Donna Jean Godchaux certainly made her mark on the music world. From recording with Elvis Presley to touring with the Grateful Dead from 1972-1979, Godchaux’s story is one of great accomplishments. With all of that in mind, it’s no surprise that she was just inducted into the Alabama Music Hall Of Fame, joining Chuck Leavell, Johnny Sandlin, Wet Willie and the Muscle Shoals Horns for the honor.In a new interview with AL.com,Godchaux speaks at length about her prolific career. They first discuss her work singing with the King himself, Elvis Presley. “It was one of the most amazing times of my life. I had gone to see “Love Me Tender” when I was either nine or 10 and everybody in the audience was screaming. But he was so kind to us and encouraging and complimentary, it was a wonderful time. He was a gentleman to the highest degree. And he looked great.” When asked, she elaborates. “I’m telling you, he was the most gorgeous human being I’ve ever seen, male or female – he was just unreal looking. Much better looking than any picture or any movie.”The interview then moves to her time with the Grateful Dead:“We loved doing the European tours. They were just wonderful and of course very exotic and totally different for us as far as the kind of venues we played and whatnot – we played a lot of really, really nice theaters that were built for music and that was a real treat because once the Grateful Dead got so big we were playing 50,000-seat stadiums and all of that. And stadiums are meant for sports not music. [Laughs.] And so it was always a challenge to sound good in those arenas.The other thing that of course stands out are the three concerts we did in Egypt in front of the Great Pyramid. Those were really exciting, fulfilling deep times and we had a blast in Egypt. We just had so much fun. Not only were there the concerts we did and the venue was filled to capacity, we took a three-day trip down the Nile on a private boat and that was just one of the most glorious experiences of my life. It was amazing.”She continues, discussing Jerry Garcia: “He was perhaps the most intelligent person that I’ve ever been around and he was very conscious and he really taught me how to get out of myself and reach for something that is other than just what is your normal fare, daily living. He really taught me so much more than anyone ever. Not only about music but about life and it’s hard to even talk about, but the other thing that was so unique about Jerry was he was one of the most generous musicians I’ve ever been around. I sat for years and watched him be so kind and giving to other guitar players or just other people that would come and want to speak to him. He had that kind of big-hearted generosity that he freely gave to anybody and everybody. He was amazing. He’s one of the best humans that I’ve ever known.”The full AL.com interview can be read here. Congrats to Donna!
Funky supergroup The Greyboy Allstars are back in action! The group has performed a number of dates and have a ton more on the schedule for this summer. Now, we’ve learned that the band has some new tunes in the can, as they’re working in the studio on a follow up to 2013’s Inland Emperor.The supergroup features Karl Denson, Robert Walter, DJ Greyboy, Chris Stillwell, and Elgin Park. Check out this update that the band posted earlier today:We’re looking forward to catch the Greyboys at Live from the Lot next weekend, as they hit the Philly-area festival on May 21st. For more about Live from the Lot, head here.
Beloved bluegrass group Yonder Mountain String Band has announced a rather unique set for their upcoming performance at this summer’s Northwest String Summit. The band will be plugging in for one of their first all-electric sets, and will do so to provide a unique live interpretation of the classic Pink Floyd album, Animals.Coming from July 14-17, NWSS features a number of great acoustic performances at Horning’s Hideout in North Plains, OR. On July 16th, fans can expect something a little different from Yonder. The group will welcome Gregg Androulis (formerly with Wayword Sons and Tashi Station with members of Umphrey’s McGee) on the keys and Jay Elliot (Wicked Messenger) on drums. With “visual elements” and the Pink Floyd album, the festival says that this will be “the most unique Yonder set in String Summit history.”We can’t wait! Check out the artwork below.
Happy 51st Birthday Mike Gordon! Mainly known for his bass bombs in Phish, the sly bassist has collaborated with some of the best and brightest in the scene throughout his 51 years of existence. A founding member of the Phish group, Gordon tours extensively with his own solo band (where he’ll be playing Catskill Chill in September), and maintains a healthy appetite for musical collaborations.Here’s our ten favorite clips showcasing Gordon’s work with other crews:1. Mike Gordon with Bob Weir – 2/24/2014Gordon is no stranger to Grateful Dead collaborations. While he’s been to known to share the stage with fellow bassist Phil Lesh, his appearances with Bob Weir have been just as captivating. Here’s Gordo sitting in with Weir and Ratdog on “Bird Song” during their 2014 winter tour at Boston’s House Of Blues.2. Mike Gordon with DJ Logic, Stanley Jordan, Warren Haynes – 9/10/2001This session at the infamous Wetlands Preserve in New York City featured DJ Logic and guitar virtuosos Warren Haynes and Stanley Jordan. Gordon and the group absolutely tear up a half hour long jam based around Stevie Wonder‘s “Superstition.”3. Mike Gordon with Benevento/Russo Duo – 4/27/2005If you’ve never heard the 52-minute rendition of “Foam” performed at the Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA by Mike Gordon and the Benevento/Russo Duo, strap in because you’re bound for a sublime ride.4. Mike Gordon with STS9 – 7/23/2008In his only sit-in with STS9, Gordon was able to secure some space to lead a bass-driven improvisational jam that had the crowd at South Burlington, VT’s Higher Ground going wild.5. Mike Gordon with Umphrey’s McGee – 11/13/2009Another collaboration at Vermont’s Higher Ground, here is Cactus sitting in with Umphrey’s McGee, taking over the bass duties from Ryan Stasik during the jam section of “In The Kitchen.” 6. Mike Gordon With Gov’t Mule – 5/3/2003Anyone familiar with Gov’t Mule is probably aware of the band’s terrific Deep End releases that feature a great cast of musicians, Gordon being one of many. Here they are digging into Little Feat’s “On Your Way Down.”7. Mike Gordon With Marco Benevento – 5/31/2014Next is another great little jam sesh with keyboard extraordinaire Marco Benevento and Gordon during the 2014 Burlington Discover Jazz Festival. These two obviously share a strong connection going all the way back to the time they spent playing together during the second Phish hiatus.8. Mike Gordon With Victor Wooten – 2007What happens when you throw two of the most prodigious bass players of their time, Mike Gordon and Victor Wooten together? A whole lotta BASS. Check out this great practice session recorded at Wooten’s Bass Camp.9. Mike Gordon with Phil Lesh – 08/01/2013All the way from Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, CA, this terrific version of the Dead’s “He’s Gone” features Gordon on lead vocals. One can only hope to see Gordon playing more Dead tunes this fall, perhaps?10. Mike Gordon With Trey Anastasio Acoustic – 07/06/2008In one of his first performances back from rehab, Phish guitar player Trey Anastasio was slated to play an acoustic set for the Rothbury Festival. It turned out to be a rejuvenation for Anastasio as well as Phish, as the beloved jam band reunited months later. Here is Gordon sitting in with Trey on the Phish classic, “Chalk Dust Torture,” which begs the question: Can I live while I’m young?Happy birthday Cactus! Gordon’s solo tour kicks off on Friday, and Phish’s summer tour starts next month.
It’s no secret that Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart is somewhat obsessive about finding the perfect sound from his percussion kit. Anyone who’s witnessed a “Drums” segment at a Dead show can attest to Hart’s mad scientist-like approach to his instrument.Fortunately, Hart has maintained a healthy attitude towards his kit for his tenure in Dead & Company, continuing to explore the realms of percussion with unique instruments like “The Beam,” the “Mallet Cat” and so many more.Thanks to Bonnaroo streaming partners Red Bull TV, and their longstanding “Gear Heads” series, fans can take a virtual tour of Hart’s set up. Narrated by Hart himself, fans can get an exclusively inside look at all of Mickey Hart’s tricks of the trade!Check out the video here.
Load remaining images The Doobie Brothers returned to Florida Friday night, blasting St. Augustine Beach with rugged rock n’ roll. The ambience was so comfortable, with people of all ages creating an atmosphere that proved the band’s roots in the area to be as deep as the mangroves themselves. It was truly amazing to see such variety at the show.A sold-out St. Augustine Amphitheatre erupted as the show started with the sounds of “Jesus is Just Alright” cutting the crisp north Florida air. As the show rolled on, they moved into more old favorites such as “Another Park, Another Sunday,” “Long Train Running” and “Black Water.”To the crowd’s delight, the set also included an appearance by Little Feat’s Bill Payne, who dove straight into a keys and drums jam with drummer Ed Toth. Instead of taking an extended set break and ending late, they had a feature key section, quickly accompanied by percussionist Ed Toth, for the amount of time a typical jam band would have a Drums-type jam.Another highlight came when John McFee when he swapped out his guitar for a violin, and later a harmonica. Having never been to a complete Doobie Brothers show (I’ve only seen them with side project like “The Doobie Incident” with The String Cheese Incident), I was blown away with this demonstration of diversity and talent, and the band’s cohesiveness even with three guitars and Marc Russo’s saxophone. The show felt like a veritable Doobie Brothers show, leaving me full of gratitude and admiration.They filled the venue with an incredible energy, which began even as eager fans made their way through the gates, and carried all the way through the night. As fans began to pack up and head home, the band returned with an encore of “Listen To The Music.” I’m glad I stayed and listened.Check out the full gallery by Staged Right Photography and Design, below.The Doobie Brothers @ St. Augustine Amphitheatre 11/11/16:Set: Jesus Is Just Alright, Rockin’ Down the Highway, Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While), Another Park, Another Sunday, Clear as the Driven Snow, Spirit, World Gone Crazy, Eyes of Silver, Dark Eyed Cajun Woman, Sweet Maxine, Keyboard Jam**>Takin’ It to the Streets*,The Doctor*, Black Water***, Long Train Runnin’****, China Grove*.Encore: Without You*, Listen to the Music*Notes:*featuring Bill Payne of Little Feat**Solo*** John McFee on Violin****John McFee on Harmonica
Coming off his debut performance at Carnegie Hall, Gary Clark Jr. stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night. The blues guitarist/vocalist came alone to perform “Hold On”, from his 2015 The Story of Sonny Boy Slim release. Showing off the singer/songwriter side of himself, the artist kept the stripped down version of the song within impressive range for his one-man show.Watch the man and his guitar deliver a passionate performance below:
Today, Paul McCartney filed a lawsuit against Sony/ATV to regain the rights to the classics he wrote as a member of The Beatles. McCartney hopes to get a declaratory judgment that states he will soon regain his copyright ownership share to the iconic Beatles catalogue.The star is hoping to confirm the reclaim of ownership of songs he wrote while a member of the band in a case that recalls a similar battle faced by Duran Duran in 2016.A complaint filed in New York details McCartney transferring rights of songs he wrote with John Lennon to various music publishers throughout the 1960s. In the 1980s, Michael Jackson bought the rights to many of these songs, including “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be”. The singer then bought shares in Sony/ATV and after his death, and his estate sold them back for $750m. This bundle included a large selection of treasured Beatles tracks.The ownership of the songs is set to be McCartney’s again in 2018, but he claims that he hasn’t received confirmation that this will happen without a legal fight despite numerous attempts to contact the company. McCartney’s goal in bringing suit is to receive a declaratory judgment that states he will soon regain his copyright ownership share to a treasured catalog of songs created as a member of The Beatles.In response to the lawsuit, Sony issued this statement: “Sony/ATV has the highest respect for Sir Paul McCartney with whom we have enjoyed a long and mutually rewarding relationship with respect to the treasured Lennon & McCartney song catalog. We have collaborated closely with both Sir Paul and the late John Lennon’s Estate for decades to protect, preserve and promote the catalog’s long-term value. We are disappointed that they have filed this lawsuit which we believe is both unnecessary and premature.”With the high profile and widespread attachment to the parties and the music in question and the precedents that the results of the suit will set, this could turn into a landmark case in the music industry.[via The Hollywood Reporter][cover photo via Rolling Stone]
The Fox Theatre is celebrating its 25th anniversary in March, and the venue’s organizers have been keeping the show announcements coming! After their initial announcement of shows from artists like String Cheese Incident, Big Gigantic and more, the venue added exciting performances with Robert Randolph & The Family Band and From Good Homes – the side project led by Todd Sheaffer of Railroad Earth – to their schedule. Today, the venue has doubled down with the announcement of a special Grateful Dead tribute with Colorado’s longest running Dead band, Shakedown Street. The group will headline The Fox on Saturday, March 25th.The CO-based act, made up of Josh Rosen (Lead Guitar and Vocals) from Fort Collins, Smokey Joe Weisiger (Keyboards/Organ and Vocals) from Arvada, Edwin Hurwitz (Bass) from Boulder, Scott Swartz (Rhythm Guitar and Vocals) from Moffat, and Christian Teele (Drums and Percussion) from Boulder, has been paying homage to the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band, and other Dead-related projects since 1987. You can check out a video of them performing with Leftover Salmon’s Andy Thorn, below.Tickets will be available for purchase this Friday, January 27th at 10am MDT here. Check out the full schedule of shows at The Fox in March below.The Fox Theatre’s 25th Anniversary Celebration PerformancesMarch 2, 2017 – 3OH!3March 3 & 4, 2017 – String Cheese IncidentMarch 6, 2017 (actual anniversary) – Leftover SalmonMarch 8, 2017 – New MastersoundsMarch 9, 2017 – Rose Hill Drive, reunion and album releaseMarch 10 & 11, 2017 – The Greyboy AllstarsMarch, 16, 2017 – Big GiganticMarch 17, 2017 – The MotetMarch 18, 2017 – The Magic BeansMarch 20, 2017 – From Good HomesMarch 23, 2017 – Funky MetersMarch 24, 2017 – Robert Randolph & The Family BandMarch 25, 2017 – Shakedown StreetMarch 29, 2017 – North Mississippi AllstarsMarch 31, 2017 – G. Love & Special Sauce
Last weekend, Memphis’s Beale Street Music Festival brought an exciting mix of talent to the annual event, with headlining sets from Kings of Leon, Soundgarden, Widespread Panic, Snoop Dogg, and Sturgill Simpson. The lineup continued to impress with performances from Death Cab For Cutie, Wiz Khalifa, MGMT, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, Ludacris, Grouplove, GRiZ, Ziggy Marley, X Ambassadors, Jimmy Eat World, The Revivalists, Drive-By Truckers, Greensky Bluegrass, Dawes, Mayer Hawthorne, Deer Tick and so many more.The annual event traditionally ends in bad weather, though this year brought the sunshine all weekend long. Thanks to photographer Doug Siegel, you can enjoy the full gallery below: Load remaining images Load remaining images