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Get outside while the gettin’s good

Erik Vienneau

When Jerry Garcia passed away, fans felt the end of the Dead was near. But like all endings, there was a new beginning and a flock of cover bands and Dead-related projects kicked into gear.As State Bridge Lodge nears the end of a busy summer season, they’re going out with a little Dead.Melvin Seals, Jerry Garcia’s keyboardist for more than 15 years, plays with Ripple and special guests from Stir Fried to celebrate Dead culture, music and the end of the State Bridge season.Seals, who was in the Jerry Garcia Band for more 15 years and brings a powerful presence and incredible chops to the Hammond B3 organ, hits the outdoor stage bordering the Colorado River Sunday, Sept. 8.And like most of Jerry’s friends, Seals isn’t just reminiscing the Dead, he’s adding a new vitality and scope to the jam band sound forged by Garcia.Seals’ has been on the road introducing his new band along with a new CD release entitled Melvin Seals Melting Pot this summer. The Melting Pot furthers the spirit of the music created by the Jerry Garcia Band by taking the sound to new levels, adding strong original compositions by Seals and his new bandmates. Of course, The Melting Pot still plays some of Jerry and Melvin’s favorites from “the good ol’ days,” but with renewed energy and vigor.The Melting Pot began to take shape at the 2001 High Sierra Music Festival, when Seals made his first ever High Sierra appearance to the delight of the festival faithful. It was there he met Scott Law (singer, guitar and mandolin player of Hanuman, Living Daylights and Tough Mama fame) and sparks began to fly. They rounded out the recipe with Chris Haugen from Jambay on guitar, lap steel and vocals, renowned world funk fusion bassist Dennis”Deep Den” Smith and drummer Dave Roda, and The Melting Pot began to boil.From blues to funk to rock to bluegrass, The Melting Pot serves up a tasty mix with a little R&B and gospel thrown in to spice things up. Each member of this powerhouse lineup brings an intuitive, expressive style, soul, spontaneity and remarkable chops to the table. With acoustic and electric ingredients and unique combinations of guitar, mandolin, slide and lap steel with savory bass, hearty drums and, of course, a heapin’ helpin’ of the wizard’s magic on Hammond B-3 Organ and keyboards, the result is a most satisfying blend of natural organic grooves that challenges genre boundaries.Seals and special guests rock the Lodge for one of the final blow-outs of the summer, beginning at 5 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 8. Call 653-4444 for information.


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