DAVID GANS AT THE LOUNGE - Pre-Nahko & Medicine For the People

Boulder Weekly Presents

DAVID GANS AT THE LOUNGE - Pre-Nahko & Medicine For the People

Thu Jun 8

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 6:00 pm

The Lounge at the BoulderTheater


This event is 21 and over

David Gans
David Gans
Oakland CA -- Perhaps the foremost interpreter of Grateful Dead music
today and an accomplished guitarist, singer and songwriter in his own
right, David Gans now shares with us his own well-crafted and heartfelt
interpretations of some of the Grateful Dead’s best songs on It's a HandMe-Down,
due out November 27th on Gans’ Perfectible Recordings label.
The album is available on pre-order now on FestivalLink.net and Amazon
and will be ready to check out on those along with iTunes on Black Friday!
Gans approaches Grateful Dead music with a unique range and a rare
degree of mastery on multiple levels: as a noted writer (his most recent
volume, This Is All a Dream We Dreamed: An Oral History of the
Grateful Dead [Nov 2015], co-authored with Blair Jackson, presents the
definitive story of the Grateful Dead in their own words), commentator, and
radio-show host he has introduced, contextualized, and exposed Grateful
Dead music to generations of Deadheads and casual fans. As a musician,
singer, and impresario he has brought the music to life in solo and
ensemble configurations. As an interviewer and documentor, he has
chronicled the Grateful Dead experience from a kaleidoscopic array of
perspective, as an insider, an outsider, and a songsmith. It's a Hand-MeDown
sets some of the Dead tunes Gans most enjoys performing in a
“solo electric” context closely modeled on his performance style, making
extensive use of looping and electronics to bring the sort of shimmery
elastic feel required to do this material justice.
“The idea was to make a record that sounds like my performances: guitar
and vocal, with some additional layers of guitar made possible by the Boss
RC-30 Loop Station which allows me to record the chord changes of a
song so I can play a guitar solo on top of them. It also makes it possible to
create multi-layered performances of composed and improvised
music.” “Lazy River Road” and “Attics of My Life” are the simplest: one
guitar, one voice. “Ship of Fools,” “Loser,” “Stagger Lee,” “Black Peter,”
and “Brokedown Palace” feature guitar fills and solos over the chord
changes, exactly as presented in his live show with the help of the looper
(but for this project recorded in separate passes, to take advantage of the
editing and mixing capabilities of multitrack recording). “Deal” is “realistic”
until the end, when a third guitar joins in to spice up the coda. Some
sections were edited to eliminate repetitive stretches of loop development.
In “Wharf Rat,” this leads to a moment in which four guitars appear
simultaneously, in four takes, initially expecting to use just one, but liking
the intersection of all four.
For this collection, David has chosen songs whose lyrics and melodies he
has explored deeply and inhabited in performance. “Songs I cover from the
Dead or other artists tend to tell a piece of my own story. It might just be
one line or part of a line in a song that resonates in my own little atomic
structure, and I don’t always recognize the connection at first. But
eventually I find the resonances. I do the songs that I feel are appropriate
for me,” says Gans, “and I’ve adapted them to my own style. I’ve changed
the key, changed the phrasing or the groove.”
Over the decades, the Grateful Dead have inspired a lot of cover bands,
impersonators, and even reenactors capable of recreating specific
renditions in precise detail; Gans is doing something different. He has
taken from the Dead their approach to music itself, making it live again but
in a different realm--one populated by Gans’ own lyrical landscape--
“taking it for a walk in the woods” (as Dead guitarist Bob Weir puts it), and
making each performance fresh and unique.
Without any urge to duplicate, and no desire to be thought of as the “next
Jerry”, Gans is mostly doing what he loves best: playing music and having
a ball. “Playing this music is incredibly fun. I’ve always enjoyed getting
together with people and jamming, and if you’re into it, this music is deeply
enjoyable music to play.
You see and hear this in David’s approach to his own original material as
well, and when he returns to these timeless gems from the Dead’s
repertoire, the tradition winds on a sort of recursive, fractal, moebius-strip
dimension; remaking the old and familiar into something new, fresh, and…
familiar. It’s terrapins all the way down!
David brings a unique mix of experiences to this project. Most Deadheads
first discovered Gans through his radio show or his writing, but music has
always been central, the constant drumbeat organizing his many hats, with
the Dead’s music specifically woven through much of it and mingling with
his own.
None of this was planned. David never set out to become a professional
Deadhead or a DJ. Another page he took from the Grateful Dead book was
this model of improvising your own life, and staying open to a
serendipitous build-up of events and circumstances that led David on his
This is also David’s way of celebrating the ever morphing and shifting
cultural legacy of the Dead. Each generation experiences the music
differently, but draws from the same cultural pool… telling and retelling of
the stories, and David Gans is a master storyteller.
Venue Information:
The Lounge at the BoulderTheater
2028 14th Street
Boulder, CO, 80302