The Past Month…
Man, I am the worst at updating this thing! Oh well, that’s what big recap posts like this one are for. I can put up tons of content into one big post where, if you’re interested, you can find everything I’ve done for the past month. The TL;DR version: Lots of music. Fun, fun music. Lets go chronologically:
May 24th: Grahame Lesh (& friends) concert at El Rio in San Francisco.
Recently, I’ve been playing my “solo” shows with my friends Eric Saar, Connor O’Sullivan, and Elliot Peck. The four of us put on a show at El Rio on 5/24 that was super fun. We tried out some new covers, worked up a new arrangement or two on some of my newer tunes like Who I Was, worked up really cool versions of some of Elliot’s songs, and basically had a really good time at a relatively low-pressure gig. I think the musical results were great, and this is a really fun band that a) needs a name and b) will get even better the more we play. Look for more from the four of us really soon!
The setlist: Up On Cripple Creek (The Band cover), San Francisco Rain, Burden Of Tomorrow (Tallest Man On Earth cover), Miss M (Elliot Peck original), I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight (Bob Dylan cover – EP on lead vocals), Don’t Go, Long Road, Your Time Is Gonna Come (Led Zeppelin cover – EP on lead vocals), Train Song (Elliot Peck original), Who I Was, Back Down South (Kings Of Leon cover).
June 2nd: Brian Lesh, Phil Lesh, Joey Russo, Marco Benevento, and me perform for Brian’s eating club at Princeton Reunion Weekend.
This one was special. My dad Phil, my brother Brian and I hadn’t played a show where the three of us and our family harmonies are the focus since last summer at Levon Helm’s Ramble. So any chance to play with that band, which we’re going to start calling The Fellowship, is one that we plan to jump on. Brian’s graduation from Princeton, and the reunion events at his Eating Club Terrace, seemed like the perfect event. We asked our friend Joe Russo (from Furthur and many other fantastic bands) to play drums for us as he had at the 2011 Ramble at Levon’s, and he was very excited to play. He called up his friend and bandmate Marco Benevento, who was also totally in (fun fact: it turns out the Benevento/Russo Duo had played at Terrace before), and we had a band! Then, when we were soundchecking, another fantastic musician walked up and introduced himself. That guy was Stanley Jordan, the legendary jazz fusion guitar player. So obviously he had to join in the fun as well. The show went great, we played a combination of Grateful Dead songs and fun covers (the Band, Kings of Leon, Mumford & Sons), and a great time was had by all. Some videos from soundcheck below:
Sugar Magnolia (1 min clip – from soundcheck)
Sugar Magnolia (1 min clip of the “Sunshine Daydream” section – from soundcheck)
Friend Of The Devil (from the show, ft. Stanley Jordan)
June 9th, 10th, and 17th: Bar and brunch shows at Terrapin Crossroads:
These have been happening all the time; if you want some good free music at a glorious venue and restaurant you should come to Terrapin Crossroads. Someone is always playing music. On June 9 and 10, Ross James and I played some tunes outside at brunch. We were joined by my dad Phil for a few tunes each day. Then on June 17th, we had a special show planned for the bar. It was both Fathers’ Day and my mom Jill’s birthday, so we got the family musicians (me, my brother Brian, and my dad Phil) together again to play an acoustic gig in the Terrapin bar. It was a very special show, and that is something we’ll be doing a ton of in the near future (perhaps this Friday!) so stay tuned.
June 12th and June 19th: Grambling with Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers.
This was really quite an honor for me. Nicki and Tim Bluhm performed in the 1st set of Rambles at Terrapin Crossroads, and at the end of the last show I mentioned to Nicki that I was absolutely going to attend some of her shows during her June Rickshaw Stop residency. She immediately said, “you should play some songs with us!” And my obvious reaction was, “YES YES YES OF COURSE!” So I did! Last Tuesday, 6/12, I sat in for 2 tunes, “One Big Holiday” by My Morning Jacket and “Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad”. Yesterday, 6/19, I again sat in for 2 tunes, this time “Love Is A Rose” by Neil Young and “It Makes No Difference” by The Band. Both nights were just incredible. Nicki, Tim, the Gramblers Deren, Steve, Mike, Dave, Mike, and the other special guests Dan Leibowitz, Trevor Garrod, Scott Law, and Greg Loiacono are all such incredibly nice people and such incredible musicians. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience than working up the harmonies to “Love Is A Rose” backstage. Just beautiful, wonderful times, and I really hope to hang with the Gramblers again soon!
Ok, I’m all caught up. More big news coming soon! Stay tuned…