Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Poll: Furthur named best Dead-oriented band by Dead Beat readers

After a month long poll that asked Dead Beat readers to name the "best Dead-oriented band today," the Heads have spoken, naming Furthur as the top act.

Seventy-two Heads cast votes in the poll, and of those voters, 57 (79 percent) chose Bob Weir and Phil Lesh's band Furthur as their top choice. The Dead, a Grateful Dead spin-off band that includes all five remaining members of the legendary jam band, finished second with eight votes (11 percent), Phil Lesh and Friends received four votes (5 percent) and Bob Weir and Ratdog rounded out the poll with a lackluster three votes (4 percent).

It was not surprising to see Furthur finish as the clear winner, considering all the excitement that has surrounded the band since its recent tour. I was, however, surprised that The Dead did not fair as well, considering the band does consist of all five remaining members and they did put on one hell of a tour last spring. Phil Lesh and Friends and Bob Weir and Ratdog's recent hiatus, due to Bobby and Phil's obligations with Furthur, might have contributed to the two band's low vote count.

Thanks to everyone who participated in Dead Beat's first ever poll. I look forward to getting your feedback on many other Dead-related issues in the near future. Thanks for reading along.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Details announced for Furthur Festival @ Mountain Aire

After initially announcing its intentions to hold a festival this spring, Furthur has released advanced details concerning venue, artist lineup and activities for the first ever Furthur Festival @ Mountain Aire.

The festival is scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30, at the historic Calaveras County Fairgrounds in the Angeles Camp, CA. The event will include three days of "music, mountains and magic" on four stages. The lineup will feature two nights of Furthur, with performances by Electric Hot Tuna, Jackie Greene, Galactic, Larry Campbell & Jemimah Puddleduck, The Mother Hips, The Waybacks, Common Rotation w/ Dan Bern, Carney, Maiden Lane and Blue Light River.

There will also be plenty of other fun activities, including special late night shows (including a late-night all-star super jam on Friday), organic food and drink, special Grateful Dead memorabilia and an exhibit featuring instruments and artwork with unreleased music selected by archivist David Lemieux.

While I am sure the festival will be an event to remember, considering the beautiful location in the Sierra foothills, the lineup, aside from the two-nights of Furthur and the all-star super jam, is a little weak in the eyes of this Head. While I love Jackie Greene, Galactic and Hot Tuna, a number of other acts including The Waybacks, Carney, Maiden Lane and Blue Light River are bands most have probably never heard of and most likely won't be the deciding factor in anyone's decision of whether or not to attend the festival. But I am sure two-nights of Furthur and three days of camping in the beautiful Sierra foothills will be enough for those who are on the fence to make the trip out to Mountain Aire. If I wasn't stuck in upstate New York, you could bet I would be there.

Tickets go on sale March 22 at 9 a.m. For more information visit www.furthur.net.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Jay Lane leaves Furthur to rejoin Primus

According to a report on Phil Lesh.com, Furthur drummer Jay Lane is leaving the group to join Primus.

Phil's message reads as follows: "Over the past year, both Jill and I have come to know and love Jay for the great guy that he is. At the end of our tour he rode back on Bob's bus and informed Bob that he had an opportunity to play drums with Primus. He and Bob discussed it, and they decided that the logical time to make the change would be after the birthday show. I only found out about this the day before the show; as their relationship goes back a long way, I told them both then that I support any decision they might make. I will miss Jay's enthusiasm and ebullience; he's a great guy to hang and play music with."

Jay Lane was a founding member of Primus along with bassist Les Claypool and guitarist Todd Huth. The trio also played together in the group, Sausage, in the 90s. He is also a founding member of the Bob Weir fronted jam band, Ratdog. Lane will join Claypool and long-time Primus guitarist Larry LaLonde on tour this year. Furthur is expected to play with only one drummer, Joe Russo, for now, but it is rumored that the band could fill the seat with Phil Lesh and Friends' drummer, John Molo.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Gathering of the Vibes confirms initial 2010 artist lineup

The Gathering of the Vibes Music Festival, held in Bridgeport, CT, July 29-August 1, has announced its initial lineup with appearances by Primus, Damien Marley & Nas and the Rhythm Devils featuring Keller Williams.
While Furthur is currently not listed in the lineup, the festival's initial lineup features a number of traditional Dead related bands including the Donna Jean Godchaux Band and Dark Star Orchestra. Grateful Dead drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart will also join forces to perfrom as the Rythm Devils, who will be joined by Williams, Davy Knowles, Sikiru Adepoju and Andy Hess.
The festival will conclude on Jerry Garcia's birthday, Aug. 1.
Gathering of the Vibes 2010 Lineup:

Damian Marley and Nas
Jimmy Cliff
Rhythm Devils featuring Keller Williams
Umphrey’s McGee
Jackie Greene
Robert Randolph and the Family Band
Steve Kimock and Crazy Engine
Mix Master Mike
Martin Sexton & Ryan Montbleau Band
Deep Banana Blackout
Little Feat
Big Sam’s Funky Nation
Assembly of Dust
Max Creek
Dark Star Orchestra
New Riders of Purple Sage
Zach Deputy
Harlem Gospel Choir
King for a Day
Donna Jean Godchaux Band
w/ more bands TBA

Head over to the official GOTV website for tickets and more info.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bill Kreutzmann to join 7 Walkers for spring tour

Legendary Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann has announced a tour with his new band, 7 Walkers, this spring. The group features Papa Mali, Tea Leaf Green bassist Reed Mathis and multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard of Willie Nelson and Friends

The band recently spent time recording an album with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. It is scheduled to be released this year and offers a mix of Grateful Dead standards, Papa Mali originals and some New Orleans and Southern songbook interpretations.

“We first met at the Oregon Country Fair last year,” Kreutzmann said in a statement. “He was the headliner on the main stage, and I sat there and watched him and went, ‘This guy’s for real man, I like this guy.’ Then we met, after that he came over to my trailer that I was staying in and you couldn’t separate us, we talked for hours. It was just one of those natural things, you know? You can’t plan it; You can’t make it happen. And then we started playing together.”

7 Walkers spring dates: 

April 6 Big Room Chico CA—Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
April 7 Eureka CA—Red Fox
April 8 Crystal Bay NV—Crystal Bay Club Crown Room
April 9 San Francisco CA—Great American Music Hall
April 10 Santa Cruz CA—Moe’s Alley
April 16 Live Oak FL—Spirit of Suwanee Music Park
April 17 Driftwood TX—The Salt Lick
April 30 New Orleans, LA—Mahalia Jackson Theatre
June 3 Ozark AR—Wakarusa Festival
June 11 Santa Rosa CA—Sonoma County Fairgrounds

Monday, March 15, 2010

They Say It's Your Birthday!

Happy 70th Birthday Phil! 

We Love You!


Robert Hunter contributes to new album

Famed Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter has lent his skilled writing and mystical lyrics to fellow singer-songwriter, Jim Lauderdale, for his new album, "Patchwork River". The new album that was co-written by Hunter and Lauderdale, is the second release by the country/bluegrass musician. The album was released on May 11 and is the follow-up to Lauderdale's debut solo album "Headed for the Hills", which featured 12-tracks co-written by the songwriting duo. The two reportedly first met after Lauderdale invited Hunter to contribute lyrics to an album recorded by Lauderdale and Ralph Stanley titled, "I Feel Like Singing Today". Hunter and Lauderdale reconnected two years later, writing 30 songs that have appeared on both of Lauderdale's two solo albums.

For more information, visit http://www.jimlauderdale.com/.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Furthur & Friends Live @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (San Francisco, CA) 3-12-2010

Phil Lesh's 70th Birthday Bash

Set 1 Acoustic Set with Jackie Greene, Steve Molitz & Chris Robinson:
Ripple, Lazy River Road, Fennario, Two Souls in Communion, Brokedown Palace, A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, They Love Each Other, Mountains of the Moon, Attics of My Life

Set 2 with Jackie Greene & Chris Robinson:
Scarlet Begonias, Minglewood Blues, Easy Wind> New Speedway Boogie, Viola Lee Blues> High Time> Caution Jam> Viola Lee Blues> Hard To Handle, Viola Lee Blues> Like A Rolling Stone> Sugaree

Set 3 with Jackie Greene, Steve Molitz & John Molo: 
Not Fade Away Jam * Float Parade, Happy Birthday Phil! * Balloon Drop, Not Fade Away Jam> Playing in the Band> Jam> St. Stephen> The Other One> Elevator> Unbroken Chain, Comes a Time> Cream Puff War * with dancers> Franklin's Tower

E: Johnny B. Goode

Furthur to host Memorial Day weekend festival

While there are more "details coming soon," Furthur has announced its intentions to host a festival this spring. The event will take place at Mountain Aire in California from May 28-30 - Memorial Day weekend.

Check back in the near future for furthur information.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Furthur Live @ Portland Memorial Coliseum (Portland, OR) 3-8-2010

Set 1:  
Picasso Moon
Dupree's Diamond Blues
Friend Of The Devil
Mama Tried
Built To Last
Black Throated Wind
Peaceful Valley

Set 2: 
Scarlet Begonias>
Fire On The Mountain>
Hell In A Bucket
West L.A. Fadeaway
Reuben And Cerise
Days Between
China Cat Sunflower>
I Know You Rider
E: Knockin' On Heaven's Door>
Touch Of Grey

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New York Historical Society

The New York Historical Society has launched its new exhibit, The Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New York Historical Society. Dead Heads will have the opportunity to view the exhibit from March 5 to July 4, 2010.

The exhibition, which represents the first large-scale exhibition of materials from the Grateful Dead Archive, housed at the University of Santa Cruz, will explore the musical creativity and influence of the Grateful Dead from 1965 to 1995, the phenomenon of the Dead Heads and the enduring impact of the Dead's pioneering approach to the music business. Among the objects in the exhibition will be documents, instruments, audio and video recordings, album art, photographs, platinum records, posters, programs, newsletters, tickets, and t-shirts and other merchandise. Highlights will include the band’s first record contract, tour itineraries, backstage guest lists, decorated fan mail, rare LP test pressings, drawings for the fabled Wall of Sound amplifier array, scripts for the Grateful Dead ticket hotline, notebooks of Dead archivist Dick Latvala,  life-size skeleton props used in the band’s “Touch of Grey” video and large-scale marionettes and other stage props.

“Despite the Grateful Dead’s close association with California, the band and New York have been an important part of each other’s history from the first time the Dead played here in 1967 to the band’s year-on-year performances in New York from the late 1970s through 1995,” Dr. Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, said in a written statement. “This exhibition not only celebrates the band’s relationship with New York but its tremendous impact on American culture.”

Co-curated by Debra Schmidt Bach, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts, and Nina Nazionale, Director of Library Operations at the New-York Historical Society, the exhibition will be organized thematically, beginning with an examination of the Grateful Dead’s early days in the Bay Area and its first performance in New York City. Other major exhibition themes include the band’s musical artistry, the business of the Grateful Dead, and the band’s special relationship with its fans.

Materials in the exhibition will be drawn almost exclusively from the extraordinary holdings of the Grateful Dead Archive, established in 2008, along with a small number of objects on loan from Grateful Dead Productions and private collectors. A series of public programs will complement the exhibition.

"I have no words ... I don't know what to make of it. In any way," Bob Weir told the Huffington Post in regard to the Historical Society honoring the Dead with an exhibition. "You know, I'm kind of tickled; I guess I'm honored." Adding, "People are taking us seriously, you know, and I don't know how to react to that because being taken seriously is something I never expected out of life. I think I can speak for all of us, we always thought of ourselves as being, um, on the edge a bit, and we never really required that we be taken seriously."

For more information, visit www.nyhistory.org.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Furthur Live @ 1st Bank Center (Broomfield, CO) 3-6-2010

Set 1:  
After Midnight
Next Time You See Me
Till the Morning Comes
Cumberland Blues> 
Good Lovin'
Magnolia Mountain

Set 2: 
The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)>
Bird Song> 
Dark Star (1st verse)>
Breathe Reprise> 
Dark Star (2nd verse)>
Morning Dew> 
Let It Grow>
In The Midnight Hour>
Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad>
And We Bid You Goodnight

E: Samson And Delilah, Uncle John's Band

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Furthur Live @ 1st Bank Center (Broomfield, CO) 3-5-2010

Set 1
Viola Lee Blues >
Need A Miracle >
Mason’s Children
Brown Eyed Women
Looks Like Rain
Estimated Prophet >
Lady With A Fan >
Terrapin Station

Set 2
The Music Never Stopped >
The Wheel >
Unbroken Chain >
Shakedown Street >
King Solomon’s Marbles
Black Peter >
Truckin’  >
Viola Lee Blues >
Sugar Magnolia
Donor Rap


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Review: Furthur Live @ Mullins Center (Amherst, MA) 2-20-2010

Photo by Marie L. Schroeder

They each suck down a breath drop container full of high-powered LSD, and proceed to run around the hotel room - jumping on the beds and hanging from a luggage cart they had rode in on. The two and a half-hour ride from upstate New York to Amherst, Massachusetts, has obviously left Cosmic, Stephen and Ashbury restless as the three freaks along with Rosalie, Peter and I prepare to head over to the Mullins Center on the University of Massachusetts campus to witness the newest Dead-oriented band, Furthur.

I had had the pleasure of catching the band during its first performance on the East Coast, when they visited New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom in early December. However, my friends, my fellow freaks, surprisingly enough had not caught any of the shows during the group's five concert mini-tour. Instead this would be their first encounter with the band that has taken the Dead-community by storm since original Grateful Dead members, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, formed the group in September of last year.

We pull ourselves together while Stephen contacts the front desk to ensure that a cab will arrive on time to pick us up and chauffeur us to the show - if we have learned anything from the past it is that a 'responsible Dead Head, is a free Dead Head.' After more than an hour wait, including one incident when our cab was stolen by some selfish bastards who we vow to prank later, we arrive on the UMass campus as our mad cab driver exhaustively explains to us everything from how the school was forced to close down the top two floors of the library because the building was not built to withstand the weight of the books to the campuses new multi-million dollar sports complex which he believes some of the female students need to visit more often.

While we entertain the mad cabby's self-indulgent rant, we finally find ourselves in front of the Mullins Center where we quickly exit to a swarm of Heads who flood the streets and sidewalks in front of the venue.

We make our way to the entrance of the venue only to find some overweight puppet with a blow horn, shouting instructions to ticket holders while we mingle around the weird in the frigid cold temperatures waiting to be let in. Eventually we gain access to the venue, but it's not until after the powers at be have made the mistake of attempting to control the community and who entered the venue for more than an hour - a big mistake at a Dead show as everyone knows the only way to control the scene is to not attempt to control it at all.

The six of us join forces and march to the front of the line, through the front doors and past security without a trace. I can hear the band has already begun the show as the high-energy harmony of the Buddy Holly classic "Not Fade Away" comes echoing through the corridor. We find a section where some fellow Heads we know from Massachusetts have gathered and squeeze ourselves into the row as the band proceeds with the fan favorite, "Althea". While the boys jam in and out of the first two songs, they take a more structured approach to the remainder of the first set as Bobby throws down one of his dark, "New Minglewood Blues"; John Kadlecik adds his Jerry-esque vocals to the classic sing-alongs', "Dire Wolf" and "Brown Eyed Women"; the two combine for a dawdling rendition of the Robert Hunter self-proclaimed classic, "Friend of the Devil"; a jammed-out, high energy "Cassidy" ensues; and eventually close the first set with another well-known sing-along, "Casey Jones".

After what seems like a short break, at least by Dead standards, the band kicks the second set off in high-gear with Bobby belting out a rendition of "Lost Sailor" as the group uses the song as a launching pad into a spaced-out, epic second set that includes such songs as "Saint of Circumstance", "New Speedway Boogie", "Drums", "King Solomon's Marbles", and the Pigpen rap inspired, "Caution (Do Not Step On Tracks)".

While parts of the set are extremely self-indulgent, it is hard not to see how tight the band is as their jams flow in and out of each other with shear fluidity. As the band pushes forward into the mystical "Dark Star", our high from not only the drugs that consume our minds, but the music that fills the air is beginning to reach its peak. This becomes more apparent as a shirtless Stephen, catches my eye from across the aisle as I look over to find him standing tall with his arms extended in the air, his long hair flailing about as he shakes, and hollows like a wolf at the moon as the band hits the crescendo of the hard-driving "The Other One". The song, along with Stephen's energy, brings us all back to our feet as we groove along to the Neal Cassidy inspired classic. The band follows with another Bobby staple "Let It Grow" and eventually closes the set by transitioning back into "Not Fade Away" - thus sandwiching both sets between the classic sing-along. They eventually finish the song and exit the stage to a chant of "you know my love will not fade away" - in vintage Dead Head fashion. However, we are a little disappointed with the encore choice of "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", not because of the performance, which was spot-on, but rather the slow, non Dead-inspired song choice.

After the final notes of the Dylan-classic have succumb to the deafening roar of the crowd, we quickly make our way outside to join the party that is raging in the lot. Somewhere along the way we lose Cosmic, Stephen and Ashbury amidst the crazed surroundings. The lot is small, so we eventually find our friends among the weird, huffing on nitrous balloons and mingling with old tour friends. Rosalie, Peter and I purchase a few handfuls of the nitrous-filled balloons ourselves. We suck-on the toxic gas, and laugh uncontrollably as our brains drift somewhere into outer space and the only language we can make out is "wah wah wah wha wha wah wah wah wah."

Our buzz is cut short, however, as the hissing nitrous tanks come to a halt and people begin to scream and struggle to escape the heavy footsteps and twinkling flashlights that quickly make way toward us.

We attempt to avoid any confrontation with the pigs as they ascend on the crowd of Heads like a riot team on an angry civil rights protest - screaming at folks to turnoff their stereos, pack up their things and quietly get the "fuck out of the lot." While violence does not erupt, the hostility present can be felt among all of us as we try to avoid the pig fuckers ourselves while they harass and force the crowd out of the lot and into the street. The music never stops, but the party is obviously over as we disappear into the dark night to avoid any further confrontation. After a long walk that leads us through an entertaining host of drunken frat kids returning from the bar, we eventually hitch a ride back to the hotel from a kind Head who happens to live in the area. You got to love family.

Stephen throws the thoughtful Head a cigarette for his generosity and we all pile out to go and raise hell in the hotel room. While the show didn't encompass one of my favorite set list's on the tour, it is hard to deny how tight the band sounded after less than a year together and a handful of performances. But while the show lay fresh in our minds, it is time to do what Dead Heads do best - party!

Set 1:
Not Fade Away>
New Minglewood Blues
Dire Wolf
Brown Eyed Women
Friend of the Devil
Casey Jones

Set 2:
Lost Sailor>
Saint of Circumstance
New Speedway Boogie>
King Solomon's Marbles
Caution (Do Not Step On Tracks)>
Dark Star>
Other One>
Let It Grow>
Not Fade Away

E: Knockin' On Heaven's Door

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Furthur Live @ Auditorium Theatre (Chicago, IL) 3-3-2010


Set 1
Playin’ in the Band >
Born Cross-Eyed >
Eyes of the World
Jack Straw
Wharf Rat
Uncle John’s Band
China Cat Sunflower >
I Know You Rider

Set 2
Scarlet Begonias>
Fire On The Mountain>
New Potato Caboose>
St. Stephen>
The Eleven>
The Other One
So Many Roads
Help on the Way>
Franklin’s Tower
Donor Rap

Box of Rain
Johnny B. Goode

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Furthur Live @ Auditorium Theatre (Chicago, IL) 3-2-2010

Set 1
Feel’s Like a Stranger >
New Minglewood Blues >
Loose Lucy
It Must Have Been The Roses
Greatest Story Ever Told
Doin’ That Rag

Set 2
Dear Mr. Fantasy
New Speedway Boogie
Let it Grow
Rubin and Cherise
Death Don’t Have No Mercy
Shakedown Street
Throwing Stones
Donor Rap

Not Fade Away

Monday, March 1, 2010

Phil & Bobby contribute Bonnaroo tracks to help fight climate change

Former Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, along with a collection of other former Bonaroo alumni, have contributed songs from previous performances to be part of a free download collection that seeks to raise awareness of climate change issues. Joining the Furthur members in participating in the Best of Bonnaroo release are Phish, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Ani DiFranco and Jack Johnson. The tracks are available at www.Musicforaction.org. They are free before initiating the download. HeadCount and NRDC assisted in coordinating the release of the tracks. The two groups encourage everyone to email their elected officials or local newspaper regarding climate change.

Best of Bonnaroo Track list
Wilco “Bull Black Nova”
Pearl Jam “Animal”
Jack Johnson “Inaudible Melodies”
Dave Mathews Band “Rapunzel”
Death Cab for Cutie “Cath…”
Ani DiFranco “Fuel”
Phish “Kill Devil Falls”
Gov’t Mule “Banks of the Deep End”
O.A.R. “Delicate Few”
moe. “Not Coming Down”
Raphael Saadiq “100 Yard Dash”
Bob Weir & RatDog “Throwing Stones”
The Disco Biscuits “And The Ladies Were the Rest of the Night”
The Decemberists “The Wanting Comes” in Waves/Repaid”
My Morning Jacket “Oh! Sweet Nuthin’”
Guster “Happier”
Phil Lesh and Friends “Box of Rain”

Furthur Live @ Trump Taj Mahal @ Estes Arena (Atlantic City, NJ) 2-27-2010

Set 1:  
Next Time You See Me
King Bee
Hell in a Bucket
Crazy Fingers> 
Cumberland Blues
Magnolia Mountain, 

Set 2: 
Lost Sailor>
Saint of Circumstance
China Cat Sunflower> 
I know You Rider>
The Wheel>
Dark Star> 
Stella Blue
Unbroken Chain
One More Saturday Night
E: Gloria