The Grateful Dead‘s rhythm guitar ace Bob Weir joined Tom Hamilton’s American Babies last night at the Sweetwater Music Hall In Mill Valley, California, Friday Nov, 18, 2016.
Bob played several of his new songs from his recent album “Blue Mountain” as well as several Grateful Dead classics. While there was a setlist, Bob did not follow it in order, and skipped songs, and played songs not written down.
After three of his new ones in a row, “Only A River”, “Lay My Lily Down” and “Gonesville”, they ventured into a “Half-Step” and Bob shared the vocals with Tom Hamilton. Bob’s voice was solid on the news songs and the old. The American Babies let him set the pace and guide the set with his own brand of guitar weirdness, with some great lead jams thrown in by Tom Hamilton and Justin Mazer. Raina Mullen provided lovely vocal and guitar harmonies, Al Smith on drums and Mark Sosnoskie on bass kept the beat and groove solid and were able to catch Bob’s turns and angles.
Bob had been playing an all metal body guitar from James Trussart up until now.
He switched guitars, as the band turned in a very grateful “Loser”.
And then Bob took the band into an off setlist jam > “Truckin'” ,and predictably he slipped up on a couple words, though we all joined in and supported him! This was followed by a rousing “Scarlet Begonias” and a surprise (not on the setlist) “> Fire On the Mountain”
What a treat for those in attendance last night to get this special set of Bob Weir sitting in with s really fun and high energy band. Of course Bob sat in last week with one of Tom Hamilton’s other bands, JoE Russo’s Almost Dead. And Tom has been in rehearsal with Bob and other’s this week, getting ready for the super band jams at the upcoming Los Muertos Con Queso event in Mexico.
There is more from Tom Hamilton’s American Babies at the Sweetwater tonight – with special guests Dave Schools of Widespread Panic and the amazing keyboardist, Holly Bowling. The American Babies own songs were fun hard rocking, full of jams that were as reminiscent of the E Street Band to me as they were related to Grateful Dead style jamming – they even did Bruce Springsteen‘s “Atlantic City”. Very high energy good feeling rock and roll music.
Opening last night (and tonight as well) was the Doobie Decibel System Trio, featuring Roger McNamee of Moonalice, Dan “Lebo” Lebowitz of ALO, and Jason Crosby of just about every other band across the universe. The Doobies started off the evening with a great mix of originals and covers, social commentary and dark humor, their signature ode to pot “Couple of Puffs”, and ended on a bittersweet note with a heartfelt cover of the late Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.
See Doobie Decibel System Trio tonight at 9pm, followed by more Tom Hamilton’s American Babies at 10pm. Last night was a sold out show, so get your tickets for tonight asap!
Tom Hamilton’s American Babies w Bob Weir
Tom Hamilton – Guitar
Justin Mazer – Guitar
Al Smith – Drums
Raina Mullen – Acoustic Guitar
Mark Sosnoskie – Bass
Bullseye Blues (American Babies)
Fever Dreams (American Babies)
Only A River* (Bob Weir)
Lay My Lilly Down* (Bob Weir)
Gonesville* (Bob Weir)
Half-Step Mississippi Uptown Toodeloo* (Grateful Dead)
Loser* (Grateful Dead)
Truckin’* -> (Grateful Dead)
Scarlet Begonias* -> (Grateful Dead)
Fire On The Mountain* (Grateful Dead)
What Does It Mean To Be (American Babies)
Winter War Games (American Babies)
Atlantic City (Bruce Springsteen)
Bitches & Candy (Brothers Past)
New Speedway Boogie (Grateful Dead)
Touch of Grey (Grateful Dead)
* w/ Bob Weir on guitar and vocals
Setlist by Jeff Hill – thanks Jeff!!!