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Published: 2012/08/31

Counting Crows Members to Reform Tender Mercies

Counting Crows members Dan Vickrey and Jim Bogios will rejoin Patrick Winningham and Kurt Stevenson for a show with their old band Tender Mercies next month. The performance will take place at San Rafael, CA’s George’s Nightclub on Friday, September 28. The Windshield Cowboys will open the night.

Vickrey formed the band 28-years ago after he graduated from college and started working with venue manager Patrick Winningham, who operated San Francisco’s
Hotel Utah. Vickrey recounts, “After meeting Patrick and playing the show, a friendship was quickly born. He was a staple in San Francisco’s thriving music scene, playing around town with many of the local SF greats such as Chuck Prophet and Jeff Trott (of Sheryl Crow fame). At that point in time, I was next in line to take on guitar duties on the songs that would end up on the Tender Mercies disc. Also in the lineup was the quiet bass player Kurt Stevenson, who wrote songs with the timeless quality of chestnuts like ‘Circle Be Unbroken.’ On keyboard was Charlie Gillingham, who played with many bands at the time (including my own when I played solo). Meeting Charlie changed my life. A year or two later he quit all the bands he was in and hooked up with a new band on the scene. The band was Counting Crows.”

Through 1993, the Tender Mercies band played many gigs under many different nom de plumes with the core lineup of Dan Vickrey, Patrick Winningham and Kurt Stevenson. In 1993 Charlie Gillingham called Vickrey and asked if he wanted to audition with Counting Crows, who were looking for an additional guitar player. Vickrey aced the audition and the rest is history. He reminisces says, “On the Crows’ first tour we covered a few of my old band’s songs such as ‘Wiseblood,’ ‘Four White Stallions’ and ‘Mercy’ to round out the set which, at the time, consisted only of the songs on August and Everything After. Adam (Duritz) connected with the songs just as Charlie and I had, and they still find their way into the sets today.”

When the Counting Crows went on hiatus in 2010 Vickrey hooked back up with his former bandmates Patrick Winningham and Kurt Stevenson, and the group began to play occasional shows together. He also added Crows drummer Jim Bogios to their lineup. The chemistry rekindled Vickrey’s interest, and the group decided to revisit and re-record the songs from the earlier days of Tender Mercies in a more “meaningful way.”

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