Phil Lesh, Trigger Hippy, Tim Bluhm and More Join Jackie Greene
Jackie Greene celebrated his 31st birthday with a special performance at San Francisco, CA’s The Fillmore on Saturday night. The show featured several different segments, each representing a different one of Greene’s projects. The night opened with a super group billed as Jackie Greene & Friends, featuring Phil Lesh, RatDog guitarist Mark Karan, Furthur/RatDog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, Further singer Jeff Pehrson and Phil Lesh & Friends/Moonalice drummer John Molo. As expected, the segment focused on Grateful Dead, more specifically a run from “China Cat Sunflower” into “I Know You Rider.”
The next segment focused on material from Greene’s own songbook with some of his regular players, though Pehrson did return for a cover of the Dead’s “New Speedway Boogie,” a song Greene regularly covers on his own. Greene also teased Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” the Grateful Dead’s “That’s It For the Other One” and “Bird Song” during the classic Workingman’s Dead tune. His longtime friends Tim and Nicki Bluhm also emerged for “Closer to You.” The segment then transitioned into a Skinny Singers set, which traditionally finds Greene performing with the Bluhms (on this time, Chimenti also added some keys). Greene’s mom also surprised him onstage to deliver a birthday cake while the audience sang happy birthday.
As some speculated, the evening’s fourth segment was a surprise appearance by Trigger Hippy, Greene’s new band with singer Joan Osborne, Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman, former Black Crowes guitarist Audley Freed and bassist Nick Govrik. The new super group—who will play a few West Coast shows this week—ran through material from their repertoire like “Turpentine, “Cave Hill Play,” “Heartache On The Line,” “Rise Up Singing,” “99 Pounds” and “Tennessee.” Trigger Hippy’s stealth show morphed into a Jackie Greene & Friends performance featuring Karan, Gorman, Freed and Jeff Chimenti, as well as other assorted guests. Worlds collided when Osborne and Pehrson—singers who have performed with Lesh at different times—took the stage together for “Sugaree.” The Beau Brummels’ Sal Valentino—who has recorded with Greene—also emerged, and Karan led the band through with “Rock Your Papa” with Greene on drums. The night came to a close with the lone encore of “Sweet Somewhere Bound.”