Playing Accordion In The Band: Hear Joel Guzman Join Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros In Austin
Guzman added to “Mexicali Blues,” “Me & Bobby McGee” and more.
By Scott Bernstein Mar 9, 2023 • 7:38 am PST
Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros featuring The Wolfpack closed out a two-night stand at The Moody Theater in Austin last night. The band welcomed Grammy-winning musician Joel Guzman to add accordion to the first two songs of Wednesday’s second set as well as the last two tunes of the evening.
Guitarist Bob Weir initially formed Wolf Bros as a trio with bassist Don Was and drummer Jay Lane. Weir expanded the roster starting with livestream concerts during the pandemic to incorporate horns, strings, keyboards and pedal steel guitar. The outfit gives Bobby the opportunity to experiment with additional instrumentation by collaborating with a variety of special guests including Guzman on accordion last night.
Bob Weir, Don Was, Jay Lane, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and pedal steel guitarist Barry Sless showed off the collective’s core configuration to kick off Wednesday’s concert. The coupling of “Bertha” and “Good Lovin'” was followed by “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” and a take on Bob Dylan’s “Queen Jane Approximately.” Next, The Wolfpack horn and string sections — with Matthew Szemela subbing on violin for Mads Tolling — emerged for a languid “West L.A. Fadeaway.” Szemela and Wolfpack members cellist Alex Kelly, trombonist Adam Theis, trumpeter Brian Switzer and woodwind specialist Sheldon Brown also contributed to a pairing of “They Love Each Other” and “Don’t Let Go” that ended the frame.
Austin resident Joel Guzman took the stage with the full ensemble to launch last night’s second set with “Mexicali Blues” and a cover of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me And Bobby McGee.” Guzman incorporated fluid accordion flourishes into each and took a memorable solo during the later. Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros featuring The Wolfpack then went sans Joel for a seamless run bookended by “Playing In The Band” and “Stella Blue.” The group jammed “Playin'” into the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows,” which flowed into an “Uncle John’s Band” encapsulating “Supplication” before “The Other One” bled into “Stella Blue.”
Joel Guzman returned to flavor the set-closing “Not Fade Away” with his stellar accordion stylings. The local musician helped Weir and his bandmates punctuate the evening with a “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” encore.
Stream official audio of last night’s concert via nugs.net below:
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