Deadstein found itself having to play on a Tuesday night and we couldn't synchronize our schedules to get everyone to the jam. This week's odd-man out was Rich and for a rare time, we played a full jam without any keyboards at all.
Without Rich at the jam, we found ourselves without any guests for the night. It was just the music there for us to enjoy. Alan commented on how he thought that there seemed to be a wet blanket over us for the night, preventing us from letting our hair down and enjoy the music we created. He could exactly put his finger on it, if it was a lack of piano, or a lack of the additional reverberation and feedback the piano microphones provides or if it was a lack of feedback we receive from the guests in the room that tend to come in on Rich's freakin' coat-tails. In an effort to fight this potential feeling, Donna came in requesting that we fill the set with a bunch of peppy songs. That led us to a overly peppy opening of a Cumberland Blues. While not a typical opener, it did get us going and on a peppy directly leading us to another peppy follower, the Passenger. Despite Donna's wishes, you can't stay peppy all night, so by the 3rd song, the Ramble on Rose, we had a bit of a reprieve. Without Rich in the Studio to sing most of the Jerry numbers, it was up to me to fill in on some of those songs. Ramble on Rose was one such songs that was a fun time for me to sing. The Bobby McGee that followed lacked some of the desired pep but it was a nice song for me and Donna to sing together.
At home earlier in the week, I had worked on some of the Music Never Stopped riffs that I had yet to try to learn ever since I began playing Jerry Garcia guitar a few years ago. It was nice to finally have some direction with respect to playing that song and now I look forward to getting better and better at it as time marches on. Likewise, hopefully Donna can get some of those classic late 70's Music Never Stopped Donna belts under her belt. There is a lot on redundancy in that sentence.
Since Rich wasn't there we didn't have his MP3 recorder to capture the night's music. I used my iPhone to record whatever I could until I ran out of battery power and then Alan continued with his iPhone. It doesn't make the best sounding recordings, but you can tell what happened by listening, so it is worth keeping for posterity's sake.
It needs to be mentioned that this week in Deadstein saw the passing of Richie Havens. Richie had a profound impact on the early history of Deadstein and as such, we are joined at the beard with Richie and wish him nothing but the best as he begins serenading heaven with his classic version of Freedom. In memory of Richie's passing, we did play a moving He's Gone out of the New Speedway Boogie. Finally, to close the jam, we played a It's All Over Now Baby Blue. Not only are the words fitting in this situation, but this is one of the few songs Richie sang with Deadstein back in the early 1990's. The Times They are a Changin' was the other song we played with Richie.
For the second set, I wanted to get back to playing a If I Had the World to Give so we started with that, and the song transitioned into a nice Estimated Eyes which seem to have some nice momentum associated with it. We did toy around with the Stir It Up so hopefully everyone becomes a little more familiar with that song, including Donna, who has a big role in it. I also introduced Donna to the I'll Be With Thee concept during our half time break. We played through that a bit, also in hopes that one day we can pull that off as a whole band. Wouldn't that be something?
Freekdom! RIP Richie