In August 2017, Garcia Birthday Band made a performance at the Jerry Garcia 75th Birthday party hosted by Red Rocks Amphitheater in honor of the 75th birthday of Jerry Garcia. The event featured performances by the Campfire Band by Bob Weir, and a special collaboration dubbed The Jerry Garcia Birthday Band that included Gloria Jones, Melvin Seals, as well as Jackie LaBranch as well as Duane Trucks, Tom Hamilton, Kamasi Washington, and Oteil Burbridge. Among the surprise appearances was John Mayer. With such rich talent performing on stage, the biggest stars were probably the guitars of Jerry Garcia, including Rosebud, Tiger, Wolf, and 2 Travis Bean Axes that Hamilton was given the distinct honor to play.
Later, several of the same all-star cast of artists got together to pay tribute to the great and late Captain Trips. Designated the Jerry Garcia Band, Jerry Garcia Band members Jacklyn LBranch, vocalist Gloria Jones, and Keyboardist Melvin Seals, drummer Duane Trucks of the Widespread Panic, guitarist Tom Hamilton of Ghost Light, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, and bassist Oteil Burbridge of Dead and Company joined forces to make a delightful performance at the Gerard Ford Amphitheater in Vail Colorado.
Jerry Garcia was the most reticent of cultural icons and the unlikeliest of popstars. While performing on stage Jerry donned plain clothes, often loose-fitting jeans and a slack-like t-shirt. Some might even characterize his appearance as a salesman (life insurance, health insurance…maybe even a bible salesman.) Jerry rarely spoke to the audience that was glued to his every move. His guitar lines were similar — rhapsodic, complex, and lovely, but never flashy. His weatherworn, strained vocal style had a colloquial, subdued quality about them. When he was offstage, Jerry spent his time with friends and family, and when he participated in interviews, he often did so in self-deprecating, sly-witted ways. It was as if Jerry was bemused by the situation of his own renown. Nonetheless, he was one of the best guitarists of his time and produced some great music.
Most people know Melvin Seals for his lovely smile that always brightens the room and his long musical partnership and friendship with guitarist and cultural icon Jerry Garcia. For eighteen years, as a member of the Jerry Garcia Band, Melvin Seals did his B-3 magic and helped define and pioneer what is today known as Jam Band Music. Some of Melvin Seal’s current projects include The Mix, Terrapin Flyer, The Rock Collection, Oteil and Friends, and Melvin Seals and JGB. The best of Melvin Seals is yet to come. From bluegrass to rock to funk to blues, The Mix serves up a delightful combination of a little gospel and RnB to take things up a notch. Each member of the powerhouse lineup brings remarkable chops, spontaneity, soul, expressive style, and intuition to the table. With electric and acoustic ingredients and creative combinations of hearty drums, lap and slide steel with savory bass, mandoline, guitar, as well as the wizard’s magic on the keyboards and Hammond B-3 Organ. The result is one of the most delightful combinations of natural organic grooves that dares to challenge boundaries. The chemistry of The Mix is the focus from which the musicians create a high and spontaneous art where the sky is the only limit. They offer a psychedelic and exciting musical journey that keeps audiences staring in amazement, smiling, and dancing for many hours. Melvin Seals is pioneering a deeper path in the music journey he helped establish. Performances by Melvin are a must feel, must-see experience. His music is guaranteed to raise your spirit, touch your soul, and get you grooving.