verses in true Hendrix style.  The song was expanded with a rhythmically complex drum solo from Billy Kreutzmann.

After we got some good old fashioned covers out of the way, the band returned to some of its own material, including King Cotton Blues.  The music ambled through the winery with its own time and its own agenda – delicate jazzy organ licks layered over Papa Mali’s seasoned voice and the bass strove on to drive the piece.  There are some songs that are way better in concert than on the album, and this is one of them.  Everything seems so much more alive.  (How ironic, then, that the song is about execution?) Matt Hubbard left the organ and pulled out a trombone, which he promptly used to blast the circusy outro, which gives a totally different type of sound from the album’s version of the song.  A treat!

During New Orleans Crawl, a soprano sax player joined the band and gave a solo, which was artfully turned into a duo with Matt Hubbard on the trombone.  It was beginning to look like a regular N’Orleans brass band!  After a few verses that showcased some nice vocal harmony, the guitar, bass, keys, and soprano sax traded solos again.  I like the taste of New Orleans jazz world that the 7 Walkers bring to their shows, especially with this song.  It’s on my bucket list to visit the Southern city one day for its jazz (and food – let’s be honest).

The Grateful Dead tune Love Light ended the set on a high, energetic note.  Bluesy harmonica solos interspersed with verses gave it the 7 Walkers touch.

A long, slow-moving and slightly-jazzy organ solo lead into the encore, 7 Walkers.  Papa Mali sang the tune with some true soul – with a little help from Robert Hunter, the lyricist.  Even after all these years, these lyrics prove that he can still spin magic.

© 2019 Concert Confessions

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑