I've been a fan for over 40 years - as much as it pains me to say this - the last couple of Grateful Dead shows were lackluster, Jerry was listless (and we know myriad reasons why) The fact is that a Further show I saw in Chicago was one of the very best rock concerts I have ever seen - John was great - the last Dead show I saw with Warren was better than several of the last GD shows I saw. I like Steve Kimock and saw Stu Allen play at the Great American Music Hall last year and he was excellent. The main thing for me is to keep the music rolling - whoever the core guys chose to play with is fine by me.
I vote for Jeff Matson. I seen Jeff play for years and years - The only problem is he might be too good! lol
Grateful Dead music is an in the moment spiritual kinda music, furthur is to rehearsed and controlled by Phil I'd like to see them wing it like in the old days no prearranged setlist. Steve Kimock was Jerry's pick, that was his favorite.
Furthur, "has got to many signs divided lines and to many rules to guide".
Let the music be FREE!
I would definitely drink to that (clink)!
I happened to catch Furthur in Boca with 2 friends who saw about 60 shows in the late 80-95 period. Both thought this version of Furthur was in some ways better than many of the shows with Jerry. This band is tight everyone seems to be playing with an incredible intensity and skill. Perhaps because they are wiser and older Phil and Bobby realize that these remaining years are the only time left for them to play this music that means so much to so many friends.
John in particular seems to have really grown as a guitar player-he does not sound as tentative on the vocals as Winter 2010 and while his playing is reminiscent of Jerry's he clearly is playing the songs his own way.
I also have come to enjoy Jeffs contributions however where we sat the volume level on the mix was often set low for Jeff. Joe and Sunshine are the icing on the cake-I would love to see Phil and Bob grace them with at least one song where they would be the lead singers they deserve it.
And the road goes on forever....
His energy, enthusiasm, and love for the music are obvious. And I'd also like to give a big round of applause for Joe, Jeff, and Sunshine - new additions to the group who are taking us all Furthur indeed!
JK's the man, just wish he'd solo a bit more. But I am thankful what is there.
JK is the man! I feel the same as tphokie1 - it's an exciting time for dead heads (well mostly, there are still those who cannot/will not accept JK). I think they are missing out big time!
"It's got no signs or dividing line and very few rules to guide"
Any serious debate against JK?
He knows the music inside and out. He does sometimes remind me of Jerry with his playing but at the same time he is bringing his own ideas to the music. I loved his rendition of "Fool in the Rain" at Hampton last Friday. That was completely his own! I haven't been this excited about the scene since the early 90's! No one will ever replace Jerry but John is carrying the music into the 21st century!