Jam – 2012-03-21 – Carroll’s

Another crazy night of Deadstein is what we encountered on this March 21, 2012.  For the second week in a row, Stagger Lee joined us and Scott to give us a two-man rhythm section.  This redundancy proved to be quite fortuitous later on in the evening.  For the first set we also had Andy Trister playing lead guitar which always bring the level of music up a notch or two.  A lucky man, he walked away with the final available version of the Jerry Garcia Song Book, version 8, with the bonus supplement.

In addition Lee and Andy, we had Howie Weiner in the studio to hangout. Howie and I were discussing 1987 Grateful Dead which he is planning on making the theme of his next book.  There are so many great memories from that time period.  Stevie and Lindsey, who made it through almost the entire jam with us, are becoming regulars to our scene much like Steve and Edie on the Andy Williams show.  Finally, we had the headache man himself in the room, Scott Bayer with his bongos.  While annoying, by the time he was playing them later in the evening, I didn’t care.

The music was marginal I think for the first set and for some part, I am going to blame it on the Rand-O-Matic.  While it concurred with Andy’s request to open with a Getatway, the selection of a Bucket as the second songs sent us down a pathway of difficult massive mushiness which became difficult to wade through.  Nevertheless, we made not even close to the best of it, and marched on.  A song like a Bucket is a great challenge, especially early on and right out of a Getaway. It requires precision, which Deadstein possesses like Trister’s nearly 50-year old eyes.  If nothing else, there probably were not too many other people sloshing their way through a Hell in a Bucket on March 21, 2012 like we were. In that, you have to derive some comfort.

We had some sound issues through the night.  The PA never had the bang it needed and hearing vocals and Rich’s piano was difficult.  Kevin’s bass, guitar amp split combo was failing him on the guitar amp portion as that was buzzing and distorting throughout the entire night.  All the guitars and drums seemed normal though.

The Bucket’s jammed droned on in thick boring mode that was carried on in several songs in the first set.  We eventually played and Victim or the Crime into a Hard to Handle that had the same characteristics and even the Here Come Sunshine had the same feel.  This is why I blame the Rand-O-Matic a bit, but now that I think of it; the Rand-O-Matic only selected the Bucket. I was the buffoon that selected the Victim, Hard to Handle.  Someone else called for the Here Comes Sunshine.

As negative as I may seem, I bet the tape proves me wrong, because the music came forth for the most part and it was valid.  I guess that’s the best I can come up with, “valid,” which isn’t too good.  But as I said before, who else pulled a Victim –>Hard to Handle out of their asses on this night? No one!

We took the long obligatory set break chatted, had fun.  We lost Howie, Trister and Scott and gained Scott Bayer.  Who made this trade the Mets?  The second set we were going into with Lee solo on drums.  I let him call the songs and that certainly helps a lot and we had a good second set.  Brothers and Sisters we are pretty familiar with and the Halfstep is a challenge at that late hour but we did it justice.  Lee called for the Eyes at 11:20 and here’s where his youthful energy, though he is technically 1 year older than Scott, invigorated us through a long song like Eyes and the inevitable loss of momentum never really materialized.  The redundancy of the dual drummer has some great benefits for Deadstein and I look forward to it developing.  When I think of Lee drumming, I think of him playing clay bongos on a Not Fade Away. I went into the Not Fade from Eyes to close the night.  It turned out to be a big, fun, crazy wacky, topsie, turvie night of Deadstein.  I can’t wait to do it again.

For next week’s jam, I think I am going to get a set list prepared and send it out to everyone so anyone who cares to can prepare for the night’s music.   I think this will help.  It will at least help me.  Freak out people and get prepared for next week.

To hear what we did, go to the following links:


Jam – 2011-01-18 – Carroll’s

For the 3rd or 4th week in a row, I find myself on Sunday morning blogging about the week’s Deadstein jam with the Giants on my mind making their way to and through the post season.  Today we tackle the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC Championship.

In the previous weeks, I had postponed the jam posting for one reason or another, this week I was ready to post early in the week, but I thought I would try to take some of the Sunday morning postng luck and apply it to this week.  By 9:30 tonight, we should know if it works.  What I do know did work this week was Deadstein.  With Alan rehearsing with someone else, Trister filled in my shoes and I filled in Alan’s and we had some of that old school Deadstein for the night.

While it was old-school, it felt more polished than old-school Deadstein.  I thought our tempos, melodies and tones were nice and comfortable.  Playing Bobby guitar seems so easy and effortless, compared to what I had been playing especially with Andy serving up some real sweet Jerry runs.

Andy was with us for half the night through the Brokedown then it was up to the Core-4 to run the table.  One thing we don’t have is unlimited energy and we began to fade through the second set.  Some how the Things We Said Today to close the night was lively and funky which gave us a nice boost going into the elevator to say good-bye once again to Carroll’s


Jam – 2011-11-30 – Carroll’s

This Wednesday night at Deadstein we were supposed to fight the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Plaza.  Trister, who was planning to jam with us, was about to abort, but Scott’s wise advice was to stay on the west side and Trister heeded it.  As a result, traffic and parking was not an issue and we got there in plenty of time. We played with Andy for the first two-thirds of the jam.

When jamming with a great resource like Andy you don’t want to waste any opportunities, so I decided to start the night with a jammy beginning to get us going before we can begin to doubt ourselves.  I think the Uncle Johns –> Playing  –>Uncle Johns sent us toward this direction.  Andy tried to reverse the ship with the Rosa Lee McFall, but Deadstein would have nothing of it.  After almost being deep-sixed after a couple of false starts,  Andy pointed out a structural issue in the song write-up we agreed and thereafter we were good to go.   It was one of those situations where communication within Deadstein actually worked.

We started the Tristerless portion of the jam around 11pm.  We wanted to try our quick in-and-out- song strategy to keep us moving toward the end of the night so the Beat It on Down the Line on 11 at 11 was the choice.  Being the last day and hours in November (11) in 2011 we decided to keep the eleven theme going.  This resulted in a very rust attempt at the St. Stephen –> Eleven but a cool trip nevertheless.  Midnight Hour should have been the closer at about 12 but I could afford the risk of losing momentum at that moment by having anyone turn a page in the book so I opted for the Not Fade Away to Close.  A good evening of Deadstein and we made it up to the finish-line better than we had in the previous several week, so that was a good thing.

Next week we play on Monday and fight traffic and parking that is going to be brought on by Snoop-Dog playing at Terminal 5.  Being December 12/52011, it will be the 40th anniversary of the Dead playing down the street at the Felt Forum, one of the great shows of all time.  That is going to be out focus for then.

In the meantime, if you ant to hear what we did this night listen to the MP3s provided below:



Jam – 2011-09-19 – Carroll’s

This was a nice week of Deadstein where we were able to play once again with Andy Trister.  We are pretty comfortable these days with our 5-man arrangement with e on lead and Alan playing rhythm, so Trister playing with us sends us back to days of lore, when I had Bob on my mind.  This is a challenge for us as I traditionally hand off all the Jerry part to Andy when he is there leaving Alan and I to fend for the rhythm spectrum.  I think there is enough spectrum there for the two of us to coexist without stepping on each other’s signals and I think we achieve that this week.

Playing Bob is once again a very comfortable thing for me to do compared to  having the responsibility to play Jerry leads, so I found myself in a good zone during this jam, which I am sure helped contribute toward the goodness of the jam.

You know it is a good jam and a fun one when Andy finishes playing theBrokedownPalaceto end the night and says, “Damn that was the best Brokedown you guys have played and this is too much fun to leave.”  As such, he ended up playing an addition 3 or 4 songs and then he parted ways with us.  It just goes to show how when you try and make good music, the music is good.  It’s self fulfilling in so many respects especially verbally.  As a matter of fact, that may be the only respect, but I digress.

It was an especially rewarding and satisfactory evening because from the beginning it did feel as if it was to be such.  We were bickering at the beginning about when or when not to invite guests, playing for a keyboard last week that we did have to elevate to the of having to pay for it and other issues.  They excellent music and attitude during the playing itself, made all that other nonsense trivial compared to the reason we get together anyway, so G-d bless us all and pray for more ying than yoink.


Jam – 2011-06-14 – Carroll’s

This was another easy night getting to our studio on 55th Street.  Parking was easy and the weather was nice.  The big news of the night was Andy Trister jamming with us for the first half of the evening.  Always great to see him and to raise Deadstein’s competency.

We found a show to do for the evening and it was the big Beacon Theater show from 6-14-76.  This was a show with about 24 songs in it; big ones, small one,short ones and long ones and Deadstein decided to tackle them all.  Alan was at this show way back in the day, so the jam may have had an even more of a special feeling to him than the rest of us.  35 years ago he was at this show and we were playing it at this jam.

We knew it would be a big challenge to get through it and it was.  Likewise, it was a risk to play this setlist with Trister in the room because it was loaded with many potential train-wrecks that has sent many a Deadstein lead guitarist fleeing from the scene.

Before we got to any of that ’76 stuff, we decided to open up the jam session by trying out a Deadstein first, Operator, which I had just charted out a few days earlier.  It went well and was a fun song, should be any easy one to get into and add to our repertoire.

We then plunged head first into the Beacon show and Trister was there for the entire first set.  The cowboy songs starting with Mama Tried had Andy remembering the Deadstein feel of things, which is not a good thing, but with the use of the actual setlist downloaded on my iPhone, I was able to sample the songs in the microphones for everyone’s edification before we played them.  This helped in many an instant.

Following the Playing to end the first set, we played a To Lay Me Down while I played Bass.  This was the only straying we did from the setlist.  The second set was just as ambitious as the first, if not more and we rushed to accomplish it in its entirety, but we did, going just a few minutes past 12:00 p.m.  Quite and feat of endurance.  Well if you saw all the eyeballs rolling in the back of people’s head’s by 11:30, you wouldn’t think endurance would be a word associated with the jam.  Good stuff.  We should be around the solstice by next jam so get set for some sunshine.  So until next time, keep the buffet open, go for seconds and it’s Grateful Said.

To hear what we played, G-d forbid, go to the link below:




Jam – 2011-01-17 – Carroll’s

Another Monday night jam for Deadstein meant no traffic in or out of the city, but it did mean a long week to endure after an exhausting night of Deadstein.  The night  was made even more difficult by the beautiful, large-flake snowfall on the drive home.  I beat any issues with the snow on the ground by about an hour and therefore the snow was a nice groovy experience to enjoy on the way home; thinking about what just happened at Deadstein.

Trister was in for the first half of the jam this week so we got a good set in with him before he left leaving the Grateful Dead duties to the five of us.  It was fun with Trister and it was fun without him.  The key to it all is it is fun.

I had been playing and practicing a bit with my iTunes at home, focusing on primarily 1977 music, but it also steered me into playing the Here Comes Sunshine openers as well as the Easy Wind.  I had the mojo of the Here Comes Sunshine in my bones, but the Easy Wind I couldn’t catch on to.  The Passenger, Looks Like Rain and Scarlet were all fresh in me an I finally learned the Jerry parts of the Scarlet and this version felt pretty good.

To listen to any of the music from the night go to the links below:



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