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Published: 2003/12/15

Raitt, Popper, Buffalo, Muldaur (But No Joan) With Dead at Seva Benefit

The Dead invited several old friends to the stage Saturday, while performing at the Community Theatre, in Berkeley, California. The location for many early Grateful Dead performances, the Community Theater is a fitting place for the Dead to share the stage with many familiar faces, including John Popper, Bonnie Raitt, Maria Muldaur, and Norman Buffalo.
A Seva Silver Anniversary Concert, the evenings multi-band bill also included Steve Earle, Jackson Browne, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Hamza el Din, Bonnie Raitt, and host Wavy Gravy. Old friends Bonnie Raitt, Maria Muldaur, and Norton Buffalo joined the Dead for the group finale Not Fade Away, which served as the Deads encore. Singer-guitarist Raitt last performed with The Other Ones on August 25, 2000 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, adding vocals to West LA Fadeaway, Black Muddy River, and Bruce Hornsbys Rainbows Cadillac. In addition to their own solo catalogues, Muldaur and Buffalo are aligned with the Dead as members of seminal bands: The Even Dozen Jug Band and the Steve Miller Band respectively.

Playing a rare acoustic set, the Dead staked their setlist with better known material, such as Truckin, Dark Star, Jack Straw, and a cover of the Beatles Tomorrow Never Knows. Though the first few songs of the groups set were entirely acoustic, guitarist Jimmy Herring did plug in half-way through the concert for Dark Star, Eyes of the World, One More Saturday Night, and Not Fade Away. Despite the evening s numerous guests, Dead vocalist Joan Osborne did not perform with the septet.
As had been heavily rumored before the show, Blues Traveler front man and harpist John Popper joined the Dead on Eyes of the World. Popper last guest with the Grateful Dead on November 2, 1991 at a Golden Gate Park Benefit for Bill Graham, who managed Blues Traveler in their formative years. Popper will also collaborate with former Ratdog bassist Rob Wasserman on December 15th as part of the Wasserman Sessions. Popper hooked up with the bassist through mutual friend Bo Mahoney, who serves as Blues Travelers front-of-house engineer. Reporting by Mike Greenhaus

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