Jam – 2013-01-30 – Carroll’s

ds013013Wednesday night, or “Woo’sday” night as we have been euphemistically calling it, and the entire band was back together, including Donna D. for a portion of the first set.  I we were there early and ready to jam.  Kevin was itching to go by 7:40 and Lee had gotten to Carroll’s hours earlier so no one wanted to wait for 8:00 pm to start.   It should be noted that Lee came toting a giant frozen apple pie which we began to woof-down by halftime.

Lee suggested a Halfstep. He kind of was challenging me saying I really didn’t like to play it; he’s right you know, so we played it and it was really strong.  From the first few notes we knew it was going to be a pretty good jam. The sound was good in the room and this lead to some well played music.  The Halfstep had a good long powerful Rio Grande-O lead and felt good.  We then went to a 2nd set mode in the first with an Estimated –> Eyes with the whole 1974 Eyes ending.  That was pretty good.  Sure there were rough spots, but there were comforting sweet spots.  The Eyes jam ends in Dm and naturally segued us into a Shakedown Street.  At the close of the Shakedown, Donna came in and we went into a nice set working with her until the end of the first set.  We did some songs she really didn’t know but easy ones to try to jump in on the harmonies.  Row Jimmy was a good example of such a song as was the Forever Young. I think we did pretty well  on that one.

We took a standard halftime break, saying good-bye to Donna, eating the apple pie, making our obligatory phone calls,etc.  Then we got going again shortly after 10:30  For the second set Ryan jumped in and sat in for Lee and Scott for a song a piece, so we got some of that going with the Candyman and something else.  As a matter of fact, Ryan was our only guest, with the exception of Scott Bayer who came in later on in the night and video taped a song or two?

Midnight hit us pretty quickly as the passage of time cannot be stopped, either in music or life.  We were about to leave at the last song and Ryan goaded us into playing one last song,  You can say an encore and we gave him a Quin the Eskimo to go home with.

I look forward to being able to listen to it, until then all we can do is smile, smile, smile.

Now we have it, listen the the MP3s below:


Jam – 2012-11-15 – Carroll’s


With a visit to my sister’s home in Austin, TX over the previous week, I had not played any guitar nor thought too much about Deaadstein, Grateful Dead, etc. for the previous week. Though, I didn’t miss a week of Deadstein, it felt like I did and I wasn’t quite ready for the jam. I also had a swollen, jammed left index finger, pardon the pun, but I was hoping the new strings and the power of the jam would get me through the night. Of course it did as I had no other choice.

When I got there, I discovered that Scott was fortunate enough to have scored a ticket to a dream show of his with Warren, Greg Allman and Peter Frampton playing at an exclusive cancer fundraiser. He donned a suit and left us for the second half to get to that show at the Armory. For the second half, Ryan picked up the sticks and sat on Scott’s stool. Additionally, we had Donna D sing a Sing which she referred to as the Muppet song. That was our highlight as that song usually becomes. It’s such a happy song and thought.

For the rest of the night we started with a tribute to Shakedown Street as the album was released on this day sometime in the late 70’s. It was a good muse anyway for the night. Alan was late and missed the Good Lovin and most of Shakedown but joined us from there on.

As far as guests, in addition to the ones previously mentioned, we had Maggie and Steve and several others at the end of the night. They urged us to play and additional song at the end of the night which resulted in the U.S. Blues.

By the second set, I think my weak knees were getting wobbly as my sense of time was diminishing. I was having strange juxtapositions of temporal elements undulating through the music-time continuum. Needless to say, this impacted something and there were real problems with the Gloria, Eyes as other moments. You take it all in, learn from your mistakes and come back next week to enjoy screwing up once again. That’s why you have to go to every show.

To hear what we did, check out the MP3 links below.


Jam – 2012-04-23 – Carroll’s

This was a difficult week to organize a jam with changing and conflicting schedules keeping us all on our toes.  Alan was scheduled to be away and Trister was to fill in for him.  All was a go until Monday when Andy bailed on our jam.  This left me alone as the only guitarist.  Andy had asked me to bring a guitar to lend him for the night so I was to bring my black Epiphone Les Paul for him.  Since I had just changed string on the guitar for him the day before, I decided I might as well play the black Les Paul.  While I was never really comfortable with the powerful mix of the Les Paul and the Fuchs-modded Fender Twin Reverb, it was pretty good for what t was to me.  My missing the subtleties of my Strat grew as the night waned.

From a drum perspective, Scott and Lee we to be our drummers for the night, by Scott called in sick.  This provided Ryan, of Meg Ryan, an opportunity to sit in for a song or two, but it was nice that Bill Sloan was able to accompany Stagger Lee to do some of the rhythmic heavy lifting for the night.

Since there was only one guitarist in the room, we started with some Jerry Garcia Band to get us acclimated to each other.  It worked pretty well and the difficult to open with Cats Down Under the Stars got us to proverbially jump into the waters and get used to the cold.

As far as guests we has a few, besides Ryan we had Meg (Maggie), Stevie and Lindsey and a few more that I don’t know their names.  By set #2, only Scott Bayer was to wander in and Bill and Lee remained for all the drumming duties.

After the Garcia Band opened, we slowly faded into more of a Grateful Dead pattern which didn’t have much of a pattern to it.  The one song it did have in it was The Weight, which we never do well and this was one of our more coherent versions.  With the passing of Levon Helm this week, it was the least we could do as his life and music were on our minds.

Looks like the Alan and Scott should be back for next week while Rich will be away.  On schedule to fill in for Rich is Bill Siegel, so that is something to look forward to as he hasn’t played with us in years.

In the world, mourning continued for Levon this week as well as for the Ottawa Senators who the Rangers beat in game 7 at the Garden to advance to round 2 of the play-off.  The Rangers now play the Capitals which pushed me to begin a flaming-war on the “80’s Tour Veterans Group” on which is better, the Cap Center or the Garden.  The typical comment about the Cap Center defending it was that it was okay because it was the scene of someone’s first show in 1991, not a convincing argument compared to the greatness the Garden imparted upon us all.  Go Rangers!

To hear what we did for the week, go to the MP3 links below:


Jam – 2012-02-28 – Carroll’s

At Carroll’s, on a comfortable Tuesday night, we had the five of us around for a jam.  We didn’t have a specific setlist for the night but an improved method for selecting songs.  Previously we used the simple Select-o-matic technique to randomly generate a song to play.  The simple Select-o-matic was nothing more than using the shuffle feature on my iPhone’s iPod app to select one song from a playlist of each Grateful Dead song.  It worked but Alligator was as likely to come us as Bertha, and that wasn’t right.  This week I created an improved Select-o-matic technique and I make it accessible to the world on the newly renovated http://Deadstein.com.  Within the general songs page of Deadstein.com is now the Rand-O-Matic, which is a smart was to randomly select songs.  It’s designed to squeeze into an iPhone screen but can be utilized from any browser.

We used the Rand-O-Matic to select the songs for the evening with veto rights for the band.  The Rand-O-Matic showed one of its weaknesses right off the bat as it selected Aiko as our opener for the night which was the opener from the Feb 22, 2012 jam last week. I’ll probably never have a solution for this issue.  Nevertheless, the Rand-O-Matic worked flawlessly for the rest of the night.  It selected songs which for the most part were in line with what was appropriate for the parameters it was provided.  It resulted in a pretty solid looking set list.

There is more improvement to be made to the algorithm, some easy, some more challenging. There is improvement still to be made to the interface, but so far, the Rand-O-Matic looks like a positive addition to the Deadstein experience.

The week’s guests included Ryan of Meg Ryan.  He plays drums, which is something I didn’t know until he was there behind Scott’s kit playing drums on the Hurts Me Too and the Looks Like Rain.  He brought a couple of his friends, Lindsey and Stevie, a boy/girl combo that wasn’t from Fleetwood Mac, but what are the odds?

Alan, still on the mend over a variety of issues, didn’t stick around for the ever deteriorating second sets of Deadstein.  I took the deteriorating opportunity to get the Core-4 of us the flail our way through the Overture to Tommy, which is now included in the packets in the new book.  This was our first try playing it, and it showed more promise than I expected on the first try.  After that Whosie-what-nonsense, we Randomized our way into a Garband set.  While the Rand-O-Matic selected Let It Rock to start, Rich exerted veto power and played Money Honey in lieu.  I was surprised that Rich didn’t want to play a Let It Rock, but it propelled us forward.  The Rand-O-Matic selected the rest and got us that extra burst of energy that comes from inevitability.

To hear some of the freakin’ random nonsense, listen tot he MP3s below: