Bill Kreutzmann
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Bill Kreutzmann’s Locknstep Allstars

A beautiful sunset kicked off a very grateful evening. From the Lockn Times: For many the evening’s most anticipated set was Bill Kreutzmann’s Locknstep Allstars. Literally stepping in for his Grateful Dead co-founder Bob Weir when he cancelled, Kreutzmann rounded up an all-star band that consisted of Disco Biscuits keyboardist Aron Magner, with whom he recently collaborated at Gathering of the Vibes, as well as American Babies/Brothers Past guitarist Tom Hamilton, longtime Grateful Dead family associate and guitarist Steve Kimock, Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge, and an assortment of special guests. Having recently proved his command of the Dead catalog through his role in Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Hamilton led the ensemble through the evening's first two songs, “Let the Good Times Roll” and “Big Railroad Blues,” both of which aligned stylistically with the bluesy Americana he explores in American Babies. Helping guide the jams, Magner remained faithful to the songs’ intended arrangements, adding lush organ fills to the material instead of pushing the band into the trance-fusion sounds his band is best known for. Their decision to open with “Let the Good Times Roll” completed yet another circle: In the wee hours of the morning, the Locknstep Allstars encored with the same tune during their set in the Super VIP tent. Keller Williams—an avid Deadhead who played with Kreutzmann in The Rhythm Devils—sat in on a sweet-voiced version of “Bird Song,” before Taj Mahal emerged for the blues classic “Further On Down The Road” and “Stagger Lee.” That sequence set the stage for one of the night’s best improvisational pockets, a run from “Help on the Way” through “Wharf Rat,”“Slipknot” and, finally, a show-closing “Franklin’s Tower.” During the opening jam, Magner touched on some of the light ‘Disco Dead’ flourishes the Biscuits explored with Kreutzmann at Gathering of the Vibes, and sequence also briefly drifted into “Dark Star,” the signature late-‘60s number which they jammed on for 45 minutes in the festivals VIP tent late Thursday night. Meanwhile, New Orleans singer Papa Mali, perhaps the drummer’s closet collaborator in recent years, added to the group’s haunting take on “Wharf Rat.” The set also featured a cross-stage interlocking collaboration as Kreutzmann sat by himself on the Ridge Stage while over on the Oak Stage, EOTO’s Michael Travis and Jason Hann emerged and the three musicians interacted via an audio feed.