Monday, October 31, 2011

7 Walkers and Friends: Well, That Was Fun

I got a little lucky last night. I knew I wanted to see 7 Walkers, Bill Kreutzmann's band featuring Papa Mali, at the Great American Music Hall. And I heard there might be special guests from Kreutzmann's old band.

So I was delighted to see Mickey Hart come out for the first set along with talking drum virtuoso Sikiru Adepoju. As far as I'm concerned, watching Kreutzmann and Hart drum together is proof positive that I've wasted my life. Utterly. Getting into that groove and staying there for 50 years sounds (and looks) pretty good to me. And guest bassist Reed Mathis from Tea Leaf Green looked like he was having fun, too.

But there was also the extra microphone in the middle of the stage. Could that be for another special guest? The answer came when Bob Weir shambled out a few numbers into the first set. And then Maria Muldaur. It was the first time since 2009 that the three former Dead members appeared together. The first set included "Mister Charlie," "New Speedway Boogie," "Big Railroad Blues," "Bird Song," "Wang Dang Doodle," "Deal," "Sugaree," and a cover of "Fever."

It was an embarrassment of riches for the average fan, who could stroll up to the window, plunk down $25, and amble up to the front of the stage.

I really dug Papa Mali, by the way. No need or desire to compare him to Garcia, but his gator-bait sound crosses very well with the Dead songbook.

My back was killing me, the lingering result of an auto collision two months ago, so I had to decamp after the first set, but I'm looking forward to hearing about the second.

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