Take a giant step back to the psychedelic sixties with a contemporary twist of sorts as you celebrated the music of the late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia at a concert of his music performed by Warren Haynes (Govt Mule, Allman Brothers Band, Phil & Friends) and our very own Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
This epic evening length celebration of Garcia's music includes an unexpectedly deep menu of Garcia classics and deeper tracks from seminal psychedelic albums such as "Blues for Allah" and "Terrapin Station." The album length title track tune from the later was largely orchestrated but rarely heard performed live with an orchestra.
I was privy to preview the concert out in Berkeley recently and the resulting interpretations are spot-on cerebral excursions into the angular riffs of one of rock music's great innovators.
In front of the world class BSO players is a great band accompanying Haynes, including touch drummer Jeff Sipe (Leftover Salmon, Jazz Is Dead), Lincoln Schleifer on bass (Donald Fagan, Levon Helm), and a couple of lovely and supremely talented female backup singers Alecia Chakour (Warren Haynes Band) and Jasmine Muhammad (Pittsburgh Opera) singing a la the Jerry Garcia Band arrangements.
The backdrop is a colorfully lighted and ever changing panorama, and as a bonus, Warren Haynes performs the show on one of Garcia's own custom guitars known affectionately as "Wolf." Haynes isn't Garcia, but he's obviously dedicated to delivering one of the great tributes of the year.
The Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration, curated by the Garcia family, takes place Friday night at Pier Six Concert Pavilion in the Baltimore Harbor (8 p.m.).
One dollar of every ticket sold will be donated to the Rex Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization established by members of the Grateful Dead. The Rex Foundation enabled the Grateful Dead to go beyond responding to multiple requests for contributions, and proactively provide extensive community support to creative endeavors in the arts, sciences and education.
Another tribute concert this Friday night (if you can't wait until September for the real deal) is A Steely Dan Tribute with Technicolor Motor Home at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis (8 p.m.). The group won praise from the club in the form of a 2014 Rammie Award for "Best Tribute Band."
Steely Dan, largely a studio pickup band revolving around guitarist Walter Becker and keyboard player Donald Fagan, for many years did little live touring. That eventually changed and, more recently, the two founders have toured vigorously.
This locally based 10-piece group, led by Crack the Sky keyboardist Glenn Workman, does a nice retrospective through the killer list of truly great Steely Dan releases, including a complete performance of their key release, "Aja."
Plus, if tributes are your thing, there is another local DC group performing the complete Dark Side of the Moon album at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Va., on Friday (8 p.m.).
Don't miss 60s group The Zombies as they play their hits Saturday at Rams Head On Stage (8 p.m.), including classics of the decade like "Time of the Season," "She's Not There," "Eleanor" and "Tell Her No."
The two key founding members, including vocalist Colin Blunstone and keyboard player Rod Argent, lead the band to this day. Argent had a brief but successful solo career with his band Argent which included great songs such as "God Gave Rock and Roll To You" and "Hold Your Head Up."
A Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band that may have garnered inspiration from The Zombies is Heart, led by a sisters duo of Ann and Nancy Wilson. The group continues to inspire countless other female-led rock bands and will prove it all night at Pier Six Concert Pavilion in Baltimore on Saturday (8 p.m.). They lit up the FM dial throughout the seventies with unforgettable guitar riffs and lyrical hooks on songs like "Crazy on You," "Magic Man," "Barracuda," and more.
Plan on arriving early Sunday at Rams Head On Stage for a show with Georgian singer-songwriter Meiko (1 p.m. all ages welcome). Her self-titled, self-released 2007 album reached No. 35 on the iTunes Top 100 Albums chart. With the help of songs being included on primetime television show soundtracks.
Then, on Sunday evening, Rams Head On Stage welcomes The Steeldrivers (8 p.m.). This bluegrass roots outfit was hailed as Emerging Artists of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association.
The Drivers were featured as performers in the film "Get Low" starring Robert Duvall and Bill Murray. Even the British pop singer Adele performed a Steeldrivers song in her live shows! She's quoted in the band's press materials as saying "They're a blues, country, bluegrass, swagger band and they are brilliant."
Sunday night look for Vegas rockers Panic! At the Disco on their Gospel Tour stopping at Pier Six Concert Pavilion in Baltimore (7:30 p.m.). Also on the bill are Walk the Moon and Magic Man.
And at the Filene Center at Wolf Trap, come on and get higher with a double bill featuring blue-eyed R&B singer Gavin DeGraw and popular songwriter Matt Nathanson (7 p.m.).
Weeknight shows include one-time superstars Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers performing their brand of Texas country music at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis Monday (8 p.m.). Raised on gospel music, the brothers went on throughout the seventies to score 15 Top 40 hits, including "Houston (Means I'm One Day Closer to You)," "Denver," "The Lady Takes the Cowboy Everytime" and "She Used to Be Somebody's Baby."
Grammy-winning country music legend Rita Coolidge plays Rams Head On Stage on Tuesday (8 p.m.), performing hit songs such as "Fever," "We're All Alone," "One Fine Day," "(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher & Higher," "The Way You Do The Things You Do," "All Time High," "Superstar" and others as only she can.
Atlanta nuevo soul singer Anthony David performs on Wednesday at Rams Head On Stage (8 p.m.), and the superb Danish rock singer Agnes Obel (think Sarah McLachlan and Bjork) appears at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. (7 p.m.).
I'm so proud of our friends in Nickel Creek who have reunited to continue creating stellar albums after a long hiatus to work with other people and in various styles of music. The break brought new energy to the trio members and they are more than ever a force to be reckoned with.
Take a look at some of the YouTube videos created for the new release, "A Dotted Line." The playing is immaculate and the vocal harmonies are gorgeous. It's a tribute to the members of Nickel Creek to have remembered their bond and that what they have together is equally precious to their desires to experiment and roam.
One of the finest musical groups on the road, Nickel Creek is sure to offer an unforgettable show with eye-popping instrumental technique and precision, with a pumping heart at its center. Plus, Annapolitan Mark Schatz is the group's bass player! Excellent and inventive storyteller Josh Ritter opens the show at Wolf Trap on Wednesday (7:30 p.m.).
Thursday, Aug. 14
You'll find Eastern Shore band The Roadhouse Clams opening for Teddy Gentry of classic country outfit Alabama at Rams Head On Stage next Thursday (8 p.m.). Gentry's band is called Rockit City and features some of country music's finest musicians.
And at Wolf Trap next Thursday, it's an evening with sax player Boney James and soul singer Eric Benet (8 p.m.).