Keystone Revisited: The Music of GARCIA-SAUNDERS - "Live At Keystone" 40th Anniversary
Keystone Revisited was bought together because of the huge demand from fans to hear more music from the originators of the so-called “Jam Band”. When Merl Saunders and Jerry Garcia got together it was pure magic. They were in these groups; Merl Saunders and Jerry Garcia, Reconstruction and Legion Of Mary, which were at the forefront of the jam band era. What better way to pay homage to these legendary players than by having BILL ViTT who played with Merl and Jerry, TONY SAUNDERS, the son of Merl, who started playing with them when he was 18 and continued to play with them both doing other projects, MICHAEL HINTON who played with Merl in High Noon with Mickey Hart and Merl’s Rainforest Band. These three have played with so many of the people we love that their chemistry on stage is electric. Keystone Revisited plays the songs that Merl and Jerry made famous including “After Midnight”, “The Night They Drove Ol Dixie Down”, “Expressway to Your Heart”, “The Harder They Come” along with many more of the songs that made them famous. Keystone Revisited has even written and recorded a few new songs that are with the same heart such as “These Troubled Times” and “It’s A Love Thing”.
Drummer, Bill Vitt actually helped start the scene at the Matrix in San Francisco during the 60’s that bought all of the people together who wanted to Jam. Bill was buddies with John Kahn and as a rhythm section they played with everyone. It was at the Matrix that Jerry first came to Jam. When Merl appeared, he and Jerry formed the first band called Merl Saunders/Jerry Garcia Band that featured John Kahn and Bill. Merl and Jerry would later add Tom Fogerty from Creedance to that group. Bill has also played with the Sons Of Champlin, Brewer and Shipley, Danny Cox, and a host of people from the 60’s San Francisco Bands.
Guitarist, Michael Hinton has a way with his guitar that makes you love him. Michael taught himself how to play guitar during the Summer of Love in 1967, inspired by all of the San Francisco bands of the day. He joined the Grateful Dead family in 1981, when he was invited by Mickey Hart to play in High Noon with Merl Saunders. Later, Merl called Michael to play on the soundtracks for numerous episodes of The Twilight Zone (CBS 1985-1987). Michael joined Merl Saunders and the Rainforest Band in late 1991. They spent the rest of that decade together, touring the world and recording five albums.
Hinton has recorded with Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Brent Mydland, John Cipollina, David Grisman, Roky Erickson, Joan Baez, among many others, and has performed with countless others. His guitar playing is featured on numerous soundtracks for television and film. Hinton's expressive guitar solos tell a story, take you on a journey. He carries with him the rich tradition of the San Francisco Sound--improvisational explorations colored with bits and pieces of musical history from every walk of life. His playing is true improvisation: a heartfelt, vivid musical expression of "now."
Jeff Pevar is replacing Michael Hinton on guitar due to Michael's illness. (Michael will still be performing select shows in the Bay Area only as his illness allows.
Jeff Pevar is a guitarist, composer, producer, performer and multi-instrumentalist who has brought his unique style on stage and/or in the studio to such world renowned artists as Crosby, Stills & Nash, Ray Charles, James Taylor, Jimmy Webb, Carly Simon, Kenny Loggins, Joe Cocker, Jefferson Starship, Phil Lesh and Friends, Marc Cohn, Jennifer Warnes, Laura Nyro, David Foster, Rickie Lee Jones, Jazz Is Dead, CPR (w/ David Crosby & James Raymond) and many others.?
At age eighteen Tony began playing with his father and Jerry Garcia, and was a featured musician in Merl Saunders & the Rainforest Band, and other of his father's projects. Besides playing with Merl and Jerry, Bassist, Tony Saunders has played with Norton Buffalo, Eric Clapton, Ringo, David Crosby, Paul Butterfield, John Sebastian, Les McCann, Chaka Kahn, Joe Sample to mention but a few world famous musicians. Like his Dad, he is a chameleon and able to play all styles of music well.
Tony and Michael have recently added Steve Abramson on keys and vocals, and Wayne Canney on vocals and rhythm guitar to the team.
Abramson played keyboards and was lead vocalist of Philadelphia based Jam Band Living Earth in the 1980's, and performed with several Reggae groups in the 1990's including Jah Levi and the Higher Reasoning, One Blood; which featured Ira Osbourne, William Banks and Danny Clarke of the Meditations; and Judy Mowatt; backup singer for Bob Marley. Abramson's technique is polished and he has a deep love for the music of Merl and Jerry. "This is the music I know and love."
Steve adds that special something to the band to further enhance the already solid sound.
Michael and Tony began playing in Merl’s Rainforest Band and continued in other groups. They have played with Bill for a few years and the music has developed into amazing sound that leaves their audiences longing for more. That is what Merl and Jerry did. They explored all sorts of music and made it fun for the fans to cling to. Starting out with simple songs that were popular and turning them into 20 minute masterpieces.
Yes, you can hear Grateful Dead songs, Merl and Jerry songs, Reconstruction songs and Legion Of Mary songs all played with new energy but with those old musical styling’s that made Merl and Jerry rock.
KEYSTONE REVISITED is a band with a sound that brings the old music to new heights. Don’t miss this treat of spectacular sounds.