Acclaimed mandolinist and bandleader David Grisman is no stranger to Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse. The storied folk and Americana venue has undoubtedly seen the likes of dozens of incarnations of Dawg music with countless shows. The crowd at the Freight is respectful yet boisterous, out of their seat yet out of the way, absorbed yet moveable.
On May 11th, Round Records will release its most ambitious project to date with the long-awaited Jerry Garcia boxed set Before The Dead. The project features a meticulously researched and curated compilation of recordings the iconic Grateful Dead founder made prior to forming the legendary band. Before The Dead includes never before heard performances, recordings that have never been commercially released and a small selection that have.
The felt moment of immediate experience has been lost. Perhaps we have given it away by not accessing it. Perhaps it was robbed by this mainstream media/cereal box religion/consumer culture. Music festivals help us drop out of the noisy centralized confines of the Matrix and fall into the magic of experience; to revel in the full richness of the moment. It is a domain of feeling, and at best it is a vector of love, light, good vibrations and community.
I have a moleskine book I keep in my pocket at concerts. My wife gave it to me as a gift years ago. She always gives the best gifts. This tattered little vestige to my musical history is used solely for notes at concerts I am reviewing. Nothing could better embody who I am, not just as a writer, but as a person. Every time I write in the book, it is a process. I have to take the now stretched out elastic rope off of the book, turn to the page marked with the connected bookmark and pick up where I left off.