Rat Dog mixed original songs, covers and radical
reinterpretations of Grateful Dead pieces for a distinctive, surprisingly
Often sounding like "Bitches Brew"-era Miles Davis
interrupted by bluesy folk and rock songs, Rat Dog's flowing stream of
music sparkled. One highlight was a vocal-harmony-fueled version of the
Dead's "Corrina" that alternated between restrained verses and joyous
refrains. Karl Denson also joined the band to add a searing sax coda to an
already lush, beautifully reverent "Dear Prudence."
All of the night's music added up to much more than
noodle dancing and mindless good vibes. The acts on this year's So Many
Roads tour truly took their music "further" than even dedicated listeners
might have expected.