paulkogut wrote:There's a great quote from pianist Bill Evans where he says jazz isn't really a style, but a process of making music. I feel the same way about the Dead. Not to put down anyone else's approach to music, but if you've got folk that come at it from a "copy the record' perspective or view soloing as something you do OVER the rhythm section rather than a dialogue, it sort of doesn't matter what tune you're doing, it won't ever really get off the ground (In the Dead sense, nothing wrong with a good, tight rock band, just different.) On the other hand, if you're with musicians who listen, react and let the music breathe and grow, it sort of doesn't matter what song you start with (Morning Dew, Cold Rain and Snow, Not Fade Away etc etc all weren't Dead tunes before they were Dead tunes...)
Are you in a situation where bandmates have some mental block/misconceptions about the Dead? It's a drag, but happens pretty often. Maybe you could just encourage the group to adopt some of the Dead's values (jams/segues, first&second set pacing, etc.) and try some sneakier ways of getting the others on the bus (Instead of talking to the drummer about Kreutzmann, turn him on to Elvin Jones and Joe Morello....)
Great points! My band "Heleos', though not having any other dead heads, is already applying a lot of those ideas. We listen to each other and play off one another and take the songs we play in different directions, especially when the audience feeds back energy.