Recalling The Many Collaborations Of Bassist Rob Wasserman


Throughout his career bassist Rob Wasserman shared the live stage and recording studio with an impressive array of equally talented musicians. Perhaps best known for his work with Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir in RatDog and the pair’s duo project, Wasserman – who passed away four ago today at age 64 – also worked with the likes of David Grisman, Lou Reed, Van Morrison, Santana, Aaron Neville, Metallica, Elvis Costello and many others. In remembrance of the highly respected master bassist, below is a collection of videos of Rob performing in a variety of settings with a diverse cast of musicians.

“It’s one of the most glorious sounds I’ve ever heard,” Weir wrote about his friend and collaborator. “And the music and warmth he gave us will live on in the hearts of everyone he touched.”

The first clip below features Weir and RatDog with guitarist Warren Haynes performing the Dead favorite “Dark Star” back on June 6, 2014 at Mountain Jam. Watch footage of the 15+ minute version captured by Scott Gibson:


Bobby and Rob joined forces at the 1997 The Bammy Awards show in San Francisco. Led by legendary Bay Area guitarist Carlos Santana the ensemble also featured John Hardy and Tommy Castro. Watch the performance of Bob Marley’s “Exodus” featuring a portion of “Get Up Stand Up” here.

The Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed was among the acclaimed musicians tapped to participate alongside Wasserman for his 1988 album Duets. Lou and Rob recorded the classic standard “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road),” here’s the official video for the album track:


Mandolin master David Grisman produced Wasserman’s 1982 debut album Solo. This video features Grisman and Wasserman, as well as an all-star collective of bluegrass talent including Chet Atkins, Mark O’Connor, Tony Rice, Bela Fleck and Jerry Douglas playing “Limehouse Blues” on the Ralph Emery-hosted Nashville Now talk show:


Another artist who appeared on the Duets album was vocalist Aaron Neville. The pair were guests together on the late night television program Sunday Night during which they played the record’s opening track “Stardust” aided by Neville’s recorded backing vocals, watch:

Wasserman showed up at the Wiltern in Los Angeles for show billed as a Bob Weir solo concert. Jackie Greene opened the evening and was joined by fellow singer-songwriter Jonathan Wilson and Rob for a rendition of the well-known blues number “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.” Here’s footage of the December 8, 2012 collaboration in L.A. captured by blisstanger:

Back in 2015, Wasserman and drummer Rodney Holmes joined Keller Williams to form an incarnation of the Keller Williams Trio. This video captured by MrMrDoodydan of the Trio’s October 23, 2015 concert at the Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins, Colorado shows the group playing the Grateful Dead’s “Bird Song” and Phish’s “Birds Of A Feather,” view it here:

[Originally Published: June 30, 2016]