Lukas Nelson, Bob Weir, Grahame Lesh
Jason Crosby, Elliot Peck, Greg Loiacono
Grateful Bluegrass Boys
Music Heals International
Lukas Nelson and Bob Weir
“Dig a Hole”
Sweetwater Music Hall
Mill Valley California
February 29, 2016
The show opened with an acoustic foursome, Greg Loiacono of The Mother Hips on guitar, Grahame Lesh and Elliot Peck of Midnight North both supplying guitar and vocals, and Jason Crosby of every band you’ve ever seen at one point or eventually, on fiddle, guitar and vocals.
They each played a couple of their own songs, including Greg Loiacono doing The Mother Hips “All In Favor” and Grahame Lesh singing Midnight Norths “Find A Way”. This line-up of musicians is pretty much a Terrapin Crossroads All Star group, so nice to see them at the Sweetwater!
During setbreak, fans were encouraged to bid at the silent auction, and then there was a more formal auction back inside the Sweetwater before the music began again. The highlight of the auction was a guitar that was signed by both Lukas Nelson and Bob Weir.
Lukas Nelson came out for a short solo set. He has proved to be a very versatile singer and songwriter – he has a given talent, and a voice as rich and beautiful as that of his famous dad, Willie Nelson, but he has also worked to hone himself into the performer we saw tonight. He started with a new song, about “moonshiners”, and also a song he wrote about an ex-lover, named Georgia, whom he could’t forget because he sang her name on stage with his dad every night,. His songs were deeply felt bringing the audience to laughter and tears, often in the same verse.
He covered David Bowie‘s “Life On Mars” saying he just “…recently learned it, though we might know it”. Lukas also did a trio of songs he said were part of him preparing to tour Europe (and maybe Brasil) with Neil Young later this year. He sang a song in Italian (Volare), one in French and one in Portuguese, with beauty and fluidity. What shows is his dedication and his working at his craft, taking his natural born ability to a higher level. And he performs with humor, and a very personal approach, friendly and open to everyone in the room.
Then he brought out Bob Weir! Bob looked and sounded good, maybe not his best performance in 2016 (DHL has seen a few!) but very good wrap up to the month for Mr. Weir in his Mill Valley home club (the best little rock and roll club in the world, Sweetwater Music Hall).
Lukas and Bob played a few songs (Dig A Hole, May The Circle Be Unbroken), then midway into “I Shall Be Released” the members of Grateful Bluegrass Boys set up around them – at first the bass player joined in, then one by one the other members added fiddle, and guitar, and banjo to finish the song.
Bob Weir and Lukas Nelson stuck around while the Grateful Bluegrass Boys got fully plugged in, and went into a full on bluegrass assault version of “Big River” – at first Bob and Lukas sat back, plucking a few strings, but when the round came to them to solo, they stepped right in… and then Bob took the next verse of the song. Later on, singer and fiddle player Aaron Redner quipped ‘I had a dream that I was at the Sweetwater and Bob Weir and I sang harmonies on Big River together”. Guitar player and singer David Thom stated on Facebook that it was a bucket list item for him to sing the “Jerry” back-ups for Bobby.
Bob and Lukas were done, and left the stage, the Boys went into Led Zepplin’s “Going To California”. Their set included the late Glen Frey (Eagles) song “Take It Easy” and a tribute to the late Dan Hicks, who is the step father of Sara Siena Wassermann, head of MIH and event coordinator. They were joined by Lukas Nelson and Greg Loiacono on this, and Elliot Peck and Jason Crosby also joined in later in the set. The Grateful Bluegrass Boys are a tight and fun group of players, doing super fun bluegrass renditions of great and Grateful songs.
Great event, attended by many of the local Dead-parazzi – Jay Blakesberg, Bob Minkin, Doug Clifton, Ting Vogel, Jamie Soja, Happycat, even E Finkleman! (front row local media in full force!) – as well as the Dead-teligensia – John Perry Barlow, Jerilyn Brandelius, and entourages. All the usual local suspects and many Terrapin Nationals were in attendance. Even the dancing hostess from TxR. Great night of music, friends, gratitude and giving in Mill Valley.
Please support Music Heals International in their worthy cause, to help bring music education to the children of Haiti
A Magical Evening of Musical Friends Coming together again to bring music education to the children of Haiti!
Lukas Nelson with special (surprise!) guest Bob Weir
The Music Heals International All Stars!
The Grateful Bluegrass Boys
– Aaron Redner, David Thom, Ben Jacobs, Isaac Cantor –
Greg Loiacono (The Mother Hips)
Jason Crosby (1,001 bands)
Elliott Peck (Midnight North)
Grahame Lesh (Midnight North)