Bob Weir & Jerry Joseph Guest With Steve Kimock And Friends At Sweetwater In The Sun

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The team behind the famed Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, California hosted the inaugural Sweetwater In The Sun outdoor festival at Stafford Lake Park in Novato, California on Sunday. Steve Kimock & Friends headlined the event with a set that included appearances from Jerry Joseph and Bob Weir.

Stafford Lake Park is a gorgeous and scenic state park located within Marin County. The weather fully cooperated which made for a joyous, seven-hour live music experience. Jerry Joseph began the festivities shortly after noon backed by Kimock on guitar and percussionist Wally Ingram. The trio opened with the intense “Beautiful Child Of God” and then worked “Will We Go Down” into the fitting “Good Sunday.” Joseph’s skills as a storyteller came through both in his songs and his banter including the tale of the night that led him to write “Giraffe.” The Arcata, California native closed out the set by leading Steve and Wally on his own “Wisconsin Death Trip,” complete with a few verses and choruses of Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed.”

Next up was a “gospel dance party” courtesy of on-the-rise musician Maggie Rose and her seven-piece band. Rose & Co. started with a focus on material from Change The Whole Thing, an album she released just two days earlier. Maggie’s powerful pipes were then on display during soul-filled covers of Aretha Franklin’s “Baby I Love You” and “The Letter” by The Box Tops. Speaking of powerful pipes, Jennifer Hartswick presented a set filled with strong vocals. Hartswick’s ensemble for the short-but-sweet performance featured the talents of Eric Krasno and Nick Cassarino on guitar, Bobby Vega on bass and drummer Scott Amendola. One of the highlights was a heartfelt rendition of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” by The Band.

The penultimate set of the afternoon was a rare performance from The Skiffle Players. Singer-songwriter Cass McCombs is joined in the band by guitarist Neal Casal, multi-instrumentalist Farmer Dave Scher, bassist Dan Horne and drummer Aaron Sperske. Casal returned to the stage just a few days earlier after undisclosed health concerns led to the cancellation of late-August Circles Around The Sun shows and Greg Loiacono to sub on a number of recent Chris Robinson Brotherhood dates. Neal was in fine form both on acoustic guitar and vocals. Standout moments from the hour-long set included the expansive “Skiffle Strut” the group opened with, the beautiful Casal-led “Los Angeles Alleyway” and hilarious McCombs-sung “The Law Offices of Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe.”

The Skiffle Players Full Set Video Captured by Deadheadland

What hopefully will be the first of many Sweetwater In The Suns concluded with the aforementioned Steve Kimock & Friends set. Kimock took the stage with bassist Robin Sylvester, drummer Jay Lane, keyboardist Mookie Siegel and Wally Ingram to kick off the 90-minute performance with his own “It’s Up To You.” The band expertly worked through the classic from Steve’s repertoire as counter-culture icon Wavy Gravy watched from the side of the stage. Joseph then emerged to lead the group on Toots & The Maytals’ “54-46 Was My Number” and “It’s All Over Baby Blue” by Bob Dylan.

Weir, a partner in Sweetwater, came out about halfway through the set. First, Bob showed off his slide skills on a slow-paced version of blues standard “Little Red Rooster.” What followed was a pretty rendition of “Stella Blue” featuring Weir on vocals and Kimock on lap steel. Next came a surprise as Bobby led the ensemble through the Jerry Garcia Band repertoire staple “Don’t Let Go.” While “Don’t Let Go” is a rare choice for Weir, he did well with the tune both vocally and on guitar. Steve Kimock & Friends with Bob Weir brought the festival to a close with a rousing “The Other One” and the “Sunday Sermon” of “Samson & Delilah.”

Steve Kimock & Friends (w/ Bob Weir & Jerry Joseph) Full Set Video | Captured by Deadheadland

Steve Kimock & Friends Setlist

Set: It’s Up To You, 54-46 Was My Number (w/ Jerry Joseph), It’s All Over Now Baby Blue (w/ Jerry Joseph), Little Red Rooster (w/ Bob Weir), Stella Blue (w/ Bob Weir), Don’t Let Go (w/ Bob Weir), The Other One (w/ Bob Weir), Samson & Delilah (w/ Bob Weir)