Jam – 2011-08-11 – Carroll’s

This week in Deadstein we were celebrating Alan’s birthday, which actually fell on this August 11.  In typical Deadstein tradition, it was both Alan’s privilege as well as obligation to select the songs to play. This was both a blessing and a curse.

Alan had a plan that he wanted to pull off which was first playing Skull and Roses followed by Live Dead.  It was a plan with a path and we started off on the right track with a Bertha.  With Hook once again as a guest musician for the night, Alan decided to take the first exit off the road into Blues County to accommodate Hook’s projected desire to eat there.  It seemed a little too early in the trip to hit an exit and eat and in the end; we never really got back on the road that we set out on.

It’s not that we didn’t take a nice little journey into the hinterland along side the highway, because we did, it just seemed that every time we approached getting back on it, we decided to jump right back off.  I am so preoccupied with the highways because I was in the car for some many hours getting to and from this week’s jam.  It took me almost 3 hours to get there with miserable traffic in New Jersey and Obama on the West Side for a fund raiser.  Couldn’t he just raise the debt ceiling a little more? We got to drive this guy out of town!  On the way home the Lincoln Tunnel, named after an actual great president Abraham Tunnel, was backed up so I headed down to the Holland which was no better.  I didn’t get into the tunnel until 1:00am meaning I pulled into my driveway around 2:00.  It was a long night.

One big surprise of the night was the ultra-rare appearance of Lisa Gibson with two friends to check out the festivities.  They provided sandwiched and cookies for the jam, excellent addition, and all we gave them were two songs we don’t play; Neil Young’s Down by the River and the Band The Weight.  The Weight was the weight around their necks that eventually drove them from the studio and back into the streets.  Hook was scheduled to play the Weight with Levon Helm’s Ramble this weekend and thought practicing it with Deadstein would be helpful to him. That will teach him.  Just playing it as transcribed would have been a train wreck but switching it up ½ step to B-flat was an unmitigated disaster that drove everyone from wanting to hear or play that song ever again.  I thought the Down by the River was pretty good though.  I’m not sure if Rich didn’t hit record or not as to the reason I don’t see the MP3s, but I recall that being pretty good.  I would like to hear it.

I think coherency hurt the night a bit as we were all over the place and never got our footing.  I think we were most solid during the Playing and the Dancing once again proving why we are a jam band and not the blues band that some portray to go hand-and-hand with rock and roll.  I think blues comes with a liquored-up up-bringing that just did not sink into Deadstein’s Jewish, suburban, middle-class up-bringing.  It’s the yoink-ying of it all turned on its head; time to get back to a little more ying-yoink.  I hope we can get it together this week, if not, see you in two.

To hear most of what we played during the night, go to the links below:




6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. KEVIN
    Aug 14, 2011 @ 11:52:06


  2. Anonymous
    Aug 14, 2011 @ 12:46:52

    As Etta James once said 12-31-82 ” The Grateful Dead is the badest blues band around” “When you hear the Grateful Dead, you hear the blues”
    It most certainly did not sink into Deadstein. hahahaha

  3. Alan W.
    Aug 14, 2011 @ 23:01:31

    I agree. While it is okay to deviate from one’s game plan by calling a few audible plays when the personnel on the field changes, we only ended up playing 4 tunes from Skull & Roses and 4 from Live/Dead. In trying to accomodate Hook (and play to his strengths, which is the right thing to do), we got to a point where we no longer played to our own strengths. If the point of it all is for everyone to have as much fun as possible, we came up a bit short, though listening to the MP3s there were a number of well-played and memorable tunes. Some great solos on “West LA” and “Death…” to name a couple. Thank you to Scott for suggesting TWYDTTYD. R&B with a blues structure is a good way to play blues-based music but keep it upbeat and fun. Thanks again to all for helping me celebrate my birthday. Even with the 20/20 hindsight of how it turned out, I can think of no better way to celebrate than playin’ in the band!

  4. KEVIN
    Aug 15, 2011 @ 08:58:22

    ……or it’s time to close ranks and stop inviting anyone with a kazoo to come and play with us. That way, when on the rare occasion people come to listen to us and hang out, they will actually get to hear us play and not hear us try to accommodate a difficult situation.

  5. Anonymous
    Aug 15, 2011 @ 09:13:48

    Far from a kazoo my friend’

  6. Brotpen
    Aug 15, 2011 @ 15:35:45

    All political and aesthetic comments are solely the views of the Blogger In Chief and the individual Respondees and do not necessarily reflect the thinking of anyone else, especially me.

    Until the next round…

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