We recently wrote about how one chapter in the history of jam bands was ending, with the final show of Dead and Company (see: The 30 Best Grateful Dead Covers Ever). In another chapter, though, Norwalk, CT, based indie groove specialists Goose continue to write their own story. They have a close relationship with the Dead’s fanbase and have been joined by Bob Weir on occasion. They have covered many artists, across genres, but have made a specialty of Dead songs. The first appearance of “US Blues” came on the Stone Pony Summer Stage at Asbury Park on Independence Day.
Completed in 1974, after Pigpen McKernan left the band, it nevertheless showcases the kind of blues that he loved. Robert Hunter’s lyrics cover a wide gamut of America in the ’70s, good and bad, but finds space for local band politics, such as his falling out with Bob Weir. The song became the jumping-off point for many encores for the band over the years.
Whilst it was the first appearance of the song on a Goose set, the audience demonstrates immediate recognition and joins the party. The first solo is from Peter Anspach on keyboards, before Rick Mitarotonda lets loose on guitar. Underpinned, as ever, Trevor Weekz 5 string bass. Of course, they closed part of their set with it. The band understand the song and the assignment to rock out, as they always do.