Monday, October 30, 2006

Going to have to keep an eye in this program:
Neil Best
Madison Square Garden top moments
October 30, 2006

TV rule of thumb: Any production that coaxes both Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead and Patrick Ewing to sit down for revealing, amusing interviews is worth a look.

So it is with MSG's "The 50 Greatest Moments at Madison Square Garden," an ambitious, year-long effort that debuts tonight with the first of 10 one-hour episodes; it is a centerpiece of the plan to reinvent the channel as a sports/entertainment hybrid focused on Garden events.

That will be a tricky, perhaps unworkable idea. But this is a case in which it works.

The series includes 206 interviews on events from the 1947 Joe Louis-Jersey Joe Walcott fight to "Mark Messier Night" in January (the first Garden opened in 1879; the show covers only the post-World War II era).

The wide net cast by the Garden was illustrated at a screening in Greenwich Village Thursday that drew the likes of Walt Frazier, John McEnroe and concert promoter Ron Delsener.

Larry Israel, the executive producer, said word of mouth from fellow Garden alums helped the list of big names interviewed grow into the dozens. "When the Garden wants something, they have a lot of ability and tentacles everywhere where they can make things happen for you," Israel said.

Viewers will have to put up with some heavy-handed gushing about what the Garden means in people's lives and to the city itself, but it's worth it to get to the good stuff.

The opener features the 1999 Holyfield-Lewis fight, Ewing's Knicks debut, The Dead's Garden shows, Gretzky's 1997 playoff hat trick and Pearl Washington's Big East exploits.

Ewing even smiles!

October 30, 2006
Smith Opera House
Geneva, NY

Golden Road
Jack Straw
Dark Star Jam
Little Red Rooster
Tenessee Jed
Salt Lake City
Book of Rules
Dark Star

The Winners
Tuesday Blues
Black Throated Wind
Picasso Moon
Weather Report Suite
Let it Grow
Knockin' on Heavans Door
Dark Star

Attics of My Life

Have a great Halloween!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

10/28 I: Jam > Lady with a Fan > Terrapin, Take Me to the River, Josephine, Ramble On Rose, Shade of Grey, Wang Dang Doodle, Bury Me Standing, Last Time, Ashes and Glass
II: Jack-A-Roe@, Friend of the Devil@, The Weight@, Hell in a Bucket > Uncle John's Band > Stuff > Dear Prudence > At a Siding > Terrapin Flyer > Uncle John's Band (reprise) > One More Saturday Night
E: Brokedown Palace

That's part of my art room- presently it's filled with clouds of extra fine glitter and pools of glue as I'm nearly finished with the Rex Bennie goodies!!! See you there!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Pretty cool picture of the bobstar on this blog

Short but sweet blogging about last night's show click here!

Ratdog has more bite
News Pop Music Critic

Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

Grateful Dead legend Bob Weir leads Ratdog on an inspired musical journey, setting the mood for spontaneous dancing in a packed Town Ballroom.

Bob Weir and Ratdog
Friday night in Town Ballroom, 681 Main St.
Another show at 7 tonight.

There's something different about a Ratdog show these days.
Once, the band seemed to be stumbling its way through a mansion of many beautiful rooms, stopping along the way to throw a party on each floor, and welcoming you along for the ride.

It was a relaxed, glowing, hazy-eyed journey shared between band and audience, and yes, it seemed so proper, so much in the spirit of the Grateful Dead, and a celebration of the music's continued resonance.

On Friday, as Bob Weir and his band returned to the Town Ballroom nearly one year to the day that they first visited the venue, a full house watched Ratdog become something more than what it had been.

The group - Weir on guitar and vocals, bassist Robyn Sylvester, drummer Jay Lane, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, guitarist Mark Karan and sax player Kenny Wheeler - has benefited immensely from its past several years of touring.

Today, Ratdog is incredibly tight, well-versed in interband dynamics, in possession of some virtuosic improvisers, and able to ease gently and with grace between keys, time signatures and moods, as it eases us down the road.

Friday's show was a hot one, and the enthused Town Ballroom crowd danced, sang along, cheered particularly transcendent solos, and willingly entered into a general state of bacchanalia.

The group opened with a spacious jam in no particular time signature, toying with the outer reaches of a chord, until easing into an appropriate pick for Weir and company's post-October storm appearance, an elegiac "Cold Rain and Snow." And then off they went, warming to each other and the crowd, as song segued into song and the whole room seemed to move to one groove.

We got "Playin' in the Band," with a stellar solo from Karan, followed by an outside improv from Wheeler. Then, a swampy funk groove fell into a Weir guitar synth solo that suggested Keith Richards visiting Mars. All of this eventually bled into a thrilling take on the Beatles' "Revolver" coda, "Tomorrow Never Knows," again culminating in a stellar Karan improvisation.

It all went by like a beautiful daydream, and featured a long line of high points - the "Lost Sailor/Saint of Circumstance" bit was particularly brilliant, but the whole darn set was inspired. Weir and his band have hit a new plateau.


10/27/2006 Buffalo,
I: Jam > Cold Rain and Snow >
Playin in the Band >
Tomorrow Never Knows >
Jus' Like Mama Said >
New Speedway Boogie >
Lost Sailor >
Saint of Circumstance >
Odessa >

II: K.C. Moan@
Masters of War@
When I Paint My Masterpiece@,
Even So > October Queen > The Deep End >
Mississippi Half-Step >
Stuff > Stella Blue >
Playin in the Band (reprise)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Relix Weirback review click here

October 26, 2006
LC Pavilion (PromoWest)
Columbus, OH

set 1:
Lucky Enough
(full stop)
Big Boss Man
Row Jimmy
Loose Lucy

set 2:
Desolation Row@
Wrong Way Feeling
Estimated Prophet
Wharf Rat
Truckin Jam
Throwing Stones

E: NFA > US Blues
Relix Weirback review click here


We are very pleased to announce a benefit for the Rex Foundation
"Vibes for Peace", with the Bay Area premiere of the Rhythm Devils,
featuring Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Steve Kimock, Mike Gordon,
Goapele, Jen Durkin and Sikiru Adepoju plus special guests
including Bob Weir. Mickey Hart and Friends will open the show.

Friday, December 1 at the Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA.
Doors open at 7:30 PM. Show time is 8:00 PM.

Premium seating tickets include reception, dinner, and mingling
with the artists. 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM.
All but $70.00 per ticket is tax deductible.
We can arrange for parties of 6, 8 or 10 seats.
Front section seats are $1006.00 per ticket.
Other options: $506.00 or $156.00. These are all floor seating.
These tickets are only available by credit card purchase, and by
faxing in the form to be found on our web site:

Front loge seats (tickets only) are available by mail order only
at $103.00. These are tickets for the first three rows in the balcony.

Since all these tickets comprise a tax deductible, we will have to
send your information to the Rex Foundation, so they can
properly document all the digits.

Last but not least:
Regular balcony seats are available at $43.00.

We will consider today through Tuesday, October 31 as 'first postmark'

Taper information is pending....

The Crew of GDTSTOO
October 27, 2006


"That dream is the crux of the matter,
and somehow concerns beauty, consciousness and community.
We were, and are, worthy insofar as we serve it."

Robert Hunter

Web Site:
Customer Service Number: (415) 898-2364
Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm, PST.
To subscribe to our email announce list, send empty email to


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rexy benny announcement and Hippy Berthadays!!!

Join the Rex Foundation for a special celebration of music and connection



Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Mike Gordon, Steve Kimock
Jen Durkin and Sikiru Adepoju
and Special Guests including Bob Weir

The Warfield, San Francisco, December 1, 2006
6:00 – 7:30
Drinks, Dinner and Reception with the Artists
Silent Auction Opens
8:00 p.m.
Concert, with special opening set by
Mickey Hart and Friends
Reception, Dinner and Premium Seating Concert Tickets:
(All but $70 is tax deductible)
Includes Drinks, Dinner and Mingling with the Artists
Tables of 6, 8 and 10 can be arranged
Front Row Seats
$ 500.00
$ 150.00
Premium Concert Only Tickets
$ 100.00
Front Loge Seats
Balcony Concert Tickets: $40.00 available on TicketMaster and thru GDTS, TOO

To order Reception, Dinner and Concert Tickets call 415-561-3135
or download the ticket order form
or thru GDTS, TOO or 415-457-6388

For more information, call 415-561-3134


On December 1, 2001, at the Warfield Theatre, the Rex Foundation launched its renewal with The Healing Power of Music. That night the full house of kindred spirits celebrated the fun of being together, enjoying great music and supporting the greater good. Thanks to the success of that evening and the support for all our work in these last five years, the Rex Foundation has since granted $776,500 across the United States and internationally!
We look forward to once again filling the Warfield Theatre with friends from far and wide. The musicians are planning a magical night, presenting familiar and new sounds. We know, as we did in 2001, that the world continues to be shaken by conflicts and challenges. Yet, on December 1, 2006, as we celebrate together amid beautiful music, we’ll generate helpful and positive energy for ourselves and the greater community – Vibes for Peace.
Proceeds from the event will support programs furthering peace and conflict resolution, along with the range of programs encompassed in the Rex Foundation mission.
Thank you for your support. We look forward to seeing you on December 1st.
Woohoo- Thanks Kemmie for the heads up!

Happy Berthas!!!!!!!
To Harry! and to Java Joe!
to this lucky lady who was granted a Ratdog Birthday miracle!!


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pictures from Clevelandog

Thanks to Jammim John, Lizardking & Owsley for again providing a fresh setlist!!!!! ~

October 24, 2006
Agora Theatre
Cleveland, OH

set 1

maggies farm>
baby blue
mission in the rain
lazy river rd.
bird song

set 2

jay's drum is broke
Mexicali blues@4(B,R@)(jays drum still broke to start.drums fixed
West LA tease>
He's gone>
The other one>
Standing on the moon
St stephen >
William tell>
The eleven


Notes from my post show call to Saint (he's obviously back in Ohio):

Typing aand talking on phone at same time!
He says:
"2nd set Blew RCMH away"

Base/bass drum was broke- They did Mexicali without Drums- worked well....
The 2nd set -fabulous as it looks..'Balls out rock and roll!"
He enjoyed the Watchtower- 1st was regular Watchtower- then it went into a reggae and then they came out the back end of Watchtower rockin

Reddish brown electric guitar, pearl inlay.
Stuff- started with a few notes by Bobby-then he really good Bluesy jazzy and space

Great Corrina...a few lyric goofs..full animated BOBSTAR!\

"Kenny working it"
MidTerms Matter
Meet Jerry & Bob over on This is not my dog blog
Time for another youtube- Thanks to FlJen for the heads up:

Monday, October 23, 2006

So, it was Al Franken who hooked up Bobby with Ann Coulter? Could be according to this article..

Sweet lil Grateful Dead Flashback

10/22/2006 Fitzgerald Theatre, St. Paul, MN

Read the Fabulous Review over on JavaJoe's blog!!!!

I: Jam > Feel Like a Stranger > Easy Answers > She Belongs to Me > Walkin Blues > Crazy Fingers > Brown-Eyed Women > Easy to Slip > Supplication Jam > Easy to Slip > Big Railroad Blues

II: El Paso@ > Masters of War@ > Jus' Like Mama Said > Samson and Delilah > Stuff > Ship of Fools > China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider
E: IKYR>Touch of Grey

Pictures from Ratdog in Chicago (I think?) are here

Sunday, October 22, 2006

October 21, 2006
The Rave
Milwaukee, WI

set 1
help on the way>
it's all over now>
she says>
fly away>
tuesday blues>
greatest story ever told>
iko iko

set 2
deep elm@
friend of the devil@
school girl>
ashes n glass>
two djinn>

one more sat night

Click here to see Sam Friedman's Bobby Pix

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Hippy Bertha Jeff!

Last Night's setlist-
10/20/2006 Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL
I: Here Comes Sunshine > The Music Never Stopped > Big River > Queen Jane Approximately > Minglewood Blues > Money for Gasoline, Loser, I Need a Miracle > Playin in the Band > Deal
II: Big Iron@, A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall@, Even So > October Queen > The Deep End > Playin in the Band (reprise) > Stuff > Come Together > Sugar Magnolia
E: Casey Jones
Stuff - Jeff/Jay/MK/Robin/Kenny

Ratdog rocks for Darfur!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Jelly w/Bob Weir - Larkspur Cafe Theater

Ah, nice article on the landmarks of my neighbor county.
YES Grateful Dead content!

from the San Jose Mercury News:

Historic rock landmarks in Santa Clara County

43 S. Fifth St., San Jose -- One of the world's most historic rock-'n'-roll sites. On Dec. 4, 1965, the Grateful Dead played its first gig here at an ``acid test'' organized by author and LSD advocate Ken Kesey. The Rolling Stones played a concert at San Jose Civic Auditorium earlier in the evening, and Kesey's followers handed out fliers inviting concertgoers to the DayGlo party at a large house near San Jose State University. A band from Palo Alto formerly known as the Warlocks provided the entertainment after changing its name to the Grateful Dead a few weeks earlier. The entire episode is documented in Tom Wolfe's book ``The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.'' In former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman's autobiography, he writes that Keith Richards and Brian Jones also dropped by the party. Later, the place served as local headquarters for the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). The house was moved when San Jose's new City Hall was constructed.

635 St. James St., San Jose -- New location of the acid test/Grateful Dead house. The San Jose Redevelopment Agency moved it here when a buyer offered to renovate the 1895 Victorian if it were moved to this lot. The interior renovation is under way, but the exterior has been redone spectacularly. Bill Ekern, the agency's director of project management, had no clue of the structure's past while he supervised the move. ``I'll have to go back and read Wolfe's book,'' Ekern said. ``We made a decision to save as many of the homes on the City Hall site as possible, and I'm glad.'' Another former resident of the house, Ron Cook, says it later was the home for his band, Throckmorton. Cook and his pals filled the basement walls with sand to create a soundproof rehearsal space, and it became a virtual open house for many musicians, including Moby Grape member Skip Spence, the future Doobie Brothers and Stevie Nicks, then a San Jose State student.

970 S. First St., San Jose -- In the early '60s, this now-vacant storefront was occupied by Off Stage. For a couple of years, before police shut it down on a pot bust, the place was the hippest spot in San Jose. It's where local folkie Paul Kantner, a student at San Jose State and Santa Clara University, met acoustic guitar wizard Jorma Kaukonen, a Santa Clara student. The two went on to form Jefferson Airplane. Others who performed there included Janis Joplin, David Crosby and Mother Macree's Uptown Jug Champions, which included future Grateful Dead members Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir and Ron ``Pigpen'' McKernan.

1600 Martin Ave., Santa Clara -- An unlikely spot for psychedelic frolic, this former roller-skating rink was converted into the Continental Ballroom. It was the South Bay's answer to San Francisco's Fillmore and Avalon Ballrooms. The 1967 grand opening show featured Big Brother and the Holding Company along with Quicksilver Messenger Service. The Doors played there later the same year. A bootlegged tape of the performance that night circulates on the Internet. Apparently, it was a wild scene. Dave Aguilar, lead singer for Chocolate Watchband, recalled a memorable pie fight with another band that was set up by the promoter as a publicity gimmick but got out of hand, and the audience rushed the stage to join in. The building later became One Step Beyond, a popular '80s nightclub, and now is occupied by an industrial tools warehouse and export company.

285 S. 12th St., San Jose -- Tom Johnston rented this house while attending San Jose State, and it became a home for jam sessions with his friends. After meeting Patrick Simmons at a gig in Campbell, the friends eventually evolved into the Doobie Brothers, the most successful pure San Jose band in history. Johnston wrote ``Listen to the Music'' in the home's living room. It's still a private residence.

47 Notre Dame Ave., San Jose -- Raise a toast to the Palomar Ballroom (later known as the Tropicana Nightclub), which sat on this property but was tragically razed to make room for yet another downtown condo development. The Palomar was the site of San Jose's first big rock-'n'-roll shows and made national headlines on July 7, 1956, when Fats Domino showed up two hours late for a show. The boozed-up crowd of 3,500 began throwing beer bottles and firecrackers. Police were called, and there were 11 arrests. According to San Jose State history professor Larry Engelmann, newspapers from coast to coast the next day called it a ``Rock And Roll Riot,'' the first time such a term was used.

3277 Todd Way, San Jose -- The Syndicate of Sound rehearsed here in bass player Bob Gonzalez's house. He and singer Don Baskin wrote the song ``Little Girl'' in the garage. Most of the band attended nearby Camden High School, now defunct.

Revere Avenue, San Jose -- The street where Count Five came together. Singer/harmonica player Kenn Ellner lived at 1465 Revere Ave. When he heard that a new kid from Ireland had moved into 1470 Revere Ave. across the street, Ellner walked over and introduced himself to John Byrne. The two formed a group with other buddies from Pioneer High School. The song ``Psychotic Reaction'' was first performed during a rehearsal in Ellner's living room. It later became a punk/psychedelic/garage classic, named one of the 500 most influential songs in the history of rock.

147 S. Morrison Ave., San Jose -- Greg Camp, songwriter and lead guitarist for Smash Mouth, rented this modest home in the St. Leo's neighborhood while he was scuffling around with various bands around town. He eventually hooked up with some other San Jose guys and formed Smash Mouth, the city's biggest rock export of the 21st century. Camp composed many Smash Mouth songs here, including one about an annoying former neighbor on the street, ``Heave-Ho.'' It appears on the band's first album.

344 Tully Road, San Jose -- You wouldn't know it today because of the property's bleak dirt state, but the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds once hosted one of 1967's biggest rock-'n'-roll events, the Northern California Folk Rock Festival. It was held again in 1968. Featured groups included the Doors, Jimi Hendrix and one of the first American appearances of Led Zeppelin.

436 University Ave., Palo Alto -- Original location of St. Michael's Alley, a coffeehouse where Joan Baez and Jerry Garcia first performed as folk artists. Now an optometry store called Site For Sore Eyes.

High and University streets, Palo Alto -- The former site of Top of the Tangent, another folk club where a teenage Bob Weir first met Garcia and became enamored of his guitar playing. They formed a lifelong friendship long before they became the Grateful Dead. The building burned down in 1971.

4290 El Camino Real, Palo Alto -- The Beatles stayed here at the Cabana Hotel on their only known visit to Santa Clara County. With too much frenzy surrounding their appearance in San Francisco, promoters decided to ``sequester'' the band far away in Palo Alto. Fans found the group anyway and created hysteria outside the building. Now the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

160 Persian Drive, Sunnyvale -- Still going strong as the Brass Rail nightclub, now a ``gentleman's establishment'' for exotic dancers but once a hotbed for rock. Opened in 1960, it first hosted such groups as the Coasters and Shirelles, and then became home for all the great South Bay bands. Bob Gonzalez from Syndicate of Sound remembers playing there in a show opened by the Golliwogs, which later became Creedence Clearwater Revival. But the most legendary performers there might have been Sonny J and the Tombstones, which would pull up to the club in a hearse, haul a coffin out of the back and place it on the bar -- whereupon a saxophone player would jump out and start the band's first song.

12345 S. El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills -- Foothill College was home base for Chocolate Watchband, later to become a legendary psychedelic group that still has young fans today who enjoy the group's raw sound from back in the day. Watchband members all attended the school. ``The name of the band was dreamed up when a couple of guys in the band were free-associating at the Foothill student union,'' lead guitarist Tim Abbott once told the Los Altos Town Crier newspaper. ``It was at a time when that kind of stuff made sense.''

-- Mark Purdy

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I find this Article on a Grateful Dead Quilt inspiring.

News from The Flying Other Brothers-

*********************** Saturday, October 21, 2006 ***********************

The Great American Music Hall
859 O'Farrell street
San Francisco, CA 94109

Opening for Great American Taxi

Doors at 8:00 p.m., FOBs at 9:00 p.m.
Tickets $14 -- (415) 885-0750

************************* Sunday, October 22, 2006 ***********************

333 11th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

Benefit for Little Kids Rock (
Featuring the Greg Rolle Band

6:30 p.m.
Tickets $50 -- (415) 255-0333

Thanks. Here's hoping we're in your ears soon!


The Flying Other Brothers are:
Roger McNamee, vocals, rhythm guitar
Ann McNamee, vocals, percussion
Pete Sears, keyboards, vocals
Barry Sless, lead and pedal steel guitar
Bert Keely, guitar, vocals and trumpet
T-Bone Tony Bove, harmonica, vocals
Bill Bennett, bass, vocals
Jim Sanchez, drums

The FOBs crew:
Howard Danchik, live engineer
Stacy Parrish, studio and live recording engineer
Pat Morrow, Road Manager
Carmelo Paul LoManaco, crew
Dawn Holliday, spiritual advisor

The Flying Other Brothers Management:
Michael Nash, Tritone Artist Management:
Bookings: Michael Weinstein, American Artists:
The Latest on Kepler's:
Bookstore's survival marked a year later, but fate uncertain
San Jose Mercury News
October 15, 2006

We were shocked when we came up to the store the day it closed and it was totally dark inside
If anyone had forgotten the fall and rise of Kepler's bookstore in Menlo Park, he got a rousing reminder Saturday as hundreds of people poured into Burgess Park to celebrate one year since the store's remarkable rebirth.
'The fact everyone came out to save Kepler's last year and they're here today, it really says how much people care about this place,' said Natalie Cowan of Atherton, who regularly takes her children to peruse the crammed shelves of the rescued store.
Kepler's had built a regional reputation over 50 years in Menlo Park as a feisty independent seller offering eclectic books and readings by controversial authors. It was a hangout for the likes of Joan Baez and Jerry Garcia in its heyday and became a center for the 1960s anti-war movement.
But then, the store abruptly shut down in August 2005. The unexpected loss of what had become a social and intellectual hub of the Peninsula triggered an outpouring of grief and even protests in the community. It spawned an unprecedented effort by a hastily assembled band of loyal patrons and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who came to the rescue of the store. They pledged $500,000 in capital support, created a new business plan and came up with volunteer assistance from some of the region's best business minds.
Six weeks later, the store reopened. On Saturday, book lovers and curiosity seekers young and old poured out to celebrate the revival, with Kepler's Day in the Park, an homage of music, carnival games, storytelling and book swaps.
But the biggest story retold on Saturday was the saga of Kepler's.
'We were shocked when we came up to the store the day it closed and it was totally dark inside,' recalled Kevin Kiser of Palo Alto, a children's book author. 'For us, not having Kepler's in the community would be like not having any literary life here.'
The store was so important to Kiser and his author wife, SuAnn, he said, they considered moving if Kepler's didn't reopen.
Even 7-year-old Avery Cowan of Menlo Park said 'it was so bad' when Kepler's closed. 'All the books I like are in there, and when it closes, you can't find them.'
As part of Kepler's revival, the store implemented a unique membership plan in which patrons pledge support much as supporters do for public television. About 2,000 have signed up, and Kepler's hopes to add 1,000 this year.
Kepler's also has stepped up its author events, such as one next week, when former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina will give a reading there.
In spite of the community outpouring, store owner Clark Kepler said sales are about the same as they were when the store closed last year and he expects to break even in the coming year.
Hut Landon, director of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, said at least three other independent stores have adopted Kepler's membership strategy.
The struggles at Kepler's mirror those of other independent stores as they compete with the likes of Amazon, Borders, Costco and Target, he said. The number of independent stores nationally dropped from 4,000 in 1990 to about 1,900 today, he said, although in the Bay Area, the numbers have remained flat at about 240.
Will the storied Kepler's survive 50 more years, or even the next year? It appears the patrons will have to wait for the sequel.
'The key is that if people buy 10 books a year, eight of them have to be from Kepler's, not just four,' Landon said. 'It's really all up to the customer.'
Copyright © 2006 San Jose Mercury News, All Rights Reserved.
Hosted by: Publisher Platform (beta)

The Waybacks Newsletter:

Hola, Compadres!

Foolishly left external laptop power supply in other briefcase. Leaving for tour at crack of dawn. Battery dying, perhaps ... odd screen flickering and freeze-ups. Mac; probably not virus ... still, seeing Spinning Beachball Of Death every few minutes. Must be brief.

Colorado: Thank you. Had lovely time. Loved UFO Lookout Station. Loved landlocked gator farms. REALLY loved giddy high at 12,000'. Apologize for apparent invasion of California culture into CO over last several years. Wabes don't know what tofu is either, and we sure as shootin' don't eat products marketed by size of curd.


Spinning beachball again! Grrrr. Sorry. Battery dying? Spyware? Malware? Infernal machine! Must update virus defs soon. Must hurry.

Kansas, Missouri & Nebraska. Thank you. Had lovely time. Feel distinctions area legislators currently making btw. Republicans & NeoCons more than balance out clear judgment lapse in allowing area chain restaurant to list "Blue Fluid" as an ingredient in specialty cocktail.

Canada: Thank you, had lovely time. [I'M SORRY, DAVE. I'M AFRAID I CAN'T DO THAT.] Hmmm .. did not type that ... augh. Onward. Faster. Marveled at Canadian advances in dead animal preservation and display. Loved how they've moved right past taxidermy into bronzing animals whole. Gives new meaning to term "sheep dip."

San Francisco: Hardly Strictly crazy-fun. TYVM to Bob Weir. Video here. 500,000 thank Warren Hellman. Only problem: decisions too tough. One young fan: "What this festival needs is more bands that suck!"

Great Lakes: T.Y., H.L.T. Decline Of Western Civilization Alert: motion-activated eye-level video advertising in men's restrooms. Laughed hard. Squirted milk out nose. Odd ... hadn't had milk in years.


What th'?!? Okay, okay. Gigs:

Thu, Oct 19
Lake Worth, FL
25 South J Street

Fri - Sat, Oct 20 - 21
Live Oak, FL
Sam Bush Band, Donna the Buffalo, Peter Rowan and Tony Rice Quartet, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Jim Lauderdale Band, The Duhks, The Greencards, Big Chief Bo Dollis & The Wild Magnolias, Herring Rodgers & Sipe with Mark Van Allen & Neal Fountain, Drew Emmitt Band, Joe Craven, The Lee Boys, Oteil & The Peacemakers, Old School Freight Train, Blueground Undergrass, David Gans, The Overtakers, Dread Clampitt, Redheaded Stepchild, Big Cosmo & The New Traditionals, Scramble Campbell.

Tue, Oct 24
Burlington, VT

Wed, Oct 25
Boston, MA

Thu, Oct 26
Westbrook, ME

Fri, Oct 27
Brookfield, NH
A Wolfeboro Folk event. High Range opens.

Stevie Coyle
New album "From The Pasture To The Future" available online at


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Other bloggers wishing the Bobstar a Happy Birthday!
Have a great show Java Joe!. We all await your review!

Thanks to the one and only Bird for putting this one out there! I know it's from an old Rolling Stone magazine story on the Bobby, but is this picture a sketch or a photograph?

There's a Wavy Documentary?
From my local newspaper:Local poet keeps Kesey's memoey alive.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

October 16!!

See that Bobstar Shine!

Happy Birthday Bobby Weir!!!
16 October 1947

Your date of conception was on or about 23 January 1947 which was a Thursday.

You were born on a Thursday
under the astrological sign Libra.
Your Life path number is 11.

Life Path Compatibility:
You are most compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 2, 4, 8, 11 & 22.
You should get along well with those with the Life Path numbers 3 & 6.
You may or may not get along well with those with the Life Path number 9.
You are least compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 1, 5 & 7.

The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2432474.5.
The golden number for 1947 is 10.
The epact number for 1947 is 8.
The year 1947 was not a leap year.

Your birthday falls into the Chinese year beginning 1/22/1947 and ending 2/9/1948.
You were born in the Chinese year of the Pig.

Your Native American Zodiac sign is Raven; your plant is Ivy.

You were born in the Egyptian month of Choiach, the fourth month of the season of Poret (Emergence - Fertile soil).

Your date of birth on the Hebrew calendar is 2 Heshvan 5708.

The Mayan Calendar long count date of your birthday is which is
12 baktun 16 katun 13 tun 15 uinal 10 kin

The date of Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 6 April 1947.
The date of Orthodox Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 13 April 1947.
The date of Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent) on your birth year was Wednesday 19 February 1947.
The date of Whitsun (Pentecost Sunday) in the year of your birth was Sunday 25 May 1947.
The date of Whisuntide in the year of your birth was Sunday 1 June 1947.
The date of Rosh Hashanah in the year of your birth was Monday, 15 September 1947.
The date of Passover in the year of your birth was Saturday, 5 April 1947.
The date of Mardi Gras on your birth year was Tuesday 18 February 1947.

As of 10/16/2006 10:42:32 AM EDT
You are 59 years old.
You are 708 months old.
You are 3,079 weeks old.
You are 21,550 days old.
You are 517,210 hours old.
You are 31,032,642 minutes old.
You are 1,861,958,552 seconds old.

Celebrities who share your birthday:
John Mayer (1977) Kellie Martin (1975) Flea (1962)
Tim Robbins (1958) Suzanne Somers (1946) Angela Lansbury (1925)
Eugene O'Neill (1888) Oscar Wilde (1854) Noah Webster (1758)

Top songs of 1947
Near You by Francis Craig Heartaches by Ted Weems
Ballerina by Vaughn Monroe Peg O' My Heart by Harmonicats (also Buddy Clark and The Three Suns)
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! by Tex Williams Managua, Nicaragua by Freddy Martin
Chi-Baba, Chi-Baba by Perry Como Mam'selle by Art Lund (also Frank Sinatra)
Linda by Ray Noble with Buddy Clark Huggin' and Chalkin' by Hoagy Carmichael

Your age is the equivalent of a dog that is 8.43444227005871 years old. (You old hound dog, you!)

There are 365 days till your next birthday
on which your cake will have 60 candles.

Those 60 candles produce 60 BTUs,
or 15,120 calories of heat (that's only 15.1200 food Calories!) .
You can boil 6.86 US ounces of water with that many candles.

In 1947 there were approximately 2.8 million births in the US.
In 1947 the US population was approximately 131,669,275 people, 44.2 persons per square mile.
In 1947 in the US there were approximately 1,595,879 marriages (12.1%) and 264,000 divorces (2%)
In 1947 in the US there were approximately 1,417,000 deaths (10.8 per 1000)
In the US a new person is born approximately every 8 seconds.
In the US one person dies approximately every 12 seconds.

In 1947 the population of Australia was approximately 7,637,963.
In 1947 there were approximately 182,384 births in Australia.
In 1947 in Australia there were approximately 76,457 marriages and 8,705 divorces.
In 1947 in Australia there were approximately 73,468 deaths.

Your birthstone is Tourmaline

The Mystical properties of Tourmaline

Pink Tourmaline promotes female balance and protection. Green Toumaline promotes male balance.
Some lists consider these stones to be your birthstone. (Birthstone lists come from Jewelers, Tibet, Ayurvedic Indian medicine, and other sources)
Opal, Jasper

Your birth tree is
Maple, Independence of Mind
No ordinary person, full imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud, self-respect, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, many complexes, good memory, learns easily, complicated love life, wants to impress.

There are 70 days till Christmas 2006!
There are 83 days till Orthodox Christmas!

The moon's phase on the day you were
born was waxing crescent.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Liquid Light Productions is a live performance light show, a concert production company and a multi media projection service.

Our music and event productions are based in the historic River Theater, 16135 Main Street Guerneville CA. Our 600 person dance hall features four levels of dance hall space, an enclosed private balcony for up to 30 people as well as state of the art video, lighting and sound systems. Liquid Light Productions proudly assumed management of this fine and unique event space on August 9th 2006. For event information, rentals and other available services please call 707-869-3194 or you can contact us at:


October 14th: the Avalon Allstars

The Avalon Allstars, consists of some of the best talent to grace the stage of San Francisco's historical Avalon Ballroom. Bobby Vega from Zero, Melvin Seals (The Jerry Garcia Band), Jay Lane (Rat Dog), David Nelson from New Riders of the Purple Sage and Barry Sless from Phil and Friends. Opener Gabby La La

Tickets are available in advance for $18, $21 at the door, doors 8:00, show 9:30. More guests TBA

Strictly Amazing

From Alan Sheckter
Hi folks. Here's my article on the Weir and the
Waybacks show, Oct. 3 at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Big Room in Chico, Calif. The article printed in
today's issue of The Buzz, the weekly entertainment
supplement of the daily papers in Chico and Oroville,
Calif. Research shows that this appears to have been
Weir's first performance in Chico since 11-1-68, when
The Grateful Dead made its one appearance in this
Northern California valley town.

For you publishers, you may reprint portions or all of
the article, but must credit the author.

Alan Sheckter
Editor, The Buzz
Chico Enterprise-Record
Chico, Calif.

(three photos
posted online

Weir, Waybacks make beautiful fusion at the Sierra
Nevada Big Room
By ALAN SHECKTER - Buzz Editor
Chico Enterprise-Record
Article Launched: 10/12/2006 12:00:00 AM PDT

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale replaced electric Kool-Aid.

In what was likely Bob Weir's first performance in
Chico since 1968, the Grateful Dead co-founder,
guitarist and singer joined eclectic Bay Area acoustic
rockers The Waybacks for an evening of wide-ranging
music Oct. 3 at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s Big Room.

And while the ensemble covered several Grateful Dead
songs — as well as tunes from many other artists — the
vibe was unquestionably dissimilar from the show Weir
performed as a member of The Grateful Dead on Nov. 1,
1968, at Chico's Silver Dollar Fairgrounds.

On this night, which Big Room General Manager Bob
Littell said was "the toughest ticket we've ever had"
— and that's saying something — Weir injected varying
amounts of Grateful Dead energy into the music of a
skillful, impeccably talented Waybacks crew.

Rather than getting bogged down in a
Grateful-Dead-without-Jerry-Garcia consciousness, an
almost fruitless task that The Other Ones and later
"The Dead" (both featuring former Grateful Dead
members Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutz-mann and Mickey
Hart) struggled with, this show was fresh,
unpredictable and full of youthful energy thanks to
the Waybacks.

As Sam Bush and friends helped take bluegrass to a
new, contemporary level back in the 1970s as the New
Grass Revival, the Waybacks refreshingly take
traditional American music to new heights, with a
melting pot of folk, alt-country, bluegrass, swing and

Front man James Nash, a phenomenal 33-year-old
flat-picking lead guitarist, mandolin player and
singer, got more-than-adequate support from rhythm
guitarist Steve Coyle and fiddler Warren Hood, as well
as bassist Joe Kyle Jr. and Chuck Hamilton.

The quintet opened the show with three of its own
songs, including the playful and catchy "Petrified
Man," and it was apparent the Waybacks alone — who
many in the crowd were unfamiliar with — could've
satisfied the audience on their own.

But make no mistake about it; the sold-out house was
largely there to see Weir.

Appearing in fine fitness and decent voice, though the
59-year-old's hair seems to be thinning rather
quickly, Weir appeared comfortable and loose on stage,
singing and ambitiously playing new arrangements of
old favorites.

He even drank from a pint of ale that someone at a
table down front had poured from a pitcher, trusting
the amber liquid not to have been dosed.

Weir, who took center stage but did not act like a
star, strummed a bit before launching into
"Jackstraw," one of his trademark Grateful Dead tunes.

The crowd's energy, already at a high level, rose a
couple of notches as they began to appreciate Weir's
appearance in the classy, 350-capacity Big Room. The
audience also showed its respect for the Waybacks,
refreshing and excellent players who acted as Weir's
backing band for much of the balance of the show.

Weir and the Waybacks offered several cover songs —
many that the Dead used to perform — that spanned a
broad spectrum of styles, including "Silver Threads
and Golden Needles," Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried,"
Marty Robbins' "Big Iron," the Rolling Stones' "The
Last Time" and "19th Nervous Breakdown," and even a
far-from-perfect but quite ambitious version of Led
Zeppelin's "Kashmir." On that number, the crowd
affectionately howled back at Weir as he tried in vain
to reach the vocal heights of Ro-bert Plant's original

The Dead's psychedelic era was also represented with
the classic pairing of "St. Stephen" and part of "The
Eleven," which appear on the band's 1968 recording,

A rousing "Bertha," another longtime Dead favorite,
closed the set with a frenzy. The band quickly
returned for an encore of the poignant "Brokedown
Palace," followed by an epic version of Bob Dylan's
"Like A Rolling Stone." After the crowd had partially
thinned, a second encore of another Dead classic,
"Casey Jones," ended the festivities.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Finally, last week in Bobby land-

10/3/2006 Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA
... Jack Straw, Mama Tried, Dupree's Diamond Blues, ?, Silver Threads and Golden Needles, Kashmir, ?, 19th Nervous Breakdown, Big Iron, Dire Wolf, St. Stephen > William Tell Bridge > Last Time, Bertha
E: Brokedown Palace, Like a Rolling Stone
E2: Casey Jones
Bob sitting in with The Waybacks

10/4/2006 Slim's, San Francisco, CA
I: ... Bertha, Brown-Eyed Women, Mama Tried, Time to Get a Gun, Dupree's Diamond Blues, Big River, 19th Nervous Breakdown, Cumberland Blues
II: Jack Straw, Dire Wolf, Casey Jones, Ring of Fire, Kashmir, St. Stephen > William Tell Bridge > Last Time
E: Brokedown Palace, Fortunate Son
Bob sitting in with The Waybacks

10/5/2006 The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
II: Feel Like a Stranger, Minglewood Blues, Scarlet Begonias > Fire on the Mountain, Lady with a Fan > Terrapin... Space > Sugaree > Cassidy > China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider
E: Mighty Quinn, Around and Around
Bob sitting in with Dark Star Orchestra

10/8/2006 Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
... Bertha, Jack Straw, 19th Nervous Breakdown, Dupree's Diamond Blues, Dire Wolf*, Petrified Man, Kasmir, St. Stephen > William Tell Bridge > Last Time, Casey Jones*
Like a Rolling Stone*
-w/Gillian Welch and David Rawlings

Bob sitting in with The Waybacks

Mazzy's BobStar Orchestra pix are up over on!
Radio interview with Bobby clickety click here!

Cute blog story-click here

Oh when the Saint comes marching in...
It's been a great huge week! Three Bobstar sightings, friends in from out of town. Just as our longtime (since childhood!) friends return to Boston, 'Saint of Circumstance" comes to town from Ohio!
I met Saint for the first time in cyber space on the now defunct Ratdog Conference board. We were all going to be in Europe for Ratdog and so we made plans to meet in 3-D in Cologne, Germany. We met in the lobby of the Koln Holiday Inn and pretty much stuck together for the rest of the week. Saint had already been to a few previous Eurodog shows and had made connections with other Americans on tour. Thanks to him we met some other DogLovers along the way. The following Summer, we met up again in the UK. Saint only made it to the London Ratdog show before he switched gears and ended up following the Rolling Stones instead. Thanks to his sudden change in plans, we met one of our darling Robins when she was offered Saint's space in the van that a group of us hired to get around the UK in. Scott & I have Saint to thank for being key (in one way or another) for us having met some awesome folks.
Anyhow, I was too far behind in some things and wondered how to get out of going to the Roger Waters show last night. Everyone should have my problems. And then poof! Saint dropped an e-mail saying that he was in town- great timing as I knew Scott would be delighted to have Saint join him for the show- and I could be home attending to stuff that needed attending to. I had a little time to visit with Saint before the guys left for the show. He's doing great- looks the same, hopefully, we'll get a Ratdog related show (Where's Kenny Brooks this week?) or something before Saint leaves town in a few weeks.

Pretty nice looking/ sounding YouTube of Hard Rain:

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

So much to write and so little time available lately to do it!
More YouTube of Weirbacks
Here's Bertha

Yep that is me with a camera and Scotto with the shining black hair bopping along taking a picture with his phone.

Monday, October 09, 2006

So much fun!
An article on the whole thing
Almost all my pix!

Check out these YouTubes from Sundays' Weirback set!


Live from Mill Valley! It's One More Saturday Night Live!!
Ratdog rocks for Darfur

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Mazzy's picture from Weirbacks @Slim's- check out a few more at


Which Grateful Dead Song are You?


Uncle John's Band
You are very laid back and peaceful. You enjoy music a lot, in fact, it is probably one of the biggest things in your life. While the rest of the world is in turmoil and time is flying you see beyond all of that by just laying back and listening to the music and thinking things over. You like to question lots of things and if you aren't careful, even you get caught up in the time flying just by wondering things. You have good insight on most things.... when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door.
Take The Quiz Now!Quizzes by


Friday, October 06, 2006

Bob Star Orchestra!

Managed to get out to this last night- arriving at Fillmore during the setbreak!
Another great time!!
It's been a really fun few days- thanks to Scotto for holding down the fort (his softball games ended up being cancelled-he was upset to have missed his chance at Weirbacks and predictably was too tired to head out to DSO last night. Thanks also to Kemmie for schleping me around. We had more fun than two preschool teachers prowling around the city on school nights ought to be allowed. Of course, she's off for more DSO, while I'm heading back downstairs to work on Rex goodies. Gonna catch up on some things (like sleeping) before Sunday's Weirbacks!!

Sugar Mag
Dancin in the Streets
Dark Star V1
Gimme Some Lovin'
From the Heart of Me
Music Never Stopped
Sunshine Daydream

SET 2 BOBBY's on Stage
Feel Like a Stranger
Scarlet B--John on vocals
Fire--John on vocals
Terrapin--Bobby on vocals
Space with Bobby
Sugaree - John and Bobby alternating verses
China Cat - John and Bobby alternating verses

Mighty Quinn (Rob & Bobby)
Around and Around

Bobby was in the balcony watching 1st set
Rob Eaton was by the soundboard for most of the 2nd set
(Thanx LizardKing for the setlist)

For those that don't know:

John Kadlecik - lead guitar
Rob Eaton - rhythm guitar
Kevin Rosen - bass guitar
Dino English - drums
Rob Koritz - drums
Dan Klepinger - keys
Lisa Mackey - vocals

Thursday, October 05, 2006

from The Rex Foundation

Dear Friends,

We launched the Rex Community Caravan to be our virtual vehicle for philanthropy, where each of us can help generate positive social change with contributions that we might otherwise consider spare change over the course of a year, such as $5.00 is a penny a day, $36.00 is 10 cents a day, or $50 is 14 cents a day.

To demonstrate the power of spare change to generate social change, Rex is initiating a Call for Change to raise $50,000 over the next five months. All dollars raised via our Rex Community Caravan between October 3, 2006 and March 2, 2007 will be distributed as grants. Contributors can tell us if they want donations to go towards one of Rex's main areas of funding - healthy environment, individuality in the arts, social & economic justice, preservation of indigenous cultures, strong community and the education of children and adults.

To see what you can help accomplish, go to the Rex Community Caravan and make a donation on-line or download the Caravan form to fax or mail. To specify a grant area, enter one of the 6 bolded titles noted above. Forward this e-mail to others you want to bring on board the Rex Community Caravan to help generate social change with their spare change.

Each month, we'll announce the Caravan totals and include stories about the kinds of programs your contributions support, like the one about NextCourse, pictured below.

Get on board the Rex Community Caravan and watch your spare change generate social change. Check out Fostering the Power of Community, Service and the Arts for more about what we mean by social change and the work of the Rex Foundation towards this.

And, save Friday, December 1, 2006 for Vibes For Peace at the Warfield Theater, San Francisco.

Thanks for all your support.

Sandy Sohcot
Executive Director

May 2006 Rex Grantee - NextCourse

The work of NextCourse is integral to generating social change because it is helping people who have been systematically lacking vital information about and access to healthy food shift their behaviors and become part of the ever-growing population that demands health and sustainability. More about NextCourse...

This email was sent by: Rex Foundation: P. O. Box 29608 San Francisco, CA, 94129-0608, USA

The Weirbacks
San Francisco, CA

1: Petrified Man, Been Around, Your smile?, Bertha, Brown Eyed Women, Mama Tried, Get A Gun,
Dupree's Diamond Blues, Big River->19th Nervous Breakdown, Cumberland Blues

2: Fungus Fugues #s 12 & 35?->Compadres in the Old Sierra Madre->Jack Straw->Dire Wolf,
Casey Jones, Ring of Fire, Kashmir, Saint Stephen->William Tell Bridge->The Last Time

E: Brokedown Palace, Fortunate Son

What a fun evening- before I continue...hear some for yourself clicky here!- Hoping the link is working by the time YOU click it.

My ever hardy cohort Kemmie, picked me up late afternoon yesterday. We were in good spirits despite gray & gloomy skies. Knowing we'd finally have 2 sets of Bobby in the city was like a hit of sunshine! Scott was sure his softball game was happening (argh, it's still softball season even though Baseball is finally over)...We were surprised to find only about 6 people in the ticket line and nobody in the will call line. I was first in line and that happily put me next to clear glass entrance doors. Though locked, we could easily hear soundchecks , even feel the vibrations on the outside walls (and yes, they were good vibrations). Only a few moments after we were standing there, Bobby walked by us, he was looking happy and ready to play! We soon heard him join in the sound check. All I could see from the line was Stevie Coyle and James Nash (WaybackS).
I could hear Bobby loud and clearly go through a rendition of "Silver Threads and Golden Needles".
On the ride up to SF, I tried singing Silver Threads to Kemmie but in my head it kept turning into "Mama Tried"...So, I had to smile when "Mama Tried" was played at the show..I'm getting ahead of myself so-
Back to soundcheck...
It might have been DA or the kind young man in the other line who was the first to recognize the strains of June/Johnny Carter's "Ring of Fire" being soundchecked. WOO HOO! They played it or parts of it several times and I couldnt have been more thrilled to hear it!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Thank You Alan S.!!!!!!

Bob Weir with the Waybacks
Oct. 3, 2006
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. "Big Room"
capacity 325 - sold out.

Waybacks opened with three of their songs before Weir came out and then the band played:
Mama Tried
Dupree's Diamond Blues

Silver Threads and Golden Needles
Waybacks' song
19th Nervous Breakdown
Big Iron
St. Stephen ->
The Eleven ->
The Last Time
e: Brokedown Palace
Like a Rolling Stone

show: 7:45-9:45 p.m.
List by Alan Sheckter

Bobby & the Waybacks tonight at Slim's!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thrumbrella has a nice picture of the Blair Jackson book on the gear of the GD!

And has a link to an article on the Waybacks & Bobby. Since Dead news no longer seems to be updating his blog, I'm looking to RUKind to keep myself up to date on GD related news. Now that school has started I don't have enough time to comb through everything. Thank you, RUKind!

And everyone's excited to find out more about the Rex's upcoming activities especially after seeing this on their website!:

" save Friday, December 1, 2006 for Vibes For Peace
at the Warfield Theater, San Francisco."

I don't know what any of it means but I sure am thrilled that Alan's on top of all the latest in camera gear. I look forward to the next generation of concert shots!

And, the smokin head of Bob

can answer all your questions in several languages!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

News from Munckmix:

Dear RatDog Live customer,

We would like to bring you some exciting news: Bob Weir's longtime friend and lyricist John Perry Barlow has released a new album: "Barlow Shanghai"

Barlow has mostly operated behind the scenes as a lyricist for The Grateful Dead (Cassidy, Estimated Prophet, Music Never Stopped,...), and various Bob Weir projects. That is - until now.

On a trip to Chicago last years Barlow met a group of seasoned jam band musicians known as "Mr. Blotto". Together they started writing a song just for the fun of it, but the chemistry grew, and in the course of several subsequent sessions the songs continued to flow. The result: "Barlow Shanghai" - an album full of original songs crafted and co-produced by Barlow himself.

Barlow Shanghai is being released on Oct. 13 and is not yet available in stores, but as a RatDog Live customer you can get it now. CDs are in stock and ready to ship, downloads are available immediately. The CD comes with a 6 page booklet including the lyrics to all 15 songs.

Money Orders welcome - just send a list of the recordings you want with the money order to: MunckMix, P.O. Box 46, Glencoe, IL 60022.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I freaking LOVE El Paso!

Bluegrass festival taps roots sounds
By Andrew Gilbert
California's largest hoedown returns to Golden Gate Park's Speedway Meadow when the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival transforms the park's western meadow into a huge jamboree.

Launched in 2001 by savvy San Francisco investor Warren Hellman as a one-day "strictly" bluegrass event, the festival has expanded temporally and stylistically, adding the qualifier "hardly" as it has come to embrace a wide swath of rootsy artists steeped in blues, bluegrass, rock and various forms of American old-time music.

Now in its sixth season, the free festival has quickly become a signature Bay Area event that draws on the region's deep reservoir of roots-music talent, while also presenting big-name national acts. It's as if someone rolled two months of Freight & Salvage's calendar into a single weekend, and then threw some rock stars into the mix for good measure.

"The first year we called it 'Strictly Bluegrass' because we had Emmylou Harris, and trying to push her into just playing bluegrass is impossible," said Hellman, a student of old-time banjo. "It's funny; she's been more bluegrassy every year since then. I've been surprised and pleased by the breadth of bluegrass itself; and as we've added the other stuff, the Jimmie Dale Gilmores and Robert Earl Keens, the different kinds of music that give me pleasure has expanded a lot."

The festival opens Friday with a light schedule on one stage. While open to the general public, the morning program is geared for grade-school students as part of the Daniel Pearl Foundation World Music Days. The afternoon kicks off with Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, who along with Joe Ely helped pioneer the progressive country music sound in the mid-'70s with their West Texas-based band the Flatlanders.

For many years Gilmore was better-known as a songwriter than a performer, but since releasing his first solo album in 1988 on the Oakland-based HighTone label, he's become a powerful interpreter of his original material.

Elvis Costello headlines on Friday with the Hammer of the Honky-Tonk Gods, a band he's borrowing from Bill Kirchen, the guitarist who supplied the hot twang and cool vocals to Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen's 1972 hit "Hot Rod Lincoln." Rumor has it that they will be joined by special guests Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch.

With five simultaneous stages, Saturday and Oct. 8 offer far too many artists to list. Saturday's artists include the Stairwell Sisters; the Devil Makes Three; T Bone Burnett; Jerry Douglas and Best Kept Secret; Allison Brown; Steve Earle and the Bluegrass Dukes; and Earl Scruggs, a true bluegrass patriarch.

Sunday's lineup features Tim O'Brien's Cornbread Nation; Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder; the North Mississippi Allstars; Alejandro Escovedo; Ramblin' Jack Elliott; and the Waybacks with special guest Bob Weir. It's a program geared to appeal to a broad array of Bay Area music fans.

In many ways, Hellman's timing couldn't have been better. Ever since the 2000 release of the Coen brothers' popular film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" which spawned a hit soundtrack, the visibility of bluegrass and old-time music has increased exponentially. If attendance at the festival is any indication, the music's popularity is still growing.

Last year, the festival attracted an audience of more than a quarter of a million to the park, with so many people arriving on Sunday that Hellman said he hoped that attendance would be more evenly distributed this year.

The event has become so big that it's created a small economy of its own, with dozens of artists using Hardly Strictly Bluegrass as an anchor for West Coast tours. A one-day bluegrass festival has emerged in Santa Cruz to take advantage of the flood of talent coming into the area. Rather than seeing the other gigs as competition, Hellman welcomes the ripple effect.

"I don't have grand objectives, that I'm going to revolutionize modern society and bring world peace," said Hellman, who wouldn't put an exact figure on his festival underwriting, but indicated that it was costing him well into six figures. "If I had loftier goals, it would continue the growth and popularity of traditional music, which has made a huge comeback.

"Secondly, it's pretty great to throw a big party. Last year we had 300,000 people and only four arrests, which were all for drunkenness. Having two days where people just enjoy each other and what they're listening to with no problems, that's an accomplishment."


• WHAT: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

• WHEN: Friday, 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday through Oct. 8, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

• WHERE: Speedway Meadow, Golden Gate Park, S.F.

• HOW MUCH: Free