About 40 years after joining the original Jerry Garcia Band, Melvin Seals & JGB delivered on December 20 two solid sets at a private, socially distanced performance. The gathering of a few dozen folks, mostly masked, took place on a bright, sunny afternoon in the small Sierra Nevada foothill community of Auburn, Calif. That the improbable, COVID-era show happened all was thanks to the tireless efforts of local concert impresario Scott Holbrook and his Keep Smilin’ Promotions.
What happens when the world’s two leading bands carrying the torch of the Jerry Garcia Band experience unite into one unstoppable force? This was the scene at the Solano County Fairgrounds in Vallejo, California as Garcia Band alum and current JGB frontman Melvin Seals joined California’s own Jerry’s Middle Finger for a sold-out Saturday evening Drive-in concert on November 14.
As another new year rolls in, I can’t say how excited I am to see the Grateful Dead family not only thriving but flourishing. We Deadheads can take pride in having become a borderless, boundless global community where a simple Steal-Your-Face sticker on your pack and a smile will find you a safe haven. And with thankfulness being one of the defining criteria of a Deadhead for the life-changing, enlightening experience the Dead brought to our lives, we have a healthy desire to express that gratitude. What is “it” we’re so thankful for?
Almost 17 years ago, back in 2003, I played my first show with Melvin Seals in Albuquerque, NM and had an absolute blast.
Last weekend, the legendary jam band Zero concluded a prolific 35th anniversary run aptly named “Back to Zero.” Core members Steve Kimock, Greg Anton, Pete Sears, Melvin Seals, and Hadi Al-Saddoon were joined by friends and family for an invigorating reunion that pleased newer fans and decade-spanning devotees alike.
Organizers of the 12th annual Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival released their “early bird band lineup” today, with The Infamous Stringdusters at the top of the initial band list.
The Grammy-winning progressive bluegrass band will be making its third appearance at Rooster Walk, and will be joined on the bill by Melvin Seals & JGB, Fruition, BIG Something, Yarn, The Vegabonds, Big Daddy Love and Sexbruise?.
This incarnation of the band, which was established in the early 1980s, included Melvin Seals (keyboards), Pete Sears (bass, backing vocals), Hadi Al-Saadoon (trumpet, backing vocals), and Sebastian Saint James (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), with Miles Kimock contributing additional guitar passages in the second set. Steve Kimock had worked with Seals and Sears in the recent past, and with Al-Saadoon in Zero’s early days. Saint James, who was new to the Zero fold, gelled well with the group.