Get a $10.00 Music Credit at!


Furthur Announces Major Winter Tour

Furthur featuring The Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh and Bob Weir with Ratdogs' Jeff Chimenti and Jay Lane, and Dark Star Orchestra Guitarist John Kadlecik along with Joe Russo on drums announced a major twenty-eight show US Winter tour.

Furthur Tour Info Here

After listening to downloads of the three Furthur shows from the Fox Theatre in Oakland, CA on September 18th, 19th, and 20th I'm really excited about the upcoming Furthur Winter Tour! Considering these were the first three shows of this newly formed Grateful Dead-ish configuration I think good things are to come on this Furthur Tour. I also just really love the fact that they brought back the "Furthur" name, initally used for the "Furthur Festivals" over the first two summers following Jerry Garcia's death. The Furthur name references Ken Kesey's bus driven by the legendary Neil Cassady , the man Jack Kerouac based his Dean Moriarty character on in On the Road.

Ken Kesey's Bus Fine Art Print from San Francisco State College on 31 Oct 66: 11x14 C-Print Signed

I guess Bob Weir and Phil Lesh decided to play with a "Jerry impersonator" type. John Kadlecik, of Dark Star Orchestra, has made a career as a Garcia tribute guitarist in a Grateful Dead tribute band of sorts. DSO's main theme is to recreate Grateful Dead shows from the past and thus has to be defined as a Grateful Dead copy or tribute band. This said, John Kadlecik sounds very good in this lineup, as well as with DSO. His voice sounds eerily like Jerry's croaky voice at times. Bob Weir was quoted as saying that if you close your eyes and listen to Kadlecik, you might forget that it's not Jerry. I think that's pushing it a bit, but Kadlecik does sound good when they let him sing. They finally got a guy that sounds allot like Jerry vocally, and they don't have him sing all of Jerry's songs. I think it would work well if Bobby sings his songs, Phil sings his songs, and John Kadlecik sings Jerry Garcia's songs. It would sound the most like the Grateful Dead this way and not like Ratdog or The Other Ones or Phil and Friends.

As an interesting side note; Jeff Mattson of the Zen Tricksters, one of my favorite local bands, is replacing John Kadlecik in DSO while he's playing with Furthur. I've also heard rumors that Kadlecik has quit DSO and Mattson will replace him permanently. In any case this reunites Mattson with ex Zen Tricksters' keyboardist Rob Baracco of Phil and Friends fame. I happen to think that if you would have just taken Jeff Mattson and plugged him in to the Jerry spot with Weir, Lesh, Hart, and Kreutzman and Baracco on keyboards, you would have something real close to the Grateful Dead. But Bobby and Phil chose Kadlecik instead (years ago Phil said that Jeff Mattson sounded too much like Jerry for him to play in Phil and Friends). Furthur got off to a good start and they'll surely get better the more they play with each other on this tour. Stay tuned for Futhur information.

The bus came by and I got on. That's when it all began - Grateful Dead

Further - Phil Lesh and Bob Weir Tickets Dec 12 2009 and More


Bob Weir and Ratdog Beacon Theatre 10-24-09

Bob Weir and Ratdog wrapped up a five night, two venue, New York City run at the Beacon Theatre Saturday, October 24th 2009. The third night at the Beacon, preceded by two nights at the intimate Grand Ballroom (a first for Ratdog), turned out to be a great show which I'm in the process of confirming now digitally. On a drizzly night in NYC I drove in and met up with friends for a sushi dinner in honor of Shelly's birthday, then headed over to the show.

Bob Weir And Ratdog 10-24-09 Beacon Theatre, NYC

I could only go to this one show, but most of my friends did all five and said that Ratdog was playing really well on this NYC run. This show definitely confirmed that for me. Very strong indeed! Even some of my Bobby bashing friends felt that the Dog was playing hot at these shows. It seemed there were no complaints from anyone this time around. Even my buddy Tommy, the toughest Weir critic, enjoyed. I just can't fathom why some of these people complain about Bobby for years, but still go see him five nights in a row? Well they were lucky they did this time, and I wish I could have been there for all of them. I am still grateful I made it to this one. It was a most enjoyable night with great company before and during the show. The often barefooted Bob Weir and Ratdog were in prime form.

I made my way in and grabbed a drink and found my perch in the first row of the Loge, right center, as the lights went out. Perfect spot. No one in front of me, perfect view, drink in hand, and room to dance. What more can you ask for? The set started off with a short Jam into a strong Casey Jones, which Ratdog does a smooth double increase in tempo at the end on. This really set the groove for the first set. High Energy Man! Then they went right into a great Jack Straw which Mark Karan really tore up on the guitar into Cassidy into the blues standard Little Red Rooster into an intense Dark Star Jam which led to Lazy River Road stopping briefly then playing the Ratdog original She Says into Jerry's Liberty into an apropos Bertha - "Ran in to a rain storm, ducked right in to a bar door. All night pourin', but not a drop om me" - to end the set on a high note.

The Persuasions Special Guests at Ratdog Beacon Theatre

The second set brought a sweet surprise! After the customary Ratdog acoustic segment at the beginning of the set, which consisted of Mexicalli Blues > Friend Of The Devil and Black Throated Wind, Bobby brought out The Persuasions, who sang It Must Have Been The Roses a capella. Ratdog stayed onstage, reduced to spectators like the audience, witnessing the beautiful harmonies that these five master singers brewed. The band was then joined by The Persuasions on He's Gone, singing the "Oooh, oooh, Nothing's gonna bring him back" part, and adding a great gospel dimension to the Grateful Dead classic. They were really appreciated by the Deadhead audience, which erupted into cheers which shook the Beacon. The Persuasions left the stage and Ratdog resumed with the remainder of a powerful second set; The Other One > Jam without Weir (Ratdog fans like to call this often Jazz inspired segment "Stuff") into a great Morning Dew > Dark Star > Cassidy Reprise > One More Saturday Night to end the set. The Persuasions then joined Ratdog for the first encore of Ripple which was very sweet, followed by U.S. Blues - during which Hippie Bill waved a Grateful Dead Flag and Yankees flag on stage while Weir seemed to be oblivious to him.

Bob Weir is a trip! Hanging out on stage in what looked like pajamas, barefooted or sandaled, on his Grateful Dead trademark Persian Rugs, he makes the stage his home. And why shouldn't he? The stage is where he spends so much of his time; constantly touring with his different bands. Whether it's with Ratdog, The Dead, the new Furthur configuration, or the revisited Scaring The Children trio with old friend Rob Wasserman and Ratdog drummer Jay Lane, Bob Weir is always busy. He's got to be one of the hardest working guys in Rock and Roll today. Right up there with Warren Haynes and Bob Dylan. And I think doing the other projects Weir is involved in keeps Ratdog fresh when they do play. This last night at the Beacon Theatre had electricity. The music fit the band like a glove. And, like I used to always think, Ratdog just gets better and better every time I see them. They're a great band in their own rite. I look forward to seeing them again next time Bob Weir brings them to New York to make more magic for us. I may be going to Hell In a Bucket, but at least I'm enjoyin' the ride!

Once again I'd like to thank Joe Beacon for taping these shows and uploading them to You are a modern day hero! Download the shows here.