Friday, September 21, 2007

A Friend of Jerry is a Friend of Mine


"Each time a man or a woman stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
Robert F. Kennedy


Pete Sears

with Mimi Farina, Jerry Garcia,
David Grisman, Holly Near
and Friends

Watchfire

1988


Guatemala
The Stream
Sanctuary
Save Something For The Children
Lands End
Nothing Personal
One More Innocent
Rainforest
Let The Dove Fly Free
Blood From The Rose

The quote above from RFK is included within the liner notes insert of this release, and it's a feeling that Pete Sears probably holds very near and dear to his heart. This entire album is a reflection of that. The lyrics of these songs, written by his wife Jeanette, deal with issues pertaining to human rights and the environment making this an album of protest. Interestingly, what's here is well thought out. There is no need to directly slam the U.S. or other governments. There is no name calling in a mean and vile manner meant to demean anyone in particular. No, this is music that'll make you read and act out of the kindness of your heart, not just get mad and call names.

Pete, based in the Bay Area and a former member of the Jefferson Airplane, Starship and Hot Tuna, wrote the music and plays guitar, piano, accordian, keyboards or bass or sings on all the tracks. Holly Near provides vocals for a few while Mimi Farina is on just one, I believe. The music is a beautiful mix of acoustic and electric forming a very organic and earthy and worldly feel throughout, with the occasional whale calls, rainforest sounds and even one song a new wave almost kind of sound.

Also included is Pete's friend Jerry Garcia, good ol' Jer, who sits in on three songs: slide guitar on Nothing Personal, acoustic on Let The Dove Fly Free, and along with Mickey Hart, Babatunde Olatunji & Sikiru Adeposu on drums and percussion, Jerry plays lead guitar on One More Innocent.
Another friend, David Grisman on mandolin is prevalent more than absent, playing on almost every tune.

Supposedly Jerry himself requested that Grateful Dead Records re-release this album... and they did in 1993. Had it not been for Jerry, this may not be available to many people at all. So thanks Jerry and thanks Pete for putting this project together.


MUSIC NOTE 256 kbps dload MUSIC NOTE
Pete Sears - Watchfire

As an added bonus tonight, I gave another listen to four tunes from the band Moonalice...

Blink Of An Eye
Kick It Open
I'm Glad You Think So
I ain't Ever Satisfied


This is Pete Sears' latest project along with G.E. Smith, Amy McNamee, Roger McNamee, Jimmy Sanchez and Barry Sless... and occassionally, another friend of Jerry, Jack Casady.

Each of these songs the band freely offers up over at their site, so go download 'em, check 'em out! NOW! No, seriously, what are you waiting for?

And go seen 'em live! They were up in Alaska for a string of dates this past summer but Alaska's a purty big territory and they were way down on the other end... but if they come up to Fairbanks, I'm so there... maybe in Anchorage but hopefully they'll come up north!

They'll also be on the road some, now and then through November. As of this writing they've got late September dates scheduled soon in Frisco and Vegas.

And then in October: Golden Gate Park, Portland, Ashland, Salem, Seattle, Denver, Milwaukee, Chicago, Columbus and the Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garretsville, Ohio.

Oh wait, there's more? Allston, Mass in November along with Huntington, New York, Annapolis and kinda close to my former stomping grounds, sorta near where I grew up -- Teaneck, New Jersey where they're playing Kimock's favorite Jersey hangout, Mexicali Blues.

So go see this Bay Area band, dig their sound... they play Stella Blue and Sugaree and GDTRFB and Like A Rolling Stone and Highway 61 Revisisted. Cool lookin' setlists! And Pete played with Jerry!! So go see 'em!




one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

 
Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated