Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #117580  by Cowboy Neal
 Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:41 am
tcsned wrote:I sense some sarcasm in the remarks . . . I hope.

JK is an awesome player and though I don't know him personally, seems like a total class act. He's got one of the toughest jobs in rock-n-roll, filling unfillable shoes that even the talents of Warren, Jimmy Herring, and others couldn't really do and he has done remarkably well. It's a tough spot to be in between the expectations of playing a certain way and needing to not be a clone (which he could do if he wanted). He has a good blend of familiar and new that, at least to me, keeps it sounding like GD music without being clone-ish. He succeeds at what I try to do only a buhzillion times better. JK gets my vote!

:hail: :hail: RnR!
What's up? I'm new around here. I agree with you 100% and i couldn't have said it better.

I do also agree with the original poster, but i wouldn't say it's very heavy on a phish tone, it has some qualities i guess you could say and i feel that's because JK uses a Tube screamer or he used to, and when some one is using a Tube Screamer it is very noticeable or at least to me it is. i noticed it all the way up 2011 summer tour, 2012 it doesn't seem to have that hard nasally tone a Tube screamer is known for. Either way i love JK's tone it's different but retains those great qualities we all know and love. Peace my friends :D
 #117613  by TI4-1009
 Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:40 am
That's funny- I listen to him too, but I enjoy it??
 #118531  by JamminJommy
 Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:54 am
I like to think of it this way. Several of us (including JK) are heavily steeped in a genre of guitar playing that most decidedly stems from Jerry. If we played gypsy jazz we might be in the Django Shool. But many of us are in the Jerry School. That is, the study and execution of the style of guitar playing or tone (just about) invented by Jerry Garcia. Whether JKs playing is spot on or not is neither here nor there. He's in the school.

Some nights, his playing really does it for me and others not so much. I never saw the GD play live and I tend to pick up tapes of night's where the boys were on it so while I can go to a show and like or dislike JKs playing, I'm often times limited in my experience of Jerry to only the good stuff. Who knows, on a bad night (or much of the 90s) I might find his playing stale and uninventive.

I think that's part of the excitement. But JK gets my vote. Met him at DSO back in the day- really easy going. I'm sure the rest of the boys like him as much as he likes them. After all, thanks to Al Franken, we all know that Phil is the nicest.



P.S. I'm a Brent Junkie but I think Jeff is the best to ever play with the group!
 #118566  by Mr.Burns
 Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:43 am
So, does "sound" in the title refer to JK's tone or style? I'm pretty sure it doesn't mean chops, because just being in the band would validate anyone's chops.
JamminJommy wrote:I'm often times limited in my experience of Jerry to only the good stuff. Who knows, on a bad night (or much of the 90s) I might find his playing stale and uninventive.
I doubt it. Even on a bad night, Jer was in a league of his own. :hail:
 #118579  by jenkins
 Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:24 pm
Great topic for discussion, IMO, and there's been some very interesting posts in this thread.

JK doesn't sound exactly like jerry, but he's clearly playing in the style of jerry and does a damn good job at it too. The way I see it is if your going into a furthur show expecting to hear jerry your gonna be dissapointed. He does is own thing, but always keeps it in the same style as jerry.
For me it really goes either way, most of the furthur shows ive seenI felt he just nailed what he's trying to do(&what bobby and Phil want him to do), and then there's been some where I just couldn't get into it, seemed almost uninspired. But that's part of the magic of the GD, when you catch those amazing shows there's nothing like it and in that respect further has it dead on. Those great furthur shows can be truly magical, just like a great GD show can.

What I find interesting about his tone is that it seems like he is going more for a 90's tone then anything else. If I could pick a year I think he sounds most similar to I think it's like '91, although it still sounds different than that even.
He even breaks out the acoustic Jerry tone, that just shocked me. And he makes it sound good too.
Didn't he recently switch to the GT Trio preamp? That is decidedly 90's

I feel his tone can be almost too clean and smooth most of the times. He lacks the pick attack and mostly that "clean yet dirty" tone that is what I think of when I think of jerry. Just Jerry's clean tone had so much depth to it, something JK is def lacking IMO.

What I constantly wonder upon listening to JK is whether or not this is what jerry would have sounded like if he was still alive. In my mind that is the big question: what would jerry sound like if he was still around. His tone was constantly evolving throughr the years and he certainly was never going to go backwards. He was never gonna sound like70's Jerry again. I also don't think he was gonna stick with his 90's tone either, I feel like he was going for something he hadn't yet achieved. I feel like his tone would have been somewhat similar to what we are hearing in furthur, but probably with a little more bite.

Overall I think JK does a very impressive job filling Jerry's shoes and does it I such a way as that he's not stepping on Jerry's toes.
I think he makes the band a lot better than it would be if he was trying to be a true jerry clone, then the rest of the band would have to try to be a GD clone and that would ruin what they are. Mattson in dso right now sounds more like 70's Jerry than I thought JK ever sounded. Saw him last year in Northampton,ma and I was so impressed with how much he sounded like Jerry, incredible show('78). But if he was in furthur doing that I think furthur would be held back.

I also think they are going to do one more tour as the dead with JK on guitar, I'd like to see that. Originally I thought furthur was a test run for not only jk's playing but also how the fans accepted him before bringing a jerry clone into the dead, which they were always like afraid to do. Anyone remember '96 furthur tour when they had the all star jams at the end of the shows? I remember everyone's biggest complaints were that there was no lead guitar player. At first they were playing without even anyone trying to fill in for jerry. I remember still loving it, but wow, how far we've come.
 #118581  by mgbills
 Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:04 pm
Just the other day on the front page (of this board), Billy K. was quoted as saying something like "He doesn't see it happening." He also made statements about his current band ...I'll stop paraphrasing. My memory for the written/spoken word is tenuous at best. ... -new-band/

My personal take is that there was tremendous friction at the end of the last interation of The Dead. I think I may have seen the last show of the tour with The Allman Bros at The Gorge, WA.

I saw at one point Mickey & Billy with serious poopy-diapers looks on their faces, then Mickey stand up and rail a cymbal behind Bobby 10-15 times. I think it was an attempt to pull him out of a jam. All in all, the show was painfully uninspired. Had there not been a revision in the musician list, I likely would've stopped going. Billy also made a press statement 6 months ago that was something like "It's not The Dead, if it doesn't have Warren Haynes." That's enough for me to believe that friction exists (likely between Phil & Billy).

Just my take on the current situation. Phil & Bob looked happy last summer. Maybe the happiest I've seen them since 1989. Phil seemed to be having a ball. I'll size it up again in 2 weeks in Portland, OR.

I'm into Peace, Happiness, & boogying to the music of the Good Ole' Grateful Dead. Always will be.
 #118597  by Counterstriker
 Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:29 pm
JK kills it. Warren never did justice, a lot of the time, Phil or bob had to change there playing style to fill in the gap. Phil and Bob sound so great with JK in my opinion, it seems like they are really enjoying it. I like that JK plays all the "needed" jerry licks in songs where warren didn't which left the song sounding unfinished. His improv solos are beautiful, I hear the jerry influence but i hear trey and I hear his own style (or maybe another guitar player i don't listen to haha) Everytime I see him he has a new bag of licks that he I hear. I listen to so much JK I am always playing JK inspired licks hah!

And to add, my first furthur show was at boardwalk hall in 2009. I've seen a bunch of the dead, phil and friends, ratdog and The Other ones, and the smiles after every song were awesome, I recall Phil and bob bowing to JK after they played They love eachother, phil was so giddy that whole night.
 #118613  by Stevo123
 Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:11 am
mgbills wrote: My personal take is that there was tremendous friction at the end of the last interation of The Dead. I think I may have seen the last show of the tour with The Allman Bros at The Gorge, WA.
Last show with Warren was at Rothbury festival, which had some of the most inspired, electrifying jams I've seen to date. Some of it was very tense and chaotic (viola lee blues was a big ugly 20 minute monster!) so maybe some of that friction was coming out in the playing hehe.
 #118615  by mgbills
 Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:24 am
I did see Warren ascend in the 2-3 times I saw him. It really seemed like he was working hard (in his style) on the material. With all the percieved bitterness, he was arguably the highlight. I have to say I never enjoyed him in the role. He was just too different, and it felt like the whole thing was forced. Not that I believe he's not talented either. More like...Tuna & Raisin Cereal for breakfast.
 #118616  by TI4-1009
 Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:28 am
mgbills wrote: Billy also made a press statement 6 months ago that was something like "It's not The Dead, if it doesn't have Warren Haynes."
Yuck! The WORST shows in my 43 years (and counting) of Dead shows were the ones with Warren. I like him in his element (Allmans/.Gvt. Mule), but I thought he really took a lot away from my Dead experience. The planets realigned when JK was invited in. True the songs always evolve, but they have some key elements that are needed to make it "the song". JK knows how much of those elements are needed, IMHO Warren didn't. My reaction was a mixture of anger, frustration, and loss. Had Warren stayed in, I think I would have had to let it go and live with the memories.

I saw Bill & Mick in a small club last year. It was enjoyable, fun to get that close, didn't really care for the young lead player. I bought one of the "Jerry would love this band" stickers, but after the show- well, I wasn't so sure....
 #118645  by tigerstrat
 Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:03 pm
Counterstriker wrote:I saw 7 walkers in philly a month or so ago, they were good but if i didn't know Bill was playing drums they sound like a bar band to me.
How many bar bands boast George Porter Jr on bass!? They were putting out gorgeous sounds at Strummit this summer.