Jackie Greene Welcomes Friends to the Warfield to Celebrate Another Circle Around the Sun | JamBandsOnline.com

Jackie Greene Welcomes Friends to the Warfield to Celebrate Another Circle Around the Sun

November 18, 2017

Photos and Review by Linda Tulett  

Well, happy birthday Jackie; and, here’s to another awesome year floating around the universe. Thank you for your talent, your band, your music, your musical friends and all of the adventures you take us on. I’ve been to so many towns and have met so many incredible people, your fans, that have become my near and dear friends. So, yeah, thanks.

This year’s bash was held at The Warfield Theatre, as was last. The place that Jerry loved. The place that the Jerry Garcia Band played 125 performances between September 21, 1980 and April 23, 1995. That’s 8 shows a year. While that may not seem like a lot, this was also along with all of the other JGB and Grateful Dead shows in those same years. Jerry seemed to hardly ever put that guitar down. Huh, I feel like I’ve very recently written something very similar to this before, about another musician who’s band is the same acronym, JGB. And, the latter is who this article is about, so let me carry on.

The night began with Jackie and Anders Osborne on stage to play us a handful of acoustic sweetness. Treated to four diverse songs, including the need for use of the banjo and harmonica, two from Jackie’s collection and two from Anders’. I’ve not had the enjoyment of seeing Anders play live before, and man is he one challenge to photograph, as he moves back and forth on stage, his body emoting what comes from the guitar. His expressions are endless, he does not hold back, he lays it all out there, for every darn song. You could feel the connection between he and Jackie, both musically and brotherly, as they had an east cost thang going called, “Tourgether,” and really got to understand each others style and writings. Yes, we did like it and yes, please do have a west coast tour.

With barely a few minutes in between, next up was Anders Osborne and his band, which consisted of Anders on lead guitar and vocals, Stu Allen on rhythm/lead guitar, Carl Dufrene on bass, and, well, by golly I did not hear the drummer’s name… hate when I miss that, and hate it when searching the internet is of no help… Born in Sweden, but currently hailing from Louisiana, Anders has been playing guitar since a teenager and has released about 15 or so albums since 1989. I really dug the energy of his set. It was rhythmic and easy to boogie to. From his opening song, “Yah-Yah,” the sound of that rhythm and blues with a taste of southern jam style came through. The strumming and deep beats of, “Windows,” accompanied by soaring guitar, Anders’ lead just swirling above and around that was heady and spacey. Switching the sound up a bit, there was a reggae beat holding down, “Born to Die Together,” before it slowed down, seriously slowed down to some deep blues; it was like the blues were layered with deeper darker blues. There may have been a tease to “Dark Star,” in there somewhere. Isn’t there always a Dark Star tease in every deep dark blues jam?? Jackie Greene had slowly made his way to the stage for this song, and his work on the Hammond sealed that Dark Star sound to the jam. There was a cheer of recognition from the crowd as it was moving back into Anders’ vocals, his smooth and rich vocals, that are sometimes in contrast to his raw, gritty guitar. Greene stayed up at the keys through the end of Anders’ set, which exploded with, “Different Drum.” 

With a quick 30-minute set break, Jackie’s band hit the stage sounding like they were ready to crank up the party. Starting out with a stompin’, “Gone Wanderin’,” which led to a heavy hitting, guitar driven, “I’m So Gone,” with Greene and Nathan Dale exchanging licks center stage. Tossing in a few newbies from his latest EP, he played, “Modern Lives,” for the first time live with full band. This one has been getting a bit of radio play, well deserved I might ad, as it just feels right as you are riding along on a sunny day with the windows down. “I called up the President, asked him where the money went. He told me that it all got spent, long before I ever learned to drive. How’s that kid? Are you satisfied? Now, go do us all a favor and go buzzin’ on your modern life.” I might just love this song. And, “Tupelo,” as well…. Love ’em both.

They’d give us one more Greene tune, “Back to the Bottom,” before cranking out a five-song tribute to the one and only, Tom Petty. I’m not sure I’ve heard Greene do Petty before. I have heard him cover quite a number of musicians he has respect, but this may have been my first Petty party. (hahaha sorry, had to). What an incredibly awesome surprise. This was a huge loss for the music world and it is a beautiful and wonderful thing to hear such grand tributes. Thank you Jackie Greene Band for treating us all to our favs starting with a in your face guitar screamin’, “Running Down a Dream,” to a beautiful dedication with, “Learning to Fly,” followed by another beauty with, “Into the Great Wide Open,” and a slow grooving, “Last Dance with Mary Jane,” before just killing it on, “You Wreck Me.” The crowd response was loud and joyful. Exclamations I heard? “God Damn!” “Holy Shit!” “Unbelievable!” were just a few… I might agree.

Greene and band would give up three classics to close the third set, with Jackie over on the keys for, “Shaken,” before Anders would join them on stage to close the set with and “So Hard to Find My Way,” and “Like a Ball and Chain.” Technically, I suppose, the set actually closed with, “Happy Birthday” as they bought out cake and candles to wish upon, although with a lovely wife and baby on the way, I’m not sure what else he might wish for these days.

The evening would end with a set filled with Jackie and Friends, who consisted of Phil Lesh, Grahame Lesh, Anders Osborne, Stu Allen, Elliot Peck, Alex Koford and Fitz Harris. For the last hour of the four-set night, we were treated to a mini-Grateful Dead set of seemingly Jackie favorites, as I do believe he’s performed nearly all with his band, except “Althea.” It’s music that suits him. It suits his vocals, his guitar style, and it certainly suits his soul, the way he performs, the way he sings and emotes. He really does it his own way, and it sounds just right. And, there were smiles all around as the camaraderie between Jackie, Phil, son Grahame, Stu, Alex, Elliot and Fitz was contagious. It just all jelled, it was smooth, it was soaring, it was soulfully good.

Ending the night, most appropriately, was just Jackie and his guitar. His solo acoustic rendition of, “Sweet Somewhere Bound,” is something he used to do quite often as an encore, but is more rare these days than common. It’s one of my favorite songs, and I find myself quoting a line from this song now and again, unfortunately on a sombre note as I comfort a friend who has lost a loved one. “When I die Lord, when I die Lord, lay me somewhere soft and deep. Tell my babies not to cry no, for I ain’t gone, I’m just fast asleep.” Its a beautiful line, in a beautiful song, that gets played so warmly, so emotionally, you can’t help but to be still, to listen to him sing, to hang on every guitar string.

So, another year gone by and another stellar birthday bash tossed by Jackie and his friends. Thanks for opening the doors to the rest of us. What a party – hope to see y’all next year!!!


Jackie Greene and Anders Osborne
I Don’t Live in a Dream (JG), Tomorrow is a New Day (AO), Tupelo (JG), Tracking My Roots (AO)

Anders Osborne Band
Yah-Yah, Windows, Born to Die Together*, Wind*, Echoes of My Sins*, Different Drum*
*w/Jackie Greene on keys

Jackie Greene Band w/Gary Skaggs on keyboard
Gone Wanderin’, I’m So Gone, Modern Lives, Back to the Bottom, Running Down a Dream, Learning to Fly, Into the Great Wide Open, Mary Jane’s Last Dance, You Wreck Me, Shaken, So Hard to Find My Way*, Like a Ball and Chain*, “Happy Birthday Jackie!!” crowd sing-a-long
*w/Anders Osborne

Jackie Greene and Friends, Featuring Phil Lesh, Grahame Lesh, Anders Osborne, Elliot Peck, Alex Koford, Stu Allen, and Fitz Harris
Bertha, Friend of the Devil, Althea, Scarlet Begonias, Sugaree, Help on the Way> Slipknot> Franklin’s Tower    Encore: Sweet Somewhere Bound (solo)



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