Gear Diary Log Dates - April 2023 with 'Rainbow Full of Sound'

April was a thrill-filled month of travel and shows beginning with a special benefit event in Islamorada, Florida where ‘Rainbow Full of Sound’ performed as part of a benefit for the ‘History of Diving Museum’ which was sponsored by the ‘Jerry Garcia Foundation’ -  Along with viewing many ‘Garcia’ art painting reprints in the gallery, Anna and I had the pleasure of meeting several members of the board. One of the board members actually is and has been on tour with RFOS - Jair-Rohm Parker Wells. Another board member and musician celebrity, Tony Saunders (son of Merle Saunders) sat in on bass for a few tunes as well and provided all the guests with some very entertaining stories of his life experiences around his Dad, Merle, and ‘Jerry’. Other tour shows in Florida included ‘Terra Fermata’ in Stuart the week before in March and ‘The Factory’ in Saint Petersburg, bookending the Islamorada weekend show. It was great seeing a lot of friends come out for the opening swing of the ‘Spring Tour’ which continued on to the west and mid-west. Anna and I spent a good amount of time exploring the ‘wild west’ as we ventured through New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Montana, and the Dakotas, before squeezing in a couple of back-to-back shows in Chicago and Cleveland. The set lists generally covered 1972 - 1977 Grateful Dead and progressed chronologically from Set 1 to Set 2. Keeping it simple for gear was a must given the need for packing space for this 2 week venture. I decided that covering the Set 1 ‘72-’73 material was a feat best handled by the ‘Moriarty’ single-coil' ‘Wolf’. Set 2 not as easy to decide - Terrapin which was played on most nights was performed as the ‘complete’ medley; that's right - ‘At a siding… all the way to the reprise. I really wanted to cover Jerry’s parts with some embellishment as they tracked on the studio version. MIDI sounds for brass, synth brass, trumpet, and flute could be provided via my Roland GR-33, but the question was which guitar. Before the first show in Terra Fermata, I discovered that  ‘Rosebud’ my first choice for MIDI had a defective GK-3 pickup (from corrosion which occurred over time; not being used in a couple of years). The plan was to use my Resurrection ‘Bolt’ Guitar for Terrapin. At Terra Fermata, that switch from ‘Rosebud’ to ‘Bolt’ was about as painful a delay between songs as I ever had before; as the Roland GR-33 has to be shut down to boot up the electronics in the guitar any time the 13-pin cable disconnects which happened repeatedly (at least twice as I stepped on the cable). Tone settings were also very different between the two guitars which was a ‘buzz’ killer on playing the parts through the song which required several program changes from the remote switches on the guitars. My hometown gear-tech and repair guy got the call to try and fix the GK-3 pickup on ‘Rosebud’ the next day. Armed with little in the way of schematics for the wires running into the pickup, he managed to get one more string pickup working - strings 1,2, and 6 were out but he got string 2 working and that was good enough for me although it meant playing some of the MIDI parts in higher fret positions. And so Islamorada passed the test with Rosebud on  ‘Terrapin’ and ‘Wolf’ and ‘Rosebud’ would join the caravan north :)

Gear for travel:

Wolf and Rosebud

Wilson Colorful Clone Wah, Beigel Baby Mutron, MXR Distortion, MXR Phase 100 Script, Wampler Paisley, EGO Comp, Eventide Pitchfactor, Timmy, Thick Air, Empress ParaEQ MKII, Boss DD-5 Analogman modded, Strymon Nightsky and Roland GR-33 (Terrapin medley)

Shakedown Amps - Silverface custom with '70s circuitry, backup GD-50 135W Ultralinear with Stratoblaster

Hard Trucker cab - K-120s x 2 (K-equipped cab rather than E-120s used due to some venues smaller sized-stage area)       Sennheiser MD-421 mic'ed




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