Live Dead on YouTube: 3-28-81 at the Rockpalast Festival

There’s an insane amount of live Grateful Dead shows on YouTube these days, and I’ve fallen hard into the rabbit hole the past couple of weeks.

I’ve spent some time traveling back to the late 80’s at Alpine Valley (to think I was a clueless 18 year old just 45 minutes away at this moment), the early 90’s at the Sam Boyd Silver Bowl in Las Vegas (where I saw my final Dead show), and most recently – today in fact – over in Germany at the 1981 Rockpalast Festival.

The show really takes off midway through the first set, with the run of “Sugaree”, “Me & My Uncle”, “Mexicali Blues”, and the funky disco-jamming of “Shakedown Street.”

Here’s the Dead at the Rockpalast Festival in March 1981 – all three hours and twenty-two minutes – featuring a guest appearance late in the show by a Mr. Pete Townshend.

Phish + ACL Music Festival? Yes. Please.

If this rumor turns out to be true, then it’s clear to me that the music gods are on my side. A few weeks ago, I tried for a ticket (one ticket) to see Phish play Telluride’s Town Park in August. My folks live there during the summer, my first Phish show was in Colorado twenty years ago, yada yada yada…

I would even have forfeited my October trip to the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

But I had no luck. Telluride tickets sold out in minutes. “It wasn’t to be,” I sighed and told myself.

So the ACL Festival it was. I secured my three day pass on April 20th, booked my flight and hotel, and all was well. I’ll be returning for my third ACL…

And NOW look – straight from the rumor mill – it’s looking like Phish could be announced as one of the headliners for ACL! Could this be any more perfect (other than a lineup also including Springsteen, Prince, 70’s Stones, and a resurrected Joe Strummer and Elvis Presley)?

Phish. ACL Festival. Yes. Let it be.

Source: Coventry Music: – Phishy Rumor: 2010 Austin City Limits Music Festival

Ticket Giveaway: Late Night at the Compound with Steve Kimock & Crazy Engine

What are you up to this weekend? If you can make your way to north Scottsdale’s Compound Grill, you’ll find the surroundings taken over by the McDowell Mountain Music Festival. Vehicles will be kicked to the curb, sod will be laid down, a big stage will go up, and the people… they will come. Look forward to sets by Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Trombone Shorty, Robert Randolph & the Family Band and others (see MMMF’s site for full lineup details).

Late Saturday night (showtime @ 11pm), within the cozy confines of the Compound Grill, Bay Area guitar whiz Steve Kimock will take the stage with his new band, Crazy Engine. Steve has been part of the jam/psychedelic/prog rock scene for a number of years. He co-founded Zero in the 80’s, formed his own Steve Kimock Band in 2000, and has played a part in Bob Weir’s Ratdog, Phil Lesh & Friends, and the Other Ones.

Joining Steve in Crazy Engine is longtime Jerry Garcia Band member Melvin Seals on Hammond B-3 and keys, Trevor Extor on bass and vocals, and his 22-year old son John Morgan Kimock on drums.

I’ll be there enjoying the show, so why don’t you? I’m giving away a pair of tickets. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below. Keep in mind this is a late night show that starts at 11pm and will jam into the wee hours of the morning. If you’re serious about rocking out all night long with Steve Kimock & Crazy Engine, drop a comment in below. I’ve heard Steve’s a pretty amazing guitarist to see live, so this should be something extra special given the small club feel of the Compound Grill.

I’ll pick a winner from the Comments section on Thursday. Good luck!

Phish confirmed for Telluride Town Park

If the ticket gods are kind, then come August 9th and 10th, I’ll be in one of my favorite places on earth – Telluride, Colorado – to see Phish! My first Phish show was 20 years ago, when Phish came to my school (Colorado College) for an outdoor Earth Day show with Pike’s Peak in the background. Since then, I’ve seen them play in Arizona, Las Vegas, Wisconsin, and London.

When I heard that Phish may play Telluride this summer, a heavenly spot where my parents live during the summers, I knew that I’d need to find a way. Well, if I can score the tickets, I will be there! Oh hell yeah…

See all the dates from their just announced Summer Tour right here.

And here’s a “Lizards” from their Colorado ’88 collection (the cover features Trey & Mike crossing Telluride’s main drag, Colorado Ave).

Good Times at the Telluride Cajun Festival

The nature of vacations is that they fly by way too quickly. And my first 2 week vacation since, well, since I started working for a living, is about to draw to a close. After I celebrate my 39th year on earth tomorrow, it’s back to the grind on Tuesday.

My family and I just spent 11 great days with my mom and my dad in Telluride, Colorado. My folks live up there during the summers, and it has become a yearly tradition to strap the car-sick-prone kids into the vehicle and brave the 9+ hours to the San Juans of southwest Colorado.

As fate would have it, along with the hiking, fly fishing, restaurantin’, Smugglers Brewpubbin‘ and such, I managed to catch some quality live music during our visit. Early on, it was James McMurtry playing for free in Mountain Village. And Friday, for our final day in town, it was the Telluride Cajun Festival, featuring Louisiana native Papa Mali, with new BFF (and drummer for the Dead) Bill Kreutzmann in tow…

Phish Returns

This past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, Phish played their first shows in five years at the Hampton Coliseum (aka “the mothership”) in Hampton, Virginia. I was one of the lucky ones who saw them in their very early years, during their first forays outside of the northeast. In 1990 and 1991, Phish stopped through my college in Colorado three times, and I was introduced to the wonder and weirdness that was the live Phish experience (two of these were costume-required Halloween shows, which added to the weirdness).

Since those college years, I’ve seen a healthy pile of shows here in Arizona, Las Vegas, Alpine Valley, and London – and have watched them soar in popularity as one of the premiere live acts of our time. I was saddened when they shut down shop in 2004, possibly for good.

But this weekend, the boys returned for a much anticipated run of shows in Hampton. And what has to be a first for an act of their caliber, they are offering free high quality MP3’s of the shows, released just hours after the last notes of the encores are played. This weekend was Phish weekend, not only for those inside the coliseum, but anyone around the world with a computer, who wished to share in the experience.

I haven’t listened to anything else since I downloaded Friday’s show on Saturday morning. Each morning has been met with a good dose of music geek excitement, as I get the opportunity to listen to the previous night’s Phish show. For this long time fan, it means a lot.

Check out, where you can download these shows for free (for a limited time).

PhishFluffhead (mp3) – their first song on Friday, 3/6.

Phish2001 (mp3) – from last night’s show (3/8). I love Phish’s take on Also Sprach Zarathustra. They don’t get any funkier…

Hometown Tunes: McDowell Mountain Music Festival

As an Arizona resident for the last sixteen years, there are a handful of things I look forward to each year – one is October, when the triple digit heat finally gives up and goes away for eight months or so. Another is Spring Training baseball – AZ is home to the Cactus League, where 14 major league teams come to train. Quickly inching its way up the list is the McDowell Mountain Music Festival, two April days of fun in the sun, great music, cold beer, and tasty food – all in my backyard, up in north Scottsdale at the Westworld grounds. I know it’s four and a half months away, but hey, I get excited, okay?

The festy launched a slick new web site today, with some lineup announcements, including Michael Franti & Spearhead as the Friday headliner. The Saturday headliner is yet to be announced, as are a few other slots on the bill. But so far, McDowell has a handful of national acts booked: Railroad Earth, Hot Tuna, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Assembly of Dust, and Young Dubliners.

The two headliners for Saturday are still pending, so I’m expecting that it’ll be worth the wait (I threw in my 2 cents, recommending Band of Horses). It shares the weekend with the first weekend of New Orleans Jazz Fest, which swallows up scores of talent, but I’ll have faith! So far, this year’s lineup hasn’t knocked my socks off, but I find that I always end up enjoying every set regardless – something about Arizona, April, beer, and music.

If you’re in the southwest, come on down… McDowell is still small enough that you won’t get swallowed up in a crowd, the people are great, it’s very well organized, and you may even bump into me as I stumble out of my rented RV! YoW!

McDowell Mountain Music Festival – 2009 (Web Site)

Friday, April 24th

Saturday, April 25th

Two years ago, the Neville Brothers were there, and I shot one of the musical highlights of my life…


“And He heard the Disco Biscuits…this-this-Jam-tronica… and He was pleased.”

I hear some great stuff on Sirius Satellite’s Jam On. They’ve been turning me on more and more to the coolness that is Philadelphia’s Disco Biscuits. I’ve known them only as one of those mainstays on the periphery of the jamband scene – but I’ve really grown to appreciate their melding of electronic music into the “jam” scene. Hence Jamtronica.

Soothing to the ear. Groove-a-licious to the soul.

The Disco Biscuits
Spacebirdmatingcall (mp3)


Sites: Official Site | MySpace

Review: Friday at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival

When you show up to at a music festival to pick up your press credentials, and you’re handed a VIP pass with 12 free drinks ready to be punched, at a Sierra Nevada-sponsored festival, well – you just know it’s gonna be a great day. Nine hours later – after seeing and hearing the likes of Gov’t Mule, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, the subdudes, Steve Reynolds Band, and Mikel Lander, Meridith Moore & Friends – I was right, it was great.

This was my second straight year at the Friday offering of Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountain Music Festival. It’s a young festival (this was it’s 5th annual), and with the impressive lineups, the great organization, and so much room at the Westworld venue to expand, it’s going to pick up steam and continue to grow each year. So on this Friday, my partner in crime was my friend Greg. Let me take you through our day…

Coming Right Up: McDowell Mountain Music Festival

For those of us in the southwest U.S. who can’t make it to Prince’s Coachella debut this weekend, a great alternative exists with the 5th annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival in Scottsdale.

I’ll be heading out Friday to see the Subdudes, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, and Friday headliner Gov’t Mule.

Saturday’s lineup includes the John Butler Trio, Blues Traveler, the Wailers, and J.J. Grey & Mofro.

So grab the sunscreen (forecast of 90 degrees), hit the noon to 4pm happy hour ($2 beers), and catch some quality tunes with Ickmusic! (or Pete, as I’m known in these parts)…