I have been on the board for awhile, don't post very much and never properly introduced myself or my background . So I thought I would do so now as well as a share some of our music with my fellow deadhead musicians.
My name is Al, I use Racecar on all the music related boards (TGP, MYlesPaul, here, etc).
I was the founding member of a band called Crazy Fingers in S. Florida back in 1992. Bubba Newton, Pete Lavazzoli and myself did a trips party and afterwards we thought it would be a great idea to start a band officially. I left the band after two years to focus on my business career as CF was playing out 4 and 5 nights a week. Not what I had in mind back then. I then played part time in various jam bands that included guys like Billy Gilmore (Grass Is Dead, Uproot Hootenany) and Corey Dwyer (who is now in CF). I was fortunate to play with musicians better than myself and learned a tremendous amount. I left playing GD music after Crazy Fingers and did a lot of sixties jam style music . Fast forward to 2010, CF has a 20 year reunion, invites me to play a set as up till then, I would show up a few times a year to just sit in. The response was tremendous and a lot of my friends encouraged me to keep playing GD music.
Two years later, I get an email from this girl who says she plays guitar. I categorically turned down all comers who wanted to start a "Grateful Dead Tribute Band" , wasn't what I was interested in and was having fun playing a variety of music styles that was as far from the Dead as could be. This girl says she can play lead. Since I historically have played the Rhythm role, Out of curiosity, I invited her over .........and damn, was she good. A girl playing Jerry? No way.... but yep, she sure does. She also does a mean David Gilmore. So after about 4 months of just playing together in my jam room, I thought this was too good to just leave it to the jam room. I picked up the phone and called old friends Bubba Newton and Corey Dwyer of Crazy Fingers and told them I am starting a part time band around this girl, would they be interested in playing with an old friend. Corey immediately agreed to take on the keyboard and lead singing duties and Bubba without hesitation agreed to be our bass player. We added Larry Dinan Jr from Breeze and CF background for drums as well as Jamie Powell (current CF drummer for most gigs).
What transpired was old friends have a tremendous time playing Dead and Pink Floyd music , fronted by this female guitar player, Joni Bottari. We have been playing since our first gig back in May in South Florida , mostly in Miami and I have to say, the response has been tremendous and I never thought I would be playing G.D. on stage again. Thought that was long in my past. I thought we would just do a couple of gigs for fun. But with the response we have gotten down here, we are playing out once or twice a month as UNLIMITED DEVOTION. 100's of people show up to every gig we do. Very humbling, I admit. Overwhelming sometimes as well.
So here we are......I am back in the thick of things and I am re-learning many Dead tunes I long forgot how to play. I admit to watching Playing Dead, Cubinesis and Electricians for inspiration and to learn parts. Jdarks was not around , nor was the internet back in the early 90's when I was performing this music. Today, the wealth of information between JDarks, Seth at GD lessons and various other how to videos on youtube, it has provided a great educational vehicle to re learn many of these tunes. Some tunes I shied away from because of its complexity ,but with the internet, no tune is beyond approach. Truly amazing to me.
I do not claim to be the best "Bobby", LOL, far from it. But I would like to think I do the music justice. I do not try to be a Bobby clone, I will leave that to Rob Eaton, who does a splendid job of it. I try to play the music with familiar tones but with my own feeling and style to it.
So I hope you like this, please be kind, I know where the deficiencies are and we are improving with every gig.
Here is Unlimited Devotion performing Looks Like Rain from our gig last Sat. night at Will Call in Miami.http://youtu.be/rKaP0yWru8c
If any other pro's find themselves in S. Florida during one of our gigs, let me know, we always welcome out of town players to sit in for a couple. At our gig in Boca in Oct, we had Roosevelt Collier from the LEE BOYS sit in with us for most of the night, that guy can play the steel guitar like no ones business. No wonder Warren Haynes likes playing with him.
It was an honor to have him sit in, considering our short existence as a band. Here is Thrill Is Gone featuring Roosevelt Collier sitting in. He kicked ass : http://youtu.be/JEo-psaIPm8
Finally, I am appreciative of RUKIND for all the musicial tabs, it gets a lot of use by this guitar player.