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Published: 2010/11/29

Phil Lesh, John Molo, Mark Karan, Jeff Chimenti and Others Join Jackie Greene’s 30th Birthday Party

Jackie Greene celebrated his 30th birthday this past Saturday with a guest-heavy, three-set show at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium. The singer/songwriter’s guest list for the performance nodded to his various projects over the years, boasting appearances by Tim and Nicki Bluhm, Phil Lesh, John Molo, Mark Karan, Jeff Chimenti and Jorgen Carlson, among others.

Greene opened the night with a solo rendition of one of his better known songs, “Gone Wanderin.‘” The singer/songwriter was then joined onstage by his guitarist Nate Dale for a version of “Don’t Let The Devil Take Your Mind.” Soon after, the rest of the Jackie Greene Band emerged for a full electric set that came to a close with “Tell Me Mama, Tell Me Right” and “Like A Ball And Chain.”

The husband and wife duo Tim and Nicki Bluhm joined Greene and the members of his band for the show’s second set. In addition to co-owning the Mission Bells studio in San Francisco, Greene and Bluhm occasionally play together as the Skinny Singers. The short set featured such songs as “Going Home Again” and “Infinity Blues” as well as a heartfelt speech from Tim Bluhm and a balloon drop.

Greene’s third and final set focused on his recent work with Phil Lesh and the extended Grateful Dead family. He performed with an all-star band that included: Dale, drummer John Molo (Phil Lesh & Friends, Bruce Hornsby, The Other Ones), bassist Jorgen Carlson (Gov’ Mule), guitarist Mark Karan (RatDog, The Other Ones) and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti (Furthur, RatDog, The Dead). Through his with stint in Phil Lesh & Friends and tours as an opening act for RatDog and Gov’ Mule, Greene has collaborated with all the musicians in the past three years. Saturday’s third set focused on some of classic rock covers he’s played with the musicians like JJ Cale’s “After Midnight,” Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61” and a medley of the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Taxman.”

Partway through the set, Phil Lesh emerged for a handful of Grateful Dead songs: “Scarlet Begonias,” “Bird Song, “New Speedway Boogie,” “Sugaree,” “Help on the Way,” “Slipknot!” and “Franklin’s Tower.” As a treat, Niki Bluhm and noted booking agent Jonathan Levine both joined the ensemble on “Sugaree.” (Levine has played drums with Lesh on a few occasions.) The birthday boy then closed the night with a solo take on “Sweet Somewhere Bound.”

Here’s a look at Saturday’s Setlist

Set 1 (Jackie Greene Band)
Gone Wanderin’ (Jackie solo)
Don’t Let The Devil Take Your Mind (Jackie and Nate duo)
I’m So Gone
A Moment of Temporary Color
Spooky Tina
Tell Me Mama, Tell Me Right
Like A Ball And Chain

Set 2 (Skinny Singers and Friends)

Going Home Again
Where The Rain Don’t Go
Heroes, Hear Me
Infinity Blues
Stick With Me

Set 3 (Greene and Phil Lesh’s Friends)

After Midnight (MK, JG trade verses)
Highway 61 (MK, JG trade verses)
Waiting for The Man
Hollywood >>> Tomorrow Never Knows >>> Taxman! >>>
(Phil Lesh Enters)
Scarlet Begonias
New Speedway Boogie >> Bird Song >> Speedway
Sugaree (with Jonathan Levine on drums; Nicki Bluhm on vocals)
Help on the Way / Slipkot / Franklin’s Tower

Encore: (Greene solo)
Sweet Somewhere Bound


There are 5 comments associated with this post

Randy March 14, 2011, 11:12:12

Not always true Piginfly — he’s played “Elevator” with Particle, “Seven Story Mountain” with Railroad Earth, and all kinds of Ryan Adams tunes when sitting in with Ryan, for starters. (I once made a two-CD compilation of Phil sitting in). Not to mention that he’s played a several Jackie tunes with Jackie played with him. He almost always incorporated items from his the repertoires of guest performers in PLF.

Barbara Bowen November 30, 2010, 20:19:06

One more thing about John Molo, he also plays with Moonalice.

pigkinfly December 1, 2010, 05:09:53

Why does Phil always play Dead songs when he sits in with somebody? I’ve always wondered about this. He’s one of the most intuitive musicians in the scene and yet he never stretches out when he sits in with other people. Just wondering.

JYH December 1, 2010, 17:06:56

Would have liked to have been there. Jackie is such a talented singer-songwriter & performer. Happy birthday Jackie!

Caroline November 30, 2010, 01:15:56

Couple songs missing here. Shaky Ground was played between Spooky Tina and Shaken, and Squeaky Wheel was played in the Skinny Singers set, I think right before Happy Birthday. Also, I swear I detected a Terrapin tease before Jackie’s Moment of Temporary Color!

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