Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Nice stuff from 2/14/07 and a video stream of Mission over on
New interview with Keller Williams on includes this nice portion about Bob.

RR: You went to Bob Weir’s house in Northern California to record “Cadillac.” Whose dog is that barking in the background of the track?

KW: That was Bobby’s dog—Jackson Hamlet Weir.

RR: Are both of you whistling at the same time on that track?

KW: No. That was me—three-part.

RR: How was the Bob Weir experience?

KW: Fantastic. He was very warm and gentle, opened up his home to me and was very generous. We hung out in his beautiful house on this beautiful chunk of land in California and had just re-done his studio; this was some of the first stuff he had done in his studio. It was a very, very pleasant day.

RR: You’ve obviously had your own strong career but what was it like to work with Weir in his house when—like most of us—you’re a big Deadhead.

KW: Well, yeah, yeah…

RR: Is it heavy?

KW: It’s not so much heavy as it is surreal. The first time I met him, it was super strange. I went to so many [Dead] shows and I was always in the back; I really wasn’t one to go into the pavilion. I liked the lawn; sometimes, the back of the lawn. Most of the time, it was the little walkway in between the pavilion and the lawn—that’s kind of where I liked to hang out. (laughter)

Anyway, I was never really close, so to meet him for the first time was very surreal, very humbling. The first time we actually played together I wanted to rehearse before we went out. We’re in this tiny little room rehearsing and that was amazingly bizarre. Like I said, I was never really close and here I am in this little closet rehearsing with Bob Weir, singing and harmonizing. I totally know the songs, have been playing them for years and I’m harmonizing with him and it seems so natural because I’ve been doing it for so long. To do it with him was really unbelievable.

Since then, we’ve gotten to play together a dozen times or so and it’s starting to feel more and more natural. I really enjoy playing with him but I really love rehearsing with him beforehand in the back. That’s where the natural feelings come out; we’re playing the songs that he’s been playing for years, the songs that I’ve loved and it’s very easy. I’m
extremely grateful to be a part of that.

RR: Are you rehearsing solo gateways with Weir or a verse-chorus-break format?

KW: Some of the songs we’ve done are the traditional Bear’s Choice/Reckoning songs.

RR: Fairly rote?

KW: Yeah, then there are other songs like “Bird’s Song,” “Cassidy” or “Jack Straw,” and there is an open session to where we allow ourselves to improvise in one area but basically, we go over the format of the songs. I often do different interpretations and I want to make sure that I’m doing it right, playing the right stuff.