Phil Lesh Talks Terrapin Crossroads
Photo by Jay Blakesberg
Like Father, Like Sons
My sons Brian and Grahame bring both a new sensibility [when they play with me] and music that they like from their generation. They both write, play and sing, so we’ve been doing some of their originals. We’ve also been doing songs by Mumford & Sons, The Head & the Heart and Zac Brown Band. Their takes on Grateful Dead material are generally very fresh. For instance, the other night in Telluride, [Colo.], during “Stella Blue,” Grahame was playing this beautiful, beautiful stuff that I’ve never heard before. And Brian plays mandolin a lot on these shows, and he’ll just rip up something that just makes my knees buckle.
From Dylan to Adams
We’ve been covering albums in their entirety. We let everyone who’s playing do the preliminary work themselves. But we usually have 2-3 days of rehearsal, and when I say days, I mean eight-hour rehearsals. We grind down on those things, and as it turns out, it’s so much fun. We just did Blood on the Tracks and I’m looking to move on to more contemporary stuff. My sons and I have been talking about doing Ryan Adams’ Jacksonville City Nights.
Less and More
One of the main things that I’m trying to get going here at the Crossroads is to change up these tunes, even our own Grateful Dead tunes. One night, we did “Candyman” like a screaming up-tempo bluegrass song and it was absolutely killer. Given the relative scarcity of rehearsal time, we’re not always able to do everything we’d like to do with the tunes, but that’s going to change as we move forward and have fewer shows and more rehearsal time. We’re getting it off the ground now and that’s why we’re doing so many shows.
Temples of American Songs
Levon’s Rambles were like temples of American song. I’ve been listening to country music recently: Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum and especially this band Little Big Town. A lot of people haven’t heard of them—they do a four-part vocal harmony and it’s astonishing. Both my sons and I are working on some of their songs with all the vocal harmonies, and it’s going to be a big thrill. All those artists are feeding music into our singing. I secretly hold hope that maybe one or two of those guys would come out and play with us some time in the future.
The Howlin’ Brothers take to the Relix rooftop and share a song they wrote with Warren Haynes.
Beth Hart shares the opening track from her latest album, Bang Bang Boom Boom, live at Relix.
Jamie Lidell sets up in the Relix boiler room and delivers a tune from his 2005 album Multiply
Duane Trucks is happy to announce his new project, King Lincoln. Watch them perform “Coffee” live and acoustic at Relix’s Online-Video Coordinator’s loft in Williamsburg.
Here’s another song from Crystal Bowersox’s new record All That For This, live at Relix.
WYATT share a song in the famed Relix boiler room.
Goodnight, Texas share a song from their latest studio album, A Long Life of Living, live at Relix.
Warren Haynes performs a solo, acoustic version of “Railroad Boy” and explains how he adapted the traditional Celtic song for Gov’t Mule, backstage at the Hangout Music Festival.
Australia’s Alpine recently made their NYC debut at the Relix office with this song from their new album A is for Alpine.
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
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