Carroll's 55th Street -
Charles Wolfe makes his Deadstein Debut
Wow, what another crazy wacky week of Deadstein this was a two very old time friends not only made it to the jam, but jammed with us for the whole night.† To begin with Kevin was trolling Facebook during the morning of the jam when he noticed his old-time friend Donnie Hutcher was at Grand Central; in New York for business.† Next thing Kevin does is invite him to spend the night in New York and to attend Deadstein.† Donnie said he will be there and Kevin called me and asked me to bring an extra guitar to the jam for Donnieís use.† I brought him my black Les Paul (Epiphone) and he was set with his new pair of sweat pant he purchased to go with his bare feet since he didnít spring for a pair of sneakers.
On my side of the ledger I had my old roommate Charles Wolfe coming to Deadstein for his first time ever.† Charles and I were freshman and sophomore roommates but we havenít kept in contact whatsoever over the years and the last time I saw him I am guessing was graduation from SUNYA in May 1985.† Fortunately Lee lives near Charles and keeps in touch with him and has been trying to get him to attend a Deadstein jam ever since Lee stared playing with us in March 2012.† With Alan slated to miss the jam, this gave Charles the perfect opportunity to join us.†† This is exciting for me in that I havenít see Charles in all these years, but also, many of the foundations of how to play many of the Dead songs, which ended up in my book, were first introduced to me by Charles. †He probably taught me Franklins,†Scarlet, Me and My Uncle, the Other One, etc. †If I were to venture a guess, I would say Charles taught me how to play more Grateful Dead songs than anyone else.† For this I am Grateful, forever indebted to Charles for most of the good that came out of it, as well as probably several of the clunkers (mistakes) that survived through the years and are only slowly being rooted out of our collective memories as we discover them.
When I asked Charles how does he plays he remarked just like he did 25 years ago, which was true and therefore, I knew somewhat what to expect from him.† In many respects, he and Donnie were in the same boat, coming along for the Deadstein ride of their lives and hloding on for dear life.† I think were tried to keep the set list to songs that were reasonably easy to play and this left us all having a good team effort.† Most of the time we were playing to let them play with us, but at other times, Deadstein could help but to let loose a bit and leave those who could keep up behind.† I feel most of those moments were few and far between and in the end we all had a great time together.† I left yearning for more, which fortunately we will have for this week.
Besides Charles and Donnie, two of the least freaky Deadstein jammers one could find, we also had Donna D sing some backup with us and Scott Bayer showed his ugly mug late in the night.
Charles took a crack at singing Tangled Up in Blue and Donnie sang parts of some others songs, so there was a sing-a-long- element to some of the night, but I tried to keep us moving through the songs.† As a result we did manage to play a healthy dose of 21 songs, (22 if you count China Cat Rider as 2 songs), which considering the rookie lineup, it is commendable for everyone involved.†† Sink or swim people, sink or swim and much like Michael Phelps, we all swam for the gold.
We had 11 songs under our belts as the first set came to a close.† With all the reminiscing †that was going on it would be difficult to get a lot done in the second set, but once we donned our instruments, we were ready to go and I pushed us forward through several segues from song to song.† Even the Donít Ease, which was a throw away, was excellent filler to complete the evening on a mundane note.† A note that says we should be doing this again.† It was too much fun and too good to get back together once again.† What a freak out.
To hear what we did, listen to the MP3s below: