David Nelson Band & California Kind
3rd Annual Halloween Extravaganza
At the Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael, CA
October 28, 2017
*This show featured the return of David Nelson to the stage after a year spent struggling with a serious illness. He came back with a vengeance and whipped it up for the fans!

Higher Ground - The Eleven Jam

Rocky Road Blues
Garden of Eden
Louis Collins
Any Naked Eye
Suite at the Mission
Fable of a Chosen One pt 1
Fable of a Chosen One pt 2
Walking to New Orleans
Fire on the Mountain
Talkin' Back

Show Review by Ted:
Saturday night’s Halloween Extravaganza at the Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael featured a terrific double-bill of California Kind and the David Nelson Band.

Essentially similar bands animated by the articulate and expressive Barry Sless on lead guitar CA Kind and Nelson Band brought a lot to this party.

Fronted by the blonde, young, attractive, tall and talented Katie Skene – who can shred leads and play’s energetic slide on Gibson SGs, the Kind played blues, jam and country rock propelled by Pete Sears on bass alongside John Molo on traps with Rob Barroco adding keyboards all over the place.

I capped the last long tune they did which started with Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground (crooned by Barroco) into a fiery The Eleven Jam with a lot of hints of Allman’s Bros style jamming and a stretched out Mountain Jam Sequence.

Following a break, and with a goofy introduction from Wavy Gravy, David Nelson reappeared on stage with B-Bender Tele in hand following a solid year’s worth of absence from the scene due to an MD’s orders – an affliction that per Nelson himself left him running for the bathroom on a constant basis – but he looked, played and sounded fantastic for a 70+ yr old rocker and the resting seems to have served him well. He ripped a lot of great leads on Tele as a foil against Sless’s fluid fretboard dances. Swapping the keyboard seat w Barroco was Mookie Seagal who is both entertaining and talented and has a hand-in-glove affinity with Nelson as a harmony singer.

Kicking things off with an apt nod to his health and future with Rocky Road Blues (The Road is Rocky but it won’t be rocky long)… followed by the classic NRPS jam vehicle Garden of Eden, a song that gains resonance and validity w every decade and seemed to reference both the recent North Bay Fires and the bloodbath of the nation perpetrated by the current occupant of the oval orifice:

“Hey, Look in the air

There's smoke fillin’ everywhere

And hey, look on the ground

There's Blood spilling all around”

A nod to Mississippi John Hurt and Jerry Garcia came next with the tale of Louis Collins followed by some of Nelson’s great songs – Any Naked Eye, Suite at the Mission, and the extensive, Fable of a Chosen One all of which were deeply explored – jam style with everyone shining during their solos.

Following a brief auction break (to raise $ for North Bay Fire Victims) DNB with Katie Skene and Rob B laid down “Waking in New Orleans,” a tasty tribute to Fats Domino, someone Nelson suggested he’d been listening too since he as 11 yrs old. A strange take on Fire on the Mountain followed that featured some great Sless Leads but lacked the carnival ride aspect of the original and it’s tasty conclusive riffs.

The last segment of the evening showcased Nelson’s Rapping on “Talkin’ Back,” a Subterranean Homesick blues style lyrical throw down followed by a jumbled take on Ripple that came with a few lyric flubs but conveyed sweetness and good spirit as a night cap on the proceedings.

The only real negative at this show was a seriously compromised Meyer PA system that was experiencing drop outs, glitches and feedback issues throughout the night. The most glaring was a full PA audible explosion at the 4:20 minute mark in Talkin’ Back. It’s worth a listen to experience what I am referring too – but I suppose none of you will read this far and take the hint….

I left Marin very satisfied with this experience and happy for Nelson, his band and his fans – that he seems to have regained his footing and hopefully he will take this unsung and fantastically jamming unit back out on the road for a few more spins.

The last jam from CA Kind and the entire DNB set from my vid cam....