Who are the Crusader Rabbit Stealth Band?New Years Eve 2001 with Phil and Friends, Ratdog, Derek Trucks Band and Crusader Rabbitt Stealth Band

Take a step back… to 2001…

Phil Lesh and Friends were cooking!  The line up known as the PLQ or the “Q” – the Phil Lesh Quintet – were ripping our minds open for a couple years, with great new songs and a tight sound. The Q was comprised of Phil Lesh  (bass/vocals), Jimmy Herring (guitar), Warren Haynes (guitar/vocals), John Molo (drums), and Rob Barracco (keyboards/vocals).  Their CD There and Back Again came out in Spring 2002, and features “Celebration” and “No More Do I”, two songs Furthur has performed in 2010.

And Ratdog was smoking as well! 2001 was  a very busy year,  they had many  newish songs too, from 2000’s Evening Moods (including “Ashes and Glass” and “Two Djinn”, also in Furthur’s current song list).

Mickey Hart was busy as ever, with a ton of projects! He had done Supralingua in 1998, and then in 2000 the book and CD set Spirit Into Sound.

Bill Kreutzmann had released Backbone in 1998 and was playing with the Trichromes who would put out an album in 2002.

My point is, individually, these guys were busy making music in their own ways, doing their own things!

Plus, they all four had not played together officially since 1995.

Take another step back…
Yes, Mickey, Phil and Bob did tour in 1998 as The Other Ones, with both Mark Karan and Steve Kimock on guitar, and John Molo on drums (Only The Strange Remain), and at the final tour stop, 7/25/1998 Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View California (the place built for The Grateful Dead to play), Billy the K did sit in with his grateful bandmates.

After that tour, there was a semi-public disagreement between Phil and Bob on internet distribution  of the Grateful Dead Vault recordings (Bob wanted to make a deal that Phil didn’t, is the gist).  Anyway, word on the Shakedown street was they were not really friendly for a couple of years there.

Then, one night in June 2001, as they tend to do, Phil and Bob made up.  They played a gig as Crusader Rabbit Stealth Band, at The Sweetwater in Mill Valley, California, and the rest of the band was Phil’s friends: Molo, Herring, Barraco (Haynes joined in on the last song).  The Sweetwater, sadly no more, was a bar, so this was a small show, 100 or so people.

Crusader Rabit Stealth Band
Sweetwater, Mill Valley, California
June 10, 2001

Set 1: Jam > Truckin > Smokestack Lightning > Friend of the Devil > China Cat Sunflower > The Eleven > Brown-Eyed Women

Set 2: The Music Never Stopped > Jam > Get Together > Cassidy, Mason’s Children > Viola Lee Blues > Maggie’s Farm >
Viola Lee Blues
Encore: Promised Land > I Know You Rider
(Warren Haynes sat in for the encore)
Download from Nugs.net

Then, came New Years eve… Exciting enough to hear that Phil and Friends and Ratdog were sharing the bill…  CRSB is listed on the line up!  And rumors were rampant that Bill and Mickey would be there…

The New Years float featured four Wizards, and behind glimmering robes and fake beards, we slowly realized it was the boys themselves.  As they landed on the stage, they were fleshed out by Jimmy and Rob, and played for us all a real sweet set.  It was a pretty awesome night, really felt like a healing, all four guys coming together after so long.

Henry J. Kaiser Auditorium
Oakland, California

Ratdog (listen to the RDog set here)
Jam > Feels Like A Stranger > Easy Answers > Youngblood, Odessa, Bury Me Standing, Scarlet Begonias > Aiko Aiko > Dear Prudence > Stuff (drums, bass, dj) > jam > Two Djinn > Touch of Grey

Phil and Friends (1st set)
Midnight Hour (w/Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks) > Hard To Handle > Viola Lee Blues > Tons of Steel > Viola Lee Blues > Dear Mr. Fantasy > Viola Lee Blues > Cosmic Charlie

Crusader Rabit Stealth Band – New Years Set featuring Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Rob Baraco, Jimmy Herring (and possibly others… did Jeff Chimenti sit in at all?)
Intro – Happy New Year, Not Fade Away > Truckin’ > Playin’ in the Band > Space > Playin’ in the Band > The Wheel > Uncle John’s Tease > Sugar Magnolia (Warren joins at middle of song)

Phil and Friends (2nd set)
tuning > Help On The Way > Skipknot! > Dark Star > Terrapin Station* > No More Do I* > Uncle John’s Band*
Donor Rap – “Unity is Possible”
E: Celebration > Franklin’s Tower

* w/Derek Trucks
Here is a link to  Phil’s first set, the CRSB set, and Phil’s second set, and a very special donor rap about UNITY!

Quite a night!

Refrences for this article: Archive.org, DeadDisc.com, my memories…

Music mentioned in this article: