Stormy Mondays: Phil Lesh Goes Americana

Around this time of year Stormy Monday always turns to look at Phil Lesh’s storied post-Grateful Dead career, and this year we’re listening back to his first really settled post-Q band, the one that established the Americana vibe that he had been working towards for the better part of a year. In the summer of ’06 Phil hit the road with a lineup that saw the return of Molo on drums and Barry Sless on guitar, held onto Larry Campbell (who had by this point become comfortable with the material and started to leave his mark), and featured Joan Osborne on vocals and Greg Osby on sax. The band was amazingly talented, essentially a group of professional sidemen (which I mean in the best possible way; Joan and Greg were obviously well known as band leaders, but the vocalist never performed any of her own material with the band, and the saxophonist played a decidedly “featured artist” role), people who were set to play the music at hand and play it well.

This week we have the first set from SPAC when the band was in mid-stride, moving with graceful confidence through warm versions summery classics like Let the Good Times Roll, Sittin’ on Top of the World and Althea, not to mention a real nice pairing of Peaceful Valley > Peggy-O. It’s true that Trey sat in form segments of many of these shows, which was fun at the time, but in hindsight, it was a lot of hotdogging; he wasn’t in a good place at the time. Phil and Friends, however, really were. As always, enjoy!

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3 Responses

  1. Dan – great post. Thanks. This will get heavy play this week. I sometimes forget about the various P&F line-ups. This one was exceptional.

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