Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Best Grateful Dead Tribute Band

There is a band that plays music as sweet as the Dead ever did. The same songs,having Bob Weir and Phil Lesh as members truly helps, they were afraid to get a guitarist that sounded anything like Garcia in the Band they called the Dead, they had Warren Haynes, but it just didn't sound quite right, but with John Kadlecik from DSO in between Bobby and Phil, things are as good or better than ever ,so the band "Furthur" has taken the concept of the Dead Furthur down the Road. There are times when this band makes you smile like in times past, they are tighter than ever, the communication between players is eery, after I watched their 4 night run at Sweetwater Music Hall in Marin County, I was blown away , especially at the playing of Kadlecik who's guitar playing is so melodic, with a tone and phrasings very similar to his mentor Garcia. On 1/18/13 at Sweetwater Music Hall they start out with "Jack Straw" done to perfection, with ace keyboard player Jeff Chimenti playing some honky tonk piano on his keyboard. They also have a male and female back up vocal unit that makes the harmonies as good as ever. They do songs that the Dead themselves never did while on the road. The second song on the eighteenth, Kadlecik sang "Reuben and Cherise" from Garcia's favorite solo album "Cats Down Under The Stars" which then goes into "Me and My Uncle" and then "Big River", where Kadlecik plays an incredible solo, sounding like a pedal steel at times. Than they do "Pride Of Cucamonga" where Kadlecik does some more mastery. Jeff Chimenti is a super talented keyboard player as Joe Russo is also a great drummer, both with a heavy jazz background. Kadlecik counts off "Built to Last" and they go into a version that sounds very much like the original Grateful Dead. Just an update on what this growing group has been up to, and it looks like a pretty full year of touring for them. Enjoy!!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

This is one of the top CDs that I have heard this year. Before this couple got married, they both had successful solo careers and still do. This is the first CD that they have done together and I think they sound very well singing together, though I'll take Willis singing by herself anyday. I like Bruce's brother Charlie better than Bruce, just a stylistic, talent thing. Bruce is very talented himself. This is produced by Brad Jones and it is a very well done CD with a Texas Country sound. Only problem I have with recording is that it is way too loud, don't know if it was mastered too loud or recorded too loud originally, but there is no Distortion, unless you turned it up real loud which I did not try. A combination of songs written by different writers. It is a real good recording though ,mastered by Yes Master, who are a very well known outfit. Robison and Willis sing very well together. It is a collection of catchy songs which work well. As for the material, I like just about every song on the disc. Favorites are "Border Radio" by Dave Alvin, "We're All the Way" by Don Williams. "Long Way Home" by Hayes Carl has Kelly singing lead which is a delight. Nice mid-tempo ballad in a sad mood, but it is a delight. "9,999,999 Tears" by Razzy Bailey is another great song with Willis singing lead, her vocals are so beautiful. Eamon Mclaughlin (former Greencard) plays cello,mando and fiddle on most songs. Bruce Robison has a good voice, but I like the songs Kelly sings better, They do sing very well together. The artwork for the CD is very creative, a bit offbeat, but fun. When you open up the Cardboard case it looks like a pinball game. Interesting booklet with lyrics. Bruce Robison wrote about half the songs on the thirteen song disc. He is a good songwriter. As a solo artist, I like his brother Charles Robison better. My favorite song on the whole disc is a slow heartbreak song called "Waterfall" sang by Kelly.
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