Dead & Company perform at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia, on July 8, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)
When illegitimate rumors circulated in the spring that Dead & Company would be hanging it up, Bobby Weir himself took to social media to dispel the fictitious storyline.
“News to me …,” he Tweeted in response to Rolling Stone’s incorrect April report on the modernized, legacy edition of the Grateful Dead, the band the now-grey but steadfast Weir helped steer for 30 years before it disbanded in 1995 following the death of Jerry Garcia.
In the wake of the cancellation of Dead & Company’s scheduled show in Saratoga Springs recently, buzz about a possible no-go in Northern Virginia seemed valid, as the father of star band member John Mayer had been hospitalized late in the week in an apparent medical emergency.
But, alas, Mayer’s father’s condition improved and the show would go on, as they say. And, upon announcing lot and show times on social media in the afternoon on July 8, Jiffy Lube Live was transformed a short while later into the larger-than-life celebration that follows this band wherever it goes in the same trademark fashion as the Grateful Dead.
Grahame Lesh leads Midnight North in a performance at The 8X10 in Baltimore on July 6, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)
When you’re born the son of one of the most respected musicians of all time, it takes courage and perseverance to carve your own original path and still honor your heritage.
Grahame Lesh is navigating such an extraordinary scenario with fortitude and class as one of two leading voices and guitars driving Midnight North, a band that got its start about 10 years ago in San Francisco and honed its sound through many a night at Marin County’s late, great Terrapin Crossroads and by way of ambitious touring all across the country.
Their energetic road trips brought Midnight North to spots throughout the DMV in recent years, and at a recent stop at The 8X10 in Baltimore, Grahame showed that his band’s diligence and consideration is indeed paying off in the form of one of the most endearing and dynamic outfits on tour today.
The Midnight North perform at The Hamilton Live on Oct. 7, 2021. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
After a two-year absence, Midnight North recently made a much-anticipated return to the DC area, even briefly renaming The Hamilton on the strength of the two “Graham(e)” bandmembers. The show featured an appearance by Phil Lesh, beloved Grateful Dead bassist and father of Midnight North guitarist and founder, Grahame Lesh. For two-plus hours, the “Gramilton” felt like an extended family reunion with fans from differing generations and bands reuniting after a too-long pandemic hiatus.
Dead & Company performs at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia, on Aug. 18, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
What’s not to be appreciated about a musical act — more so a community and now essentially a culture — that has stood the test of more than 55 years? Nearly six decades after a band calling itself The Warlocks randomly switched its name to Grateful Dead, the most current amalgamation of some of the group’s original members and carefully chosen friends can still draw thousands of people together for a kaleidoscopic celebration of music.
Dead & Company rolled into Bristow, Virginia, last week for a show at Jiffy Lube Live, their second stop of the current tour, and created two robust sets of songs that not only paid tribute to the large family of musicians and songwriters that is the Grateful Dead, but gave many of the band’s songs a refreshing new twist that brought out the best in the group gathered on stage.
Dead & Company (Photo by Danny Clinch)
Psychedelic rockers Dead & Company visit Jiffy Lube Live in Virginia on Wednesday, Aug. 18, for a stop on their What a Long Strange Trip Its Been Tour.
Blues Comin’ On, the latest offering from blues guitar legend Joe Louis Walker, was released on June 5, 2020, from Cleopatra Records.)
Blues artist Joe Louis Walker has been making music with his voice and guitar for over a half century. A 2013 Blues Hall of Fame inductee and a four-time Blues Music Award winner, Joe has learned from, been a mentor to, or simply played alongside just about everyone in the business.
His new album, Blues Comin’ On, which was released on June 5 by Cleopatra Records, features guest performances by fellow blues icons Keb’ Mo’, Eric Gales, and Albert Lee, Detroit soul singer Mitch Ryder, harmonica virtuoso Lee Oskar, Hot Tuna’s Jorma Kaukonen, punk rock vocalist Charlie Harper, and legendary session player Waddy Wachtel among others.
Parklife DC’s Ari Strauss had the opportunity recently to speak with Joe by phone to discuss the new album, his career, and the many wonderful artists he’s played with over the years.
Dead Kennedys frontman Skip Greer impressed with flair and deadpan comedy at 9:30 Club on March 11, 2020. (Photo by Paivi Salonen)
Coronavirus couldn’t stop our District’s vulnerable punk population from coming out in droves to support one of the scene’s most iconic bands, Dead Kennedys. Despite increasingly dire news around the global pandemic, and a declaration of emergency from DC Mayor Muriel Bowser mere hours before doors opened, 9:30 Club was packed to near capacity with diehard DK fans eager to see these living legends in the flesh.
Dead Kennedys (Art courtesy Eventbrite)
The Dead Kennedys, one of the most infamous punk bands of all time, celebrated their 40th anniversary last year with the release of a limited edition box set last year, published via Manifesto Records.
To further celebrate 40 years, the punk legends perform at 9:30 Club on Wednesday, March 11.
Super Diamond (Photo courtesy the band)
Super Diamond, the *world’s* top Neil Diamond tribute band, performs at 9:30 Club on Thursday, Feb. 20. And you can win tickets to go with Parklife DC!
David Lowery fronts Camper Van Beethoven at 9:30 Club on Jan. 18, 2020 (Photo by David LaMason)
As I was listening to Camper Van Beethoven at the 9:30 Club recently, I was reminded of the title of a Spotify playlist of ’80s alternative rock: Left of the Dial. To the crowd’s delight, the band opened with their delightfully odd cult hit “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” from their 1985 debut LP, Telephone Free Landslide Victory.