Fri. June 5
Billy Kreutzmann, the picture of health for a man with such an illustrious history — and the man who is the BK in BK3 — asked his audience, "Where is everybody?" Spoleto. Hurricane Season. The economy, for crying aloud! Ever the professionals, and unswayed by low attendance, the bandmates poked fun at it and celebrated the chance to connect with the audience.
The BK3 treated a small intimate crowd at the Music Farm to stellar music on Fri. June 5, featuring a line up of acoustic and electric guitars, amped-up fiddle and bass guitar, strong vocals and harmonies, and the core heartbeat of the band played out on a full drum kit. The bass drum even featured some of Billy's vibrant artwork.
Tara Nevins (of Donna the Buffalo fame) joined BK3 for the East Coast tour. She and Scott Murawski (from Max Creek) traded off lead vocals, with Nevins singing most of the cover tunes, and Scott handling most of the originals, including some co-written by Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. It was a sublime mix of new and familiar.
BK3 did a fine job of putting their own sounds to well-modified arrangements of some good 'ol Grateful Dead and traditional tunes. Together, these two comprised the string parts of the band, with Murawski on electric guitar and Nevins switching off between acoustic guitar and fiddle, and even percussion a là washboard.
James "Hutch" Hutchinson is a bass-player's bassist that has worked with the crème de la crème of household-name bands, most recently with Bonnie Raitt. Then there is Kreutzmann ... everybody loves Billy! Maybe it did not rival the legendary "Drums/Space" that some of us have known for decades (let us not compare apples to oranges). Make no mistake about it, the entire audience crowded the stage and rocked to the lively rhythm with hands raised overhead and arms and bodies pulsating to the beat when Billy took his solo during the second set. Perhaps the format is different, yet the magic remains the same.
Reverence for each other and the genuine fun that this band exhibits on stage is obvious. They hail from diverse musical backgrounds and experiences, yet their comfort and cohesion when they play out is so clear, that slipping into the jams and grooves is like donning a favorite pair of faded, frayed blue jeans — the kind you love so much that you'll keep them forever. Still approachable, the band spent so long chatting with fans after the show on the dance floor at the Music Farm that staff practically cleared out the band, along with the rest of us.
Cheers to some of our favorite talents for partnering up, keeping it fresh, and taking the sounds we love in new directions as they spread their vibe and continue rockin' out on this exciting musical journey.