“Gone are the days we stopped to decide where we should go, we just ride.”
Welcome to the world of the blown cone. There’s no crime in being faded. Plan A is still in effect and we’ve signed on for the whole ride. No one gets out alive. Not this time. Let Oteil Sing: Bizarre Tales From the “O-Zone”
The NailTravels South of Hell-Summer Groundscore Tour 2017 rolls on through Tomball, Texas and we remain in a holding pattern as our staff attorney and executive hair stylist, Lazlito, continues to experience what his doctor labels as “unfortunate but harmless episodes”. This well-needed respite offers time to prepare for the upcoming tour with all its bedazzled silliness and, weather permitting, mess with Texas.
Dead & Company kick off their 2017 Summer Tour next week in Las Vegas and you know what that means. Yes dear hearts, it’s time to revisit the O-Zone with Oteil Burbridge, so say goodbye to your face. Take it for a picnic or a relaxing afternoon at the library. Y’all might consider a three-day cruise or simply some “us time” at home, binge watching shows about giant bible aliens. Prepare for the Dead and Company Summer Tour. Beginning in Las Vegas next week the 2017 tour is here and there’s lots to be done. We’ve still got shirts to be cooked, sticks to be shaved, beads to be strung and shine to be tested. These are busy times for busy people. Currently, the navigation team is looking for routes through Texas that don’t involve skirting Juarez, Mexico. Don’t they have a wall there now? From now on, her name would be Fractal Moonpie. Time is of the essence, grasshopper.
The Las Vegas show is a calendar week from today so it won’t be long before Oteil’s unique brand of funk and groove cause your face to slowly slide off your skull and slip down the nearest sewer grate. The Allman Brothers/Aquarium Rescue Unit bassist is gearing up for an O-Zone grand reopening with the Dead and Company this summer. Things are about to get all weird in the rusty deserts of the American Southwest. Oteil continues to play an instrumental role in the reinterpretation of Grateful Dead music and it’s all right when good things get reinterpreted. Welcome to the reinterpretation station.
Bassist Oteil Burbridge played with the Allman Brothers Band for 17 years, with their final show on October, 2014. He played some one-off shows and had a brief reunion with Col. Bruce Hampton’s Aquarium Rescue Unit. Then the call came to audition in California for Dead and Company, a new band that Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart were forming with singer/guitarist John Mayer and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti.
If it doesn’t have okra, it’s not gumbo. If it doesn’t have salt, it’s not a margarita.
“Frito was fine when he drove out of the Miami show. It had been a stellar night with Laz and Crispy at Shakedown St. and the South Beach moon rise had both been a special treat. Crispy had left his entire Reebok bag in the back of the Mitsubishi Power Wagon, which proudly displayed a “Boycott Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi kills rain forests” bumper sticker so, if we had no money, which was the case, we would be fine trading on the open market. The brain-part of his head hole began feeling “particular” and the winding overpasses that make up Miami’s interstate system began to weave and spin, weave and spin. On the peak of some forgotten overpass, he opened his eyes long enough to see a police road block directly ahead.”
And what’s all the hubbub about the growing groove with Oteil and John Mayer? “I’ve been chasing John and I caught his ass that night and he knew it. Afterwards, he sat Bill and me down and was like, ‘What happened? What is this all about?’ It was hilarious. I was like, ‘Yeah I got you.’ And I connected to the audience. I felt like an octopus with tentacles connecting to each person in the band—and each person on that vibe in the audience. And it was heavy,” Oteil revealed in an article by JamBase writer, Scott Bernstein.
The face part is sliding off the skull part.
The “Let Oteil Sing” shirts originated early in the tour, with proceeds going to Gorilla Doctors, a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving wild mountain and eastern lowland (or Grauer’s) gorillas through medicine and the One Health approach . This concept recognizes that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment. Their team works with physicians, ecologists, and veterinarians to monitor and control public health threats. These veterinarians are the only group providing these critically endangered animals with direct assistance in the wild. Check out the work on the Gorilla Doctors website.
Dead & Company Summer Tour 2017
• May 27, 2017
MGM Grand Garden Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada
• May 28, 2017
• May 31, 2017
Los Angeles, California
• Jun 3, 2017
Mountain View, California
• Jun 4, 2017
Mountain View, California
• Jun 7, 2017
Salt Lake City, Utah
• Jun 9, 2017
• Jun 10, 2017
• Jun 13, 2017
• Jun 15, 2017
• Jun 17, 2017
• Jun 18, 2017
• Jun 20, 2017
Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC)
Saratoga Springs, New York
• Jun 22, 2017
Jiffy Lube Live
• Jun 24, 2017
Corona, New York
• Jun 25, 2017
Camden, New Jersey
• Jun 28, 2017
Blossom Music Center
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
• Jun 30, 2017
• Jul 1, 2017
“Let Oteil Sing”
Burbridge has evolved from bass player to an official member of the Rhythm Devils, singing vocal harmonies and entire verses like a bird. Oteil has taken lead vocals on “Dark Star” with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead and a classic “Scarlet>Fire” with the Daze Between Band in New Orleans earlier this month. Get ready folks. This guy is about to stomp on the proverbial terra.
“I’m really looking forward to songs I haven’t played before with Bill: “Jack Straw,” “Tennessee Jed,” “Ramble On Rose” and “Stella Blue.” Man there are so many. Jesus. Then there’s the ones that I do know that I Iove. “Birdsong,” “Estimated Prophet,” “Help on the Way/Slipknot,” “Eyes Of The World,” “Bertha,” “Sugaree,” “Althea” and on and on. We covered “Dark Star” on Jerry’s birthday with the Aquarium Rescue Unit. Our fans really dug it.” Jeff Cornell; Billboard
Be sure to check out Oteil’s website and his article titled, “The Colonel Has a Master Plan”. He shares a personal account of his recollections and lessons from knowing Col. Bruce Hampton while growing up in Georgia.
HeadCount: As a result of their efforts, countless individuals have been afforded the opportunity to attend concerts, festivals and events that may not have been possible otherwise. HeadCount also organizes “Participation Row” social-action villages and charity auctions at major live music events, with help from sponsors Qello and Clean Energy Advisors. The results are tens of thousands of actions taken, and nearly $1 million raised for 35 non-profit organizations. At the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary concerts in 2015, a signed guitar fetched over $500,000, making national news.
#SoundOff is HeadCount’s new online platform that makes it easy to tweet directly @ Congress. It gives individuals and advocacy organizations an easy way to use social media to create a public dialogue with lawmakers — driving legislators to respond less to special interests and more to the people who elected them. Visit www.soundoffatcongress.org and #SoundOff today.
Stay tuned to NailTravels as we point the Horchata Armada back to Phoenix, California, and Furthur to poke around for lots more Dead and Company Summer Tour 2017. Plan A remains in effect.