With the recent announcement that Phil Lesh has signed on for an exclusive 45-show residency with Peter Shapiro, that will
augment his regular appearances at his own Terrapin Crossroads club in San Rafael, CA; the
former Grateful Dead bass player will likely be offering up a slew of new configurations
of his ongoing Phil And Friends project. Over the last few weeks, we here at JamBase have
been pitching our ideas for new members to join Phil’s lauded fraternity.
Over the past few years Donald Fagen has added "sideman" to his impressive resume
as the head honcho for Steely Dan. Fagen honed his chops as a sideman by performing with
the Levon Helm Band at many Midnight Rambles and road gigs in the years before The Band
drummer's tragic death. Donald's current
wife, Libby Titus, was Helm's ex-wife, but that didn't stop the two from collaborating
musically. While Fagen was content to be a secondary piece in Levon's band, he did front
the group for a song or two at many performances and one song he would lead them through
was the Grateful Dead's "Shakedown Street." The keyboardist's voice was perfect for the
cover and it gave him a chance to show off his instrumental skills. Donald Fagen went on
to adapt the song for his Dukes of September project and even sat in on the Dead cover
with the Allman Brothers Band.
Given Fagen's vocal and instrumental ability as well as his willingness to tackle the
Dead, we think he'd be a great fit for one of Lesh's Phil & Friends lineups. We'd love to
hear him sing one of the many gorgeous Jerry ballads such as "Stella Blue" or "Standing On
The Moon" and dive into the more exploratory jam pieces like "The Other One" or "Dark
Star." We have our fingers crossed that a Phil/Donald summit may be in the works.
[Published on: 11/20/13]