Bob Weir Biography

Robert Hall, 16 October 1947, San Francisco, California, USA. Weir enjoyed a lengthy career as rhythm guitarist and vocalist with the legendary west coast band the Grateful Dead. Like his colleagues, he sporadically embarked on solo projects and played with other bands. Ace was a fine solo debut (albeit a Grateful Dead album in disguise), after which Weir joined up with Kingfish in 1976. In 1981 he performed with an aggregation called Bobby And The Midnites, which included jazz musicians Billy Cobham (drums), Alfonso Johnson (bass) and Grateful Dead colleague Brent Mydland (keyboards). This interesting combination tackled fusion, reggae and produced one self-titled album.

Weir has an unusual, distinctive and underrated style, preferring to play chopping jazz chords in straightforward rock music structures. This style can be heard to great effect on the Grateful Dead’s classic 1970 release, Live Dead and on most of the series of ‘direct to tape’ albums, Dick’s Pick. On the latter series his guitar has not been taken down in the mix. In recent years Weir has ‘found his voice’, a deeper patina which has developed with age. Since the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995 and the subsequent burying of the Grateful Dead name, Weir has continued to perform regularly and record from his home studio in Marin County. His recent performances with the Other Ones (a title of a Grateful Dead song) has satisfied the legions of Deadheads. The flexible line-up features Bruce Hornsby, ex-Dead members Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart, Dave Ellis (saxophone), Steve Kimock (guitar), John Molo (drums) and a remarkable Garcia soundalike, Mark Karan. In addition, Weir performs with his own pick-up band, Ratdog, featuring another regular collaborator, bass player Rob Wasserman.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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