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David Nelson Band

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For the members of the David Nelson Band (DNB), who are celebrating their sixth anniversary together, 1999 was a year with plenty of High Adventure. In spring, the group released Visions Under the Moon, their first full-length studio effort. The album, which was produced by Aaron Hurwitz (a long-time associate of The Band), captured the magic of the sessions held at the Aladdin Theatre in Portland, Oregon in September 1998 with stunning brilliance. Also released in spring was the video High Adventure in Japan, which showcased the best of the group's live performances in the Far East. In July, three of the band's members (David Nelson, Barry Sless, and Mookie Siegel) were honored to join Phil Lesh and Friends for a pair of shows at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. Lesh returned the favor in November when he joined the David Nelson Band for a night of musical mayhem at a SEVA Foundation benefit concert, which was held at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. Throughout the year, the band continued to debut new material and tour heavily, drawing critical acclaim for the depth of their songwriting skills and for the dynamic range of their stellar improvisations.

Over the past several decades, Nelson has managed the seemingly impossible�-he has remained true to his musical vision and integrity without becoming outdated or archaic in the process. Nelson was an important figure in the musical vanguard of the influential Haight-Ashbury/San Francisco music scene of the late '60s and early '70s. Nelson's roots in the industry extend back to 1962 when he, Jerry Garcia, and Robert Hunter formed the Wildwood Boys, a precursor to the Grateful Dead. In the early '70s, Nelson appeared on three seminal Grateful Dead studio albums (Aoxomoxoa, Workingman's Dead, and American Beauty). During that period, Nelson, Garcia, and John Dawson formed the New Riders of the Purple Sage (NRPS) with which he remained until 1983. It was Nelson who sang NRPS's biggest hit, "Panama Red," a certifiable counter-culture anthem that earned them a gold record. Around this time, Nelson was also a member of the Good Ol' Boys, featuring bluegrass legends Don Reno, Chubby Wise, and Frank Wakefield. Subsequently, Nelson performed as a member of the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band and is featured on their 1988 album Almost Acoustic. Over the past decade, he has remained busy, appearing with various ensembles before forming the David Nelson Band in 1994. With the DNB, Nelson is producing what many consider the best music of his long and varied career.

Although Nelson's name appears on the marquee, DNB derives its strength and adventurous spirit from the collective talents of its gifted musicians. Prior to the formation of DNB, guitarist/pedal steel player Barry Sless honed his considerable skills in the San Francisco band Kingfish and also in Cowboy Jazz. Keyboard and accordion ace Mookie Siegel (also a Kingfish alumnus) is a well-known figure on the music scene and was most recently a member of Ratdog, Bob Weir's post�Grateful Dead ensemble. The DNB's solid rhythm section includes bassist Bill Laymon (whose tours of duty have included NRPS, Jefferson Starship, Kingfish, JGB, and Big Brother & the Holding Company) and frequently features the dual drumming ensemble of Arthur Steinhorn (NRPS, Kingfish, and Cowboy Jazz) and Charlie Crane (Cowboy Jazz and The Uptown Rhythm Kings).

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