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Published: 2009/03/16
by Nick Hutchinson

Bill Kreutzmann featuring Oteil Burbridge and Scott Murawski / Great American Taxi, Fox Theater, Boulder, CO- 2/21

Vince Herman's Great American Taxi joined the Bill Kreutzmann Trio for a fun evening of fevered Americana and
Dead-meets-Allmans style jamming at Boulder's Fox Theater, one of Colorado's best venues for live music. GAT, which
had the opening slot, peeled off the line with a crowd pleasing version of “Red Mountain Wine,” then followed up with
the group's anthemic staple “Ride," a song that includes the appropriate lines "I'm tryin' hard to find my imagination/
to see out of this dark American night/we got our heads in deep in a hopeless situation/I'm hoping we can find a ride
tonight."

An enthusiastic collection of fans easily found a rewarding ride, which included a nice run through the
band's latest honkytonk-flavored ditty “Tough Job,” as well as a winning “Good Night to Boogie.” The band also delivered
a nice take on keyboardist and founding member Chad Staehly’s Gram Parsons-esque ballad “American Beauty,” which is
on the band’s upcoming disc, Reckless Habits.

Following a short break, Kreutzmann, Oteil Burbridge and Scott Murawski took the stage to a spirited Fox welcome.
The group launched into an opening jam that served as an apt display of what was on tap, and then followed with
the song “Louisiana Sun,” which yielded an exploratory jam that blossomed into the Neville Brothers classic
“Yellow Moon,” with Murawski doing a fine job on vocals.

The group's sound has a free-form feel that might appeal more to fans of fusion and '70s era Dead jams than
those who prefer one solid song after another. Yet the trio displayed that it is plenty capable of providing
rocking versions of meat and potatoes favorites, which they exhibited in the form of “Bertha,” to close the first set
and a rollicking version of "China Cat Sunflower" to open the second.

One of the evening’s most surprisingly good songs was a cover of the old bluegrass/folk standard “Freeborn Man,” which
emerged from a “Help on the Way”>”Slip Knot” lead-up. Murawski sang the old-time standard and provided some blazing
roots rock guitar passages that had audience members hooting and taking notice.

While at times the sound might have been enriched at times by the inclusion of another rhythm guitar or a keyboardist, the
three-piece formation allowed everyone in the group to fully stretch out and then some. Burbridge displayed impressive
improvisations during the course of the evening of the like that might not occur in a larger band format. Murawski’s playing was very fluid, at times, sounding like a cross between Trey Anastasio and Jimmy Herring. Meanwhile, throughout the night Kreutzmann displayed his legendary chops and demonstrated his intuitive jazz-influenced drumming style. He appeared to feel his way into each jam and he smiled broadly several times during the course of the evening. It was clear he was having a
good time and that the trio allows him to cut loose and get back to his roots.

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