Are you a fan of the Grateful Dead but you don’t have the extra $1,500 it will take to see one of the Dead’s (with Phish frontman Trey Anastasio and Bruce Hornsby) Fare Thee Well Concerts at Chicago’s Soldier Field this July 3, 4 and 5 (or $116,000 for all three nights)? So you’re not a CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Don’t worry you can catch some of the feel-good, free-lovin’ vibes from Melvin Seals – the longtime keyboardist for the Jerry Garcia Band – tonight at the Abbey Bar for only $20. That’s a tenth of the cost of a parking pass for just one of the Dead’s last shows.
The Jerry Garcia Band, which was known to dive into extended takes on blues, rock, gospel and reggae songs, featured Seals (nicknamed the “Master of the Universe” by Garcia) behind the Hammond B-3 organ for the majority of the band’s existence. Seals played with the Jerry Garcia band from 1980 until Garcia’s passing in 1995. After Garcia’s death Seals went on to form the JGB (basically the Jerry Garcia Band without Jerry Garcia) and continued touring and celebrating the music he made with the legendary guitarist.
Check out footage of Jerry Garcia grooving to Melvin Seals’ organ on a version Peter Tosh’s “Stop That Train (I’m Leaving)” at a Jerry Garcia Band show in 1990.
Melvin Seals and JGB play the Abbey Bar (50 N. Cameron St., Harrisburg) tonight. Crippled But Free opens. 8 pm doors. 21+. $25 at the door. Click here for details.