Ky-Yi Bossie – come along with Bob Weir

Photo by Jay Blakesberg Photography

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Bob Weir over the last 10-15 years, it’s that he is most definitely not going to shave that giant mustache and beard. Bob, such a handsome dude underneath that hair! Ah well, the beards are here to stay all around me, I may as well just get used to it.

Crazy to think that more than 21 years have gone by since the passing of Jerry Garcia, bringing with it the end of what was the Grateful Dead. Bob has never let up though. He’s carried on with Ratdog over years with a rotating cast of characters in the band (sorry to see that the great bass player Rob Wasserman passed away earlier this year); and he has re-congregated in different incarnations with his former Dead band mates, most recently as Dead & Company, with John Mayer joining in on guitar and vocal duties (A+ decision on everyone’s part). I’ll finally be checking them out next May when they visit Phoenix on the second show of their tour (May 28).

Adding to his always active life in music, Bob also released Blue Mountain earlier this year, only the third album of his career billed only as Bob Weir (along with 1972’s Ace and 1977’s Heaven Help the Fool). It’s a collection of “cowboy” songs, as he’s referred to them, with help from quality musicians like Josh Ritter and a couple members of the National (who curated that huge and excellent Dead tribute project earlier this year, Day of the Dead).

The album struck a chord with me. I love the downtempo side of the music, and the great melodies and laid back acoustic stylings in Blue Mountain really grabbed me.

A notch above the rest for me are “Gallop on the Run,” “Whatever Happened to Rose,” and especially “Ky-Yi Bossie,” painting a vivid picture of addiction and relationship problems that have to be at least semi-autobiographical. It’s imaginative and honest, framed in a very catchy cowboy tune with a very cowboy title. Check it out…

The Friday Five: April 30, 2010

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

Would you believe I actually forgot it was Friday? I was able to sneak in a quick listening session during a short break between meetings, here’s what I heard:

“Let Me Love You Tonight” by Pure Prairie League (from The Best of Pure Prairie League, 1995)

“A Matter of Trust” by Billy Joel (from The Bridge, 1986)

“Rapture” by Seed (from Ling, 1994)

“Stars Fell on Alabama” by Cannonball Adderly & John Coltrane (from Cannonball & Coltrane, 1960)

“3×5” by John Mayer (from Room for Squares, 2001)

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: December 11, 2009

Friday Five : ˈfrī-(ˌ)dā,-dē ˈfīv : On the sixth day of every week I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and share my five and drop a little knowledge and insight for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes we have guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

Ani DiFranco – “Hide and Seek” (from Living in Clip, 1997)

Steve Perry – “If Only for the Moment, Girl” (mp3) (from Street Talk, 1984)

The Smashing Pumpkins – “Cherub Rock” (from Siamese Dream, 1993)

Joe Jackson – “Tiger Rag” (from Tucker: The Man and His Dream, 1988)

John Mayer – “Perfectly Lonely” (mp3) (from Battle Studies, 2009)

It’s still Friday, right? What are you listening to this evening?

Review: John Mayer Live at New England Dodge Center

Mayer leaves the paparazzi behind and delivers a heartfelt set to his hometown crowd.

What Would You Do For A John Mayer?“Here are the delays and cancellations of your problems…” promised an earnest John Mayer Saturday night, and for the two hours he occupied the stage, he delivered just that. He quietly walked onstage and kicked straight into his Continuum heavy set with a humble determination that shined though every note. And while his crowd may have proved quite lame (seriously, who sits for an entire show and texts for three quarters of it?) he delivered a solid and energetic show that will stick with me for quite some time.

Mayer kicked off the set with the mid-tempo burner “Belief” into the soulful “Vultures”. A quick guitar change later (seriously, the guy rolls with an obscene amount of gear) brought the first cover of the evening in the form of Robert Johnson/Cream‘s classic “Crossroads” which had a decidedly funky twist to it. This was also the first opportunity that he took to let his guitar playing take the center stage. And say what you want about his pop-leanings and celebrity persona, Mayer knows how to throw down and can hang with the best of them.

“I can’t tell you how happy I am tonight. There’s nothing like coming back home to play a show” was his first spoken words to the crowd (at about 20 minutes into the show, no less) and it was clear that he was feeling the love and enjoying playing for family, friends and fans alike. The pairing of “I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)” and “Dreaming With a Broken Heart” lead my wife to the observation that he really does put the “Bad Boyfriend Material” warning out there.

The acoustic portion of the set featured a heartfelt dedication to his parents (who were in attendance) and the second and third covers of the evening in the form of Tom Petty‘s “Free Falling” followed by an absolutely sick 12-bar blues based take on Duffy‘s “Mercy”. Why it is that despite having a fairly decent amount of his own material he chooses to play covers is beyond me, but the crowd certainly ate it up.

From here Mayer sailed through a pair of early hits lamenting “you can only really play one place where you’re singing “I wanna run through the halls of my high school” and you guys know where that high school is”, leading up to the set closer “Gravity”. This was actually the second time that I got to hear this performed (the first being with the John Mayer Trio) and it still carries the power that it did then (and you can hear for yourself at the end of this post). The encore (which was chosen by the fans via his website) wrapped with his current single “Say” at which point my wife and I decided to trek back to the car.

If you’ve not experienced John Mayer live I can heartily recommend checking him out when he swings through town.

John Mayer
New England Dodge Center, Hartford, CT
August 23, 2008

Set List:

I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You)
Dreaming With a Broken Heart
Stop This Train
Free Falling
No Such Thing
Why Georgia
Find Another You
Stitched Up
Bigger Than My Body

In Repair
Waiting on the World to Change

Bonus Download!
John MayerGravity (MP3)
[audio:17 Gravity.mp3]

Download the whole show here (

Buy Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles: Amazon | iTunes

Links: Official Site | on | on MySpace

The Reason I Still Dig John Mayer

I make no bones about being a John Mayer fan. Since before Room for Squares was released I’ve followed and enjoyed his career. The preceding video is just one more reason that I’m a card carrying fan. John jumped up on stage with local NYC band The UnionN for a medley of his hit “Waiting on The World to Change” and Alicia Keys brilliant new track “No One”.

Buy: Continuum (Special Edition) (Amazon) (iTunes)

The UnionN: Official Site | MySpace
John Mayer: Official Site | MySpace

Live Earth Moment: Gimme Shelter

So I spent many a minute yesterday clicking around, checking out the different Live Earth performances around the globe. Kudos to MSN for their webcast coverage. They even made it user friendly for us Mac users (though you did need IE to be able to click around from city to city). One of my favorite moments yesterday was a Keith Urban / Alicia Keys performance of the Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” during Keith’s set. Color me impressed, they rocked hard…. (and Alicia, you weren’t lookin’ so bad either).

By the way, did you guys see the Police play “Message in the Bottle” with John Mayer, and – uh – Kanye West? “Uh! Yeah! Uh. Uh. Uh. Yeah.” Um, no.