Monday, 28 May 2018

Bob Weir And RatDog “Evening Moods” 2000 US Classic Rock Blues Rock


Bob Weir And RatDog “Evening Moods” 2000 US Classic Rock Blues Rock
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Ratdog - a solo project of Grateful Dead rhythm guitarist Bob Weir - recorded this studio album in 2000. Weir and his cohorts (Jeff Chimenti on keyboards, Mark Karan on lead guitar, Rob Wasserman on bass, and Jay Lane on drums) are on solid footing here as they lay down a sturdy groove-rock base, and the album features a guest appearance by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart…..~

The long-awaited release from former Grateful Dead icon Bob Weir’s jam band Ratdog shouldn’t disappoint hungry Deadheads. The bluesy/folky/country/jazz feel of the Dead’s live sets have been reborn in this incarnation as well, accented by guest Mickey Hart’s loose percussion on a couple of tracks (notably the cover of “Corinna”). Weir’s friend and frequent collaborator, bassist Rob Wasserman, anchors the tracks and allows for plenty of bluesy jamming, and the band opens up to make room for gritty keyboard solos and even a bright horn section. After five years of touring without a single album for rabid fans to take home with them in their VW vans and BMW convertibles, the inevitable question is “When does the tour start?”… by Zac Johnson…~

Former Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir eases into the 10 tracks on “Evening Moods,” a series of rambling-man tales told from hotel rooms, dusty detours and the inevitable crossroads. The relaxed atmosphere plays to Weir’s strengths – the interplay of a jazz band built on bluesy vocal inflections and chord progressions – without challenging him. The production is awfully slick, the tempos never break a sweat, and Fans will have to wait for the concerts when Ratdog can kick these promising but rather tepidly performed originals up a notch in urgency….~

This is an excellent album if you are a fan of Bob or the Dead. It’s up there with Blues for Allah in terms of recreating the live feel in a studio setting. Many of the songs flow into each other like a good Dead show. I had to bump my rating because I don’t know why this is so underrated here and in general. 

One thing I’ve always enjoyed about Ratdog is the addition of the saxophone. I think it goes really well with this type of music. It’s like if you took the show in 1990 where the Dead jammed with Branford Marsalis (generally a fan favorite) and extended it for a whole album or show. I’m also a fan of Jeff Chimenti who plays keyboards here as well as in Dead and Company. 

I think some of these songs rank up there with Bob’s best. Sometimes it seems like he’s gotten even better with age. Two Djinn especially is a favorite. Even So, Ashes and Glass and Lucky Enough stand out as well. If you are a fan or just interested you should check this out or give it another chance. I’d say it’s as good or better than most of the Dead’s studio albums. The sound is more organic and not overproduced. Also, check out Ratdog or Dead and Company live if you get the chance. Of course it’s a bummer that Jerry is gone but it’s still an awesome experience…PlaceInTheSun …..~

“Evening Moods” is the first solo recording in 17 years by former Grateful Dead guitarist and vocalist Bob Weir. The album features strong songwriting and lively improvisations in a band led by Weir and accomplished bassist Bob Wasserman. Weir spent the past five years cycling through supporting musicians to find Ratdog’s current lineup and it shows: the ensemble has its own voice – reminiscent, but not derivative, of a jazzier Grateful Dead….~

Credits 

Bass – Rob Wasserman 
Drums, Backing Vocals – Jay Lane 
Guitar, Lead Vocals – Bob Weir 
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Jeff Chimenti 
Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals – Mark Karan 

Tracklist
1 Bury Me Standing 9:03 
2 Lucky Enough 5:10 
3 Odessa 6:13 
4 Ashes And Glass 5:55 
5 Welcome To The World 6:51 
6 Two Djinn 9:04 
7 Corrina 8:50 
8 October Queen 7:45 
9 The Deep End 5:17 
10 Even So 9:41 

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