A legendary rock-n-roller and recording engineer will be touring this summer with The Lindells, a Dolores-area band.
Bob Matthews has a music-industry pedigree that cranks to “Eleven” and he’s not finished yet. He and his band The Pond will meet up with The Lindells for a minitour beginning June 1 at the Dolores River Brewery.
Matthews is the original bass player for New Riders of the Purple Sage, and was a respected recording engineer for the Grateful Dead from the 1960s to the 1980s. He produced Workingman’s Dead, Live Dead, Garcia, and Europe ’72, among others, using innovative recording techniques.
A dyed-in-the-wool sound man from the psychedelic, rock era, Matthews has some stories to tell and has musical chops as well, said Chris Lindell.
“He is the ‘Bob’ of the famous Bob and Betty tapes, widely acknowledged as the best representation of a live Grateful Dead show,” Lindell said. “We’re looking forward to a great tour. The Pond will play a set, the Lindells will play a set, and the there will be an All-Star third set.”
Matthews was one of the inventors of the famous “Wall of Sound” the beyond-the-pale, towering set of speakers featured at Grateful Dead concerts in the 1970s.
But the man behind the curtain at Dead shows has experienced some troubled times more recently, becoming ill with cancer that required surgeries and an extended recovery.
He is gathering back his strength to tour with his favorite musicians, Lindell said.
“It is the right time, and a wonderful opportunity for Bob to get on the road and be a musician with the guys. He’s never been through Colorado much, so he’s looking forward to getting out of California for a while.”
Fundraising for the tour is through Kickstarter. (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/482539238/grateful-dead-producer-bob-matthews-hits-the-road)
The money will be used to produce a CD of the tour and to help purchase an RV so Matthews can stay rested as he recuperates from his illness between jam sessions. Pond guitarist David Brown, 78, will surely appreciate the comfortable digs as well. He has produced records for Taj Mahal, Santana and Paul Simon.
“It is a pretty big entourage with huge recording set up. The tapes will be taken back to San Francisco to be mixed for an album release,” Lindell said.
The well-loved Stan Davis, of past Dolores fame, plays guitar and sings in The Pond. He will be having a reunion tour of sorts, visiting his old haunts where he was a common sight behind the drum kit and mic for local bands.
In true improvisational style, the bands will tap into the creative energy of fellow musicians and from the spirit of the audience.
“The bands will be intermixing throughout all three sets. It is going to be special,” Lindell said.
Perhaps they can channel a bit of Jerry Garcia, the guitar virtuoso of the Grateful Dead, and friend of Matthews’.
“The music was always what the Grateful Dead were about, and my job, from my point of view, was to remove all the usual obstacles that required attention before you could pay attention to the aesthetics of the music,” Matthews said in an interview for JamBase,
Of course, “nothing is certain, it could always go wrong,” reminds Garcia as he croons the folk-rock classic High Times produced by Matthews. “We could have us a high time, living the good life” is pretty much guaranteed for the musicians and the audience.
The bands encourage fans to organize a caravan and go on tour with the group.
After kicking it off at the Dolores Brewery June 1, the bands travel to Denver’s Quixotes June 4, 5; the White Pavillion in Castle Rock June 6; the Victoria Cavern in Salida June 7, and Gunnison Arts in the Park on June 8.