Over the 4th of July weekend at Chicago’s Soldier Field, the four surviving original members of the Grateful Dead, Phish frontman Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby, and Jeff Chimenti will be marking the band’s 50th Anniversary by playing a series of shows in the last setting Jerry Garcia ever performed in before passing away in 1995.
The Sadies from Toronto, Canada should be modern day music gods. All they do is stand on their head every time they put on a live show or release an album, throwing a proverbial musician’s clinic with their cutting-edge instrumentation and jawbreaking prowess. Their music appeals to a broad panoramic of the music listening public.
We all like free stuff, right? Beats paying for it. Unless taking something for free is silently eroding something we’re perfectly willing to pay for. The amount of music out there right now that’s being either given away, or offered for unlimited free listens, is astonishing when you consider what normal was only a few years ago. If it is not expected of artists to at some point make their albums or songs completely available to fans for free, then it will be within months, if not days.
The Ten Foot Polecats on Hillbilly Bluegrass Records are more straight blues than I would normally cover around here. Usually a band needs at least a little something contrified for me to get behind them–a small piece of fried chicken hanging from their beard, or a gravy stain down the front of their shirt–something. But because they are participants in this year’s Muddy Roots Festival, and were there last year, and honestly, because they are just so damn good, I am making an exception.