Phil Lesh and Friends will soon be hitting festivals in our region with their Summer Jamboree tour. Phil's shows are really entertaining - daringly improvisational; and with fluid, yet tight performances. And he always plays with a fresh cast of incredible musicians. The current line-up of phriends includes Jackie Greene, Larry Campbell, Steve Molitz(Particle) and John Molo - who has been the only constant in Phil & Friends - other than Phil, of course. Here's an interesting interviewwith John from dead.net.
There are a couple things I really like about seeing Phil Lesh these days:
1. I get to see him sing ... I was one of those fans in the Seventies who would call out to "Make Phil Sing" - which followed the misguided "Let Phil Sing!" campaign. I saw the Grateful Dead many times through the late 70's and early 80's - but never once saw Phil sing. (I guess there was a stretch of 700+ shows where he did not.)
2. It's fun to watch Phil lead his ever changing band of great musicians. I was confused the first time I saw him speaking into the mic without hearing him. When I realized that he was talking to the band members in their ear monitors and offering musical direction, it all made sense. (See Molo's description of this direction in the interview.)
3. I love the songs in the Grateful Dead canon. And Phil obviously continues to enjoy playing them too.