God Street Wine, TRI Studios – 8/9
Those mysterious rockers, God Street Wine, whose career began in the late 1980s in NYC at The Wetlands and clubs like Nightingales crushed the grapes on their West Coast appearance at Bob Weirs TRI Studio in Marin, California.
GSW grew up alongside peers like Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews and Widespread Panic but due to corporate shenanigans their star never fully shot across the sky. 2010s reunion shows (benefits for MS) at the Gramercy Theatre rekindled the bands passion for playing and reawakened a slumbering fan base that was delighted to find their favorite band back, polished and pumped.
Broadcasting live at TRI is a bit tricky for a band—surrounded by multiple cameras and a crowd that is forewarned to keep their enthusiasm in check so as not to bleed into the audio mix—the pressure is on. GSW rose to the occasion opening with a splintering version of “Henrietta” and keeping the flame burning through a thirteen song set that included “Molly”, “Crazy Head” and “Imogene.”
Although it seemed pre-ordained it was still surreal to see Bob Weir roll in (hell, it is his studio) and sit in with the band. “Candyman” with Weir on vocals and slide guitar cemented that this was not an average night—but, it was on “Feel Like a Stranger” that GSW and Weir meshed in an awe inspiring way. Guitarists Lo Faber and Aaron Maxwell along with Weir set up a guitar army that mashed, thrashed and found new ground. Drummer Tom Osander and bassist Dan Pifer held down the snakey beat, keyboardist Jon Bevo adding the necessary color.
A couple more Dead tunes and another special guest, Van’s daughter, Shana Morrison sung on “And it Stoned Me,” with GSW rounding it out with an encore of Epilog. Another star of the evening was GSW’s Jason Crosby who laid down fiddle that would make the devil blush.
The band then packed it up (with the help of manager and GSW mascot, Mike Weiss) and rebuilt the stage over at Terrapin Crossroads where Phil Lesh joined the band!
God Street Wine might have missed a decade, or perhaps just like a fine wine, they aged to perfection.