Wednesday, July 31, 1991

Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman - Hartford, CT - 1991-07-31

Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman - Hartford, CT - 1991-07-31 Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman with support act Acoustic Hot Tuna at the Bushnell Auditorium, Hartford, CT, July 31, 1991.

Can't seem to find reliable setlists for either group and I didn't keep them at the time...don't have a recording, either. If you do, please let me know. Thanks. As a consolation prize, here is a review form the Hartford Courant: Weir-wasserman Make Listeners Grateful For Acoustic Jams
August 01, 1991|By JOHN MORAN; Courant Staff Writer
They snuck a little bit of San Francisco into the Bushnell Wednesday night for a rocking, largely acoustic jam session. Headlining were guitarist Bob Weir and bass player Rob Wasserman, with the venerable Hot Tuna for openers. Weir, of course, is best-known for his 25 years as rhythm guitarist for the Grateful Dead, San Francisco's first family of rock. His tour with Wasserman is the latest in a series of occasional ventures outside the Dead's musical framework. Wednesday's show was fun, interesting and thoroughly enjoyable -- although novice listeners might find it hard to understand why. On one hand, Weir wasn't born with a great voice, and a quarter century in rock 'n' roll hasn't helped it. Although his vocals are plenty adequate for the Dead's sound, they're merely serviceable in the minimalist setting of a single guitar and a single bass -- calling attention to Weir's tendency to strangle high notes and to shout, rather than sing, vocal climaxes. On the other hand, it's not the vocals that are center stage for Weir's performances. It's the guitar-playing, and that is where he sparkles. Weir's command of chord variety, voice-leading, arpeggios, texture, coloring and rhythm are remarkable. Indeed, in a rock universe studded with lead-guitar stars, Weir stands virtually alone as rock's premier rhythm guitarist. His musical skills, along with his considerable improvisational talents, were especially tested on such tunes as "This Time for Sure" and "Shade of Grey," as well as "Throwing Stones" and an instrumental number early in the set. The bass playing of Wasserman, who once spent time as bassist for Lou Reed, was a perfect complement to Weir. Alternately busy and basic, leading and supporting, his deep, lush sound was a vital underpinning to Weir's steel-stringed rhythms. All of this, as you might expect, was joyously received by the T-shirt and tie-dyed crowd that jammed the Bushnell Memorial and spent much of the evening standing and dancing. Hot Tuna -- led by Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, refugees from San Francisco's famed Jefferson Airplane -- opened with a burning set of its own. Devotees of traditional, finger-picking-style blues, the members of Hot Tuna continue to pump out many of the same tunes year after year. But somehow, they never seem to lose their fire. Kaukonen's style, which borrows much from such masters as the Rev. Gary Davis and Robert Johnson, remains little short of amazing in its speed and crispness. Casady's rumbling bass lines provided a firm foundation.