Photo Gallery: Melvin Seals with the Jerry Garcia Band @ Cohoes Music Hall, 04/08/2023
The Cohoes Music Hall was the home of the jam band faithful on Saturday night. B3 wizard and the last original member of the Jerry Garcia Band, Melvin Seals, led the JGB with special guest saxophonist Ron Holloway through two sets of pure musical bliss.
Unlike most other bands, JGB varies its setlists from concert to concert. This particular concert was heavy on Bob Dylan, and Band covers from the early 70s, many of that have also been covered by the Grateful Dead and JGB.
It was great to hear about these old chestnuts for one who grew up with this material.
“Mystery Train,” a song most associated with Elvis Presley, and “Promised Land” from Chuck Berry’s catalog, had the full audience swaying and bobbing to the music in unison. The playfulness of “Quinn the Eskimo” was communicated clearly to the audience. The song featured a soulful sax solo by Ron Holloway and a drum solo by Pete Lavezzoli. “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” Bob Dylan’s song, initially recorded by the Band, had a similar effect on the audience. The timelessness of the music was expressed by Robbie Robertson’s deep composition for the Band “Twilight.” The dancing continued with the contemplative, introspective compositions “Simple Twist of Fate” and “Tangled Up In Blue”; the audience seemed to draw on their personal experiences organically. Playing the Jerry Garcia band’s sole studio record from 1978, “Cats Under the Stars” reminded us of this band’s origins.
The underpinning of the band was the B3 organ and keyboards of Melvin Seals. John Kadlecik’s Jerry Garcia-like guitar and vocals were certainly reminiscent of Jerry, who passed almost three decades ago. Pete Lavezzoli’s drumming was varied and interesting, showing glimpses of r&b, jazz, rock, and fusion as appropriate. John Paul McLean’s bass playing had clear Motown underpinnings making the music danceable. Guest saxophonist Ron Holloway growled and wailed his saxophone, sometimes in duet with John’s guitar and solo. Occasionally adding snippets of other tunes into the mix.
The closer of the evening was Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet It Is.” How sweet it was, another evening of music at Cohoes Music Hall.
- Melvin Seals – keyboard
- John Kadlecik – guitar, vocals
- John Paul McLean – bass, vocals
- Pete Lavezzoli – drums
- Ron Holloway – saxophone