How TWEET It Is...
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    BLOGHER Featured Blog




    Happy New Year from Terrapin Crossroads -- Where the Music Never Stops

    December 31, 2013, Terrapin Crossroads, San Rafael, CA



    The Grate Tweet Up

    February 23, 2013, ALOFT Hotel, Broomfield, CO

    I followed her and she followed him, I retweeted her post, he retweeted her video. I liked his tweets and we started DM-ing to get better acquainted. He started a #FF -- Follow Friday mention-athon. And so it began. A little Grateful Dead Twitter family was born. On a regular basis, there are set lists tweeted, news about band members, hopes for Furthur tour dates and news and videos about all sorts of musicians and life events. And, there we were a group of friends devoted to one another, devoted to a band and, yet, completely virtual. The majority of us had never met one another. Sometimes I'd tell other friends about something one of my Twiends was going through and they'd look at me a little strangely and then say, "yea, but you don't actually know them, right?" Over the past year, I've pondered what it means to become close with people you don't know in person, yet who you cheer for and cry with. I guess for me the best way to describe it is it's like a modern-day pen pal system.

    Many of us were planning to a trip to Colorado for the Furthur winter shows. And so the idea began growing that we'd all meet one another. And we did! On a cold, but clear Saturday afternoon, we congregated at the ALOFT bar adjacent to 1st Bank Center in Broomfield. One by one, different people entered the bar looking around to see if they recognized anyone from a Twitter profile picture. Soon we were a group of about ten -- laughing hilariously and feeling like we were with our closest family members or our best friends from college. We stayed and stayed as the drinks kept being served and show time approached.

    One friend remarked the day after the get-together, "it was the most fun I've ever had." I felt the same exact way and remarked back to her, "then what the heck had we been doing all the years before?" I think it's pretty safe to say, we all felt something very special that afternoon in Broomfield, and had created lasting IRL -- "in real life" bonds that started as music fans getting to know one another in 140 character. Viva la Twitter!


    Winter Tour 2013 in Colorado - The Blizzard Tour!

    February 21-24, 2013, 1st Bank Center, Broomfield, CO









    Ramble On...

    Friday afternoon is not an ideal time to travel to Terrapin Crossroads from Silicon Valley. As I cross the Golden Gate Bridge with a hint of the sunset's remnants on my left and the twinkling East Bay and City lights on my right, I'm trying to calm down. I realize I don't have much further to go, and don't want to miss the opener. As I pull into the familiar parking lot and am greeted by a guy waxing on about his political affiliations, I realize I AM so glad to be back at Terrapin. It had been a few months.

    The renovated Terrapin is a dressed up version of itself. It's still basically the same room, but is now decked out with seven chandeliers, wood floor, wood planks on the walls, windows (with Roman shades drawn) and industrial carpeting covering the stage. The lone bar is still in the far corner and a thick velvet drape still separates the entrance from the audience and stage. My guess is the capacity is around 400.

    I will confess that I get a little giddy before these shows. The atmosphere is so intimate and warm. The evening was one of four Rambles featuring Phil, Jackie Greene, Neal Casal, Adam McDougall and Tony Leone. I knew to expect a playlist dominated by Grateful Dead tunes peppered with a couple of this's and that's. They opened with Jack Straw (my husband's current favorite) and then Loser and Loose Lucy. My new friend, Angelo, asked if I was keeping track of the set list and I realized I wasn't. Sometimes I forget that the usual suspects who keep track of these things might not be at the show. Yikes, instead of riding with the rhythms, I had to pay attention.

    The second set opened with a gorgeous version of China Cat Sunflower followed by an I Know You Rider fake-out, and instead rolled into Scarlet Begonias with Neal on lead vocals. It was just a smokin' tune and mid way through it was comical and sweet to see Neal and Jackie look at each other intensely eye-to-eye for a long moment. I had to wonder if they were thinking, "dude, how does this one end or are we just gonna keep it going?" This is the stuff that happens at Terrapin -- up-close and right there and the crowd gets to be part of it. Coincidentally (or not), someone at the set break asked me which songs did I miss Jerry singing the most? The guy said his was "Scarlet Begonias." I didn't immediately have an answer, but a couple of days later, it occurred to me that Bird Song was one of the songs I really missed hearing Jerry sing.

    Two sweet non-Grateful Dead tunes sung by Neal were, Love The One You're With by CSNY and Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones. At the end of Wild Horses, a totally sullen-faced guy leans over and says in slurry words, "I cried through that whole song."

    Before the "donor rap" where Phil thanks the young organ donor (Cody) who saved his life he said, "take a look around, this is why we're here! Give each other a hug!" That is so Phil!!!

    The encore was a soulful Sugaree, sung from deep within Jackie. He injects an old-time blues and gospel flavor into that song in a way that makes the room stand still, and the crowd sway in unison. These are the moments I'll drive two-plus hours for in afternoon traffic. Completely uplifting, soul-warming and renewing.

    Next stop, Broomfield!



    The Fall Risk Rocks The Bay Area...

    In the Bay Area there is no shortage of live music. In fact you can hear a different band playing in a different venue every night of the week, and still wished you’d heard a few more. In the past year, I’ve gotten to know a new up-and-coming folk-rock-blues jam band, The Fall Risk. I’ve now see them perform at multiple local venues including, Sweetwater Music Hall, Terrapin Crossroads, Slims and Brick & Mortar.

    Jeff Pehrson, The Fall Risk front-man is no newbie to live performances. He garnered west coast love and a loyal following as part of Box Set. Jeff’s song writing and performing prowess have helped this eight member band become a growing presence in the Bay Area club scene. Jeff fronts the band with a big warm smile and his acoustic guitar dominance. He’s the only one in the group who pursues music as a full-time occupation; although you’d never know it by the professional level of their performances. In the past year, I’ve seen this band become tighter and more fluent in their orchestration. They’re taking this very seriously!!

    The third or fourth time I saw The Fall Risk perform was at Bob Weir’s Sweetwater Music Hall with a guest appearance by Stu Allen. A few weeks later I was eager to see what would happen when they played at the hallowed venue, Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads. The history of the venue itself leaves some big shoes to fill. And The Fall Risk, with a guest appearance by Phil, played to the packed-house one rousing jam after another. They knew exactly where they were playing, rose to the occasion and brought the crowd along with them for the ride. This was my kind of loud, raucous, rock and roll!

    While Jeff is the best known musician on the stage, he’s hardly there alone. Philip Savell is a maniac as one of two lead guitar players, and evokes a look and sound of a seasoned rocker. I’m sure Phil’s preferred form of a cardio workout is to be playing guitar on-stage for two hours. He doesn’t hold anything back – nothing! Rich Goldstein on the other side of the stage is a master with the slide and equally makes his presence known, but in a more reserved manner. Matt Twain supports Jeff on the vocals and is a masterful keyboard player. I’ve heard Sammy Johnston rip it up on the pedal steel guitar and then completely surprise the crowd by hauling an accordion around the stage whining out a fantastic version of The Who’s Squeeze Box. If you knew nothing about this band, you’d quickly figure out this is a group of musicians with a connection. In fact, several of the members were musician-friends from their college days.

    During a time when there seems to be a nostalgic re-interest in 80’s music (gag), The Fall Risk offers something lighter and more soulful. While Cross My Heart and If Love Is the Answer are sweet love songs, there’s every chance you’ll hear a roaring guitar jam during these tunes. The band is having such a good time, you can’t help doing the same. Dancing is a must!

    Each show has had two solid 8-10 song sets and I’ve left each time wanting a few more songs. Jeff easily brings his warm personality to the stage. It’s no secret he’s one of the vocalists for Furthur and shows his quiet gratitude for that opportunity by telling the crowd, “my bosses wrote this one,” before they break into a Grateful Dead tune. Otherwise, their repertoire is mostly original songs sprinkled with a few well-known covers.