• https://www.dead.net/features/gd-radio-hour/grateful-dead-hour-no-585
    Grateful Dead Hour no. 585

    Week of December 6, 1999

    Derived from an appearance by David Nelson on my KPFA show, Dead to the World, on August 18, 1999.

    Best known for his work with the New Riders of the Purple Sage, David Nelson is one of Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia's oldest musical buds. They played folk music and bluegrass together in the early '60s, and in this interview Nelson also reveals that he was a founding member of the jug band that became the Grateful Dead, Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions.

    In the interview Nelson talks about the founding of the David Nelson Band. "I met [guitarist/pedal steel Barry Sless, keyboardist Mookie Siegel, and bassist Bill Laymon] in another group that we were in in the early '90s, a tribute to the Grateful Dead called the Dead Ringers.... You can only do that for so long, and then we decided to do my material. Why didn't I think of that?" I thought the Nelson Band was just about the best thing going, but they had a hard time making ends meet on the touring circuit.

    About three years ago, the New Riders of the Purple Sage re-formed, with David Nelson and Buddy Cage (who replaced Jerry Garcia on pedal steel in 1971) joined by guitarist Michael Falzarano (famed for his work with Hot Tuna), and drummer Johnny Markowski and bassist Ronnie Penque from Stir Fried. That band has had much better fortunes on the club and festival circuits!

    Barry Sless currently divides his time between Moonalice and Phil Lesh and Friends, and Mookie Siegel is a full-time member of Donna Jean and the Tricksters. Bill Laymon was seriously ill for a couple of years; I saw him in December 2008 when we both played a benefit concert in Santa Rosa CA, and he's looking and sounding great now!

    The David Nelson Band reconvenes when schedules permit, and they continue to make terrific music together.

    Notes on a couple of the songs in this show:

    "Impressionist Two-Step" is a wonderful song by Pop Wagner. You can hear his version on his CD Disco on the Bayou, and here's a video of Wagner performing the song.

    "Edge of the Wire" is a David Nelson composition. This live performance is from one of a handful of Phil Lesh and Friends shows that included Nelson and his DNB bandmates Barry Sless and Mookie Siegel.

    Enjoy!

    David Nelson Band, Visions Under the Moon
    NO SOUVENIRS

    David Nelson Band, Keeper of the Key
    IMPRESSIONIST TWO-STEP

    New Riders of the Purple Sage, The Adventures of Panama Red
    PANAMA RED

    New Riders of the Purple Sage, Powerglide
    DIM LIGHTS, THICK SMOKE (And Loud, Loud Music)

    New Riders of the Purple Sage, Live on Stage
    I WILL NEVER MAKE YOU BLUE

    Phil Lesh and Friends 7/3/99 Warfield Theater, SF
    EDGE OF THE WIRE

    David Nelson Band 7/6/99 Powerhouse, Sebastopol CA
    RAG MAMA RAG

    Every Wednesday, we post a program from the Grateful Dead Hour archives for your enjoyment and enlightenment. You can browse or search the playlists at gdhour.com or on the GD Hour Search page, and let me know what program(s) you'd like to hear by emailing me at gdhour@dead.net.

    Thank you for listening!

    - David Gans

    Listen Now

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    chuck heil
    15 years 6 months ago
    GOOD FRIENDS ARE HARD TO FIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    cshrocksthedead is looking for TODD STEELE or BRYAN HOOPER if you know them or know their whereabouts I sure would appreciate your help finding my lost friends... GOOD FRIENDS ARE HARD TO FIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Default Avatar
    G Man
    15 years 6 months ago
    NRPS
    Awesome show. Caught the New Riders a few times the past 2 years or so. Over the top and great times.
  • Pizza_T
    15 years 6 months ago
    Edge of the Wire
    Freakin awesome. Pizza T luvs U.. ttyl
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17 years 2 months

Week of December 6, 1999

Derived from an appearance by David Nelson on my KPFA show, Dead to the World, on August 18, 1999.

Best known for his work with the New Riders of the Purple Sage, David Nelson is one of Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia's oldest musical buds. They played folk music and bluegrass together in the early '60s, and in this interview Nelson also reveals that he was a founding member of the jug band that became the Grateful Dead, Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions.

In the interview Nelson talks about the founding of the David Nelson Band. "I met [guitarist/pedal steel Barry Sless, keyboardist Mookie Siegel, and bassist Bill Laymon] in another group that we were in in the early '90s, a tribute to the Grateful Dead called the Dead Ringers.... You can only do that for so long, and then we decided to do my material. Why didn't I think of that?" I thought the Nelson Band was just about the best thing going, but they had a hard time making ends meet on the touring circuit.

About three years ago, the New Riders of the Purple Sage re-formed, with David Nelson and Buddy Cage (who replaced Jerry Garcia on pedal steel in 1971) joined by guitarist Michael Falzarano (famed for his work with Hot Tuna), and drummer Johnny Markowski and bassist Ronnie Penque from Stir Fried. That band has had much better fortunes on the club and festival circuits!

Barry Sless currently divides his time between Moonalice and Phil Lesh and Friends, and Mookie Siegel is a full-time member of Donna Jean and the Tricksters. Bill Laymon was seriously ill for a couple of years; I saw him in December 2008 when we both played a benefit concert in Santa Rosa CA, and he's looking and sounding great now!

The David Nelson Band reconvenes when schedules permit, and they continue to make terrific music together.

Notes on a couple of the songs in this show:

"Impressionist Two-Step" is a wonderful song by Pop Wagner. You can hear his version on his CD Disco on the Bayou, and here's a video of Wagner performing the song.

"Edge of the Wire" is a David Nelson composition. This live performance is from one of a handful of Phil Lesh and Friends shows that included Nelson and his DNB bandmates Barry Sless and Mookie Siegel.

Enjoy!

David Nelson Band, Visions Under the Moon
NO SOUVENIRS

David Nelson Band, Keeper of the Key
IMPRESSIONIST TWO-STEP

New Riders of the Purple Sage, The Adventures of Panama Red
PANAMA RED

New Riders of the Purple Sage, Powerglide
DIM LIGHTS, THICK SMOKE (And Loud, Loud Music)

New Riders of the Purple Sage, Live on Stage
I WILL NEVER MAKE YOU BLUE

Phil Lesh and Friends 7/3/99 Warfield Theater, SF
EDGE OF THE WIRE

David Nelson Band 7/6/99 Powerhouse, Sebastopol CA
RAG MAMA RAG

Every Wednesday, we post a program from the Grateful Dead Hour archives for your enjoyment and enlightenment. You can browse or search the playlists at gdhour.com or on the GD Hour Search page, and let me know what program(s) you'd like to hear by emailing me at gdhour@dead.net.

Thank you for listening!

- David Gans

Listen Now

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16 years 11 months
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I remember when this episode orignally aired. I loved it then, and here it is now. And I didn't even request it! Sweet. That 1975 version of the New Riders does a fine job with 'I Will Never Make You Blue.'
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Terrific program . All D nelson tunes were great . rag mama rag was a bit slow - though . The Phil & F song was really good . No souveneirs and dim lights , thick smoke were my fa favourites The interview was probably the best . The bit on Dave torbert and the guy in the hotel . Im multitalented / made me laugh heartily . sensational --------------------
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15 years 6 months
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Awesome show. Caught the New Riders a few times the past 2 years or so. Over the top and great times.
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15 years 6 months
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cshrocksthedead is looking for TODD STEELE or BRYAN HOOPER if you know them or know their whereabouts I sure would appreciate your help finding my lost friends... GOOD FRIENDS ARE HARD TO FIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!