The aboriginal time that agency amateur Melvin Seals met guitarist Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, he got added than a little cool out.
First, some background: It was 1980 in San Francisco, aloof a brace of years afterwards People’s Temple bandage baton Jim Jones led a army to Guyana, South America, area he induced aculation suicide.
Meanwhile, Seals, w was in his mid-20s, was steeped in his father’s abbey tradition, area he baffled agency as a youth, and afterwards got gigs with blues-centric acts Elvin Bisp and Maria Muldaur.
He had heard of the Grateful Dead, peripherally, but that was about it.
“I wasn’t a Deadhead,” he said. “I knew annihilation about that.”
On the casual Muldaur gig, a bist called John Kahn would ample in. He took apprehension of the Billy Preston-influenced organist, and arrive him to sit in at a barn on San Francisco’s Front Street, for a accessible gig. Seals got there early, as was his habit. He took a attending about while cat-and-mouse for the others to appearance up.
“I see these backdrops with all these skeletons,” he said. “A skeleton with a violin in his hands. A skeleton with a rose in his hair. I was affectionate of a little afraid of this.
“What in the is activity on? I had no idea. … It wasn’t too continued ago that that annihilation had happened with Jim Jones. I’m attractive at skeleton backdrops all over the place, and I don’t apperceive annihilation about this organization. You can brainstorm what’s activity on in my mind.”
He followed that aftermost book with a affable laugh, because it all angry out absolutely well. Kahn was a longtime Garcia ociate, the guy with the longest administration in Garcia’s acclaimed ancillary project, Jerry Garcia Band. Seals, as it angry out, would accept the second-longest cruise with the Garcia Band, afraid about from that rehearsal/audition in 1980 to Garcia’s afterlife in 1995.
These days, he sees himself as the “keeper of the flame.” Seals, 64, has confused from bacteria to baton of Melvin Seals and the JGB, formed afterwards bist Kahn died in 1996.
Seals brings the act to 5 Points Music Sanctuary on Thursday.
With such a band, of course, anybody w comes out is activity to be blockage out the guitar player. Seals said that he has a acceptable one about to breach through to added reknown in Zach Nugent (no affiliation to Ted). He aing the bandage in 2016.
Nugent, w grew up on Grateful Dead music, got one of that scene’s aerial ceremoniousness March 10, aback the bandage played Beverly, Machusetts, arctic of Boston. The buyer of Garcia’s iconic guitar, “Wolf,” brought it to the venue. Software CEO Brian Halligan, w according to Rolling Stone online bought the guitar at bargain for $1.9 actor (the money benefited Southern Poverty Law Center), angry “Wolf” over to Nugent for the night.
“Zach played it all night,” Seals said. “We aloof heard Jerry’s spirit and affinity all night long.”
Another contempo calendar change brings singers Lady Chi and Sunshine Becker to the band. Both are from the San Francisco Bay Area. Chi (ounced “chee”) has articulate with P-Funk and Fishbone’s Angelo Moore, according to jambase.com. Becker is accepted for her ignment with Grateful Dead ociates Bob Weir and Phil Lesh’s above project, Furthur.
The two accompany new activity that had been lacking, Seals said.
“Sunshine was in Furthur, so [Dead and JGB fans] apperceive her,” he said. “She’s aback out, actuality apparent by admirers w adulation her, through us. She fabricated so abounding accompany aback she was with Furthur. Lady Chi is new to this organization, but she is aloof a admirable and a accurate acute singer. She’s got a admirable voice.
“They’ve appear calm and lit the blaze all over again.”
Drummer Peter Lavezzoli and bist John-Paul McLean complete the outfit. Seals said that he wants Deadheads to apperceive that they will get a “true Jerry Garcia experience” with his bandage at 5 Points.
“Especially for tse [unable] to see him aback he was living, if they aloof appee to apperceive what it was like, they suld appear to one of our sws, aloof aing their eyes and accept to the music, and they will apperceive what it was like.”
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