At the end of last year, another bassist of great regard brought together a band of talent to Terrapin Crossroads to perform tunes that, to many, are the epitome of Sunday music. On December 10th, 2017, TXR hosted Reed Mathis and a limited-time group of musicians for a special brunch tribute to iconic songstress Joni Mitchell. Performing two sets over three hours, Mathis, the mind behind Electric Beethoven and frequent Grateful Dead-member collaborator, traded chops with some of the area’s finest on pieces pulled from Mitchell’s extensive catalog.
Terrapin Crossroads has certainly established itself as a staple for great live music in the North Bay. Hosting a multitude of talent, whether on the large stage of the Grate Room, the outdoor waterside stage, or the intimate bar stage in the center of the restaurant, this venue offers up music nearly every day of the week, and the musicians who perform here are as tasty as the food and drink. Fans have come to realize that high-caliber players often show up to sit in or play in these informal surroundings, including the venue’s proprietor Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Peter Rowan, and Barry Sless, to name a few. For locals, the special treat of being within feet of this talent while eating a great meal makes the experience all the better. Although most shows fall during happy hour or later, Sundays at Terrapin offer brunch shows that provide fans a great musical closer to the weekend while they enjoy coffee, benedicts, friends, and jams.
Sharing the stage on Sunday, 12/10/17 was the talented Jeanette Ferber on vocals, who would have moved Mitchell herself. Handling the keys was East coast transplant Jordan Feinstein, the founder of Jordan and The Ritual. The Ritual are considered one of the area’s most original formations, consisting of a cycling cast of who’s who in the local scene. Taking on the skins was long-time drummer Pete Lavezzoli, who is the touring rhythm for Melvin Seals & JGB. Finally, Electric Beethoven’s axe-man, Clay Welch, bestowed his soulful touch throughout the set, alternating between slide and finger picking, handling the intricacies like a pro.
Although one might expect female vocals throughout the sets, all whom graced the stage, with the exception of Welch, contributed either alone or in duet to a number of tunes, reinforcing the talent of these individuals in both instrumentation and voice. Though the talent and music of Joni Mitchell are currently absent in the live setting, seeing these folks choose to pay tribute to her with the deepest of regards was a moving experience–a reminder that her contributions continue to influence people over many generations and that her music and words will forever have a place in humanity.
Watch Jeannette Ferber lead the band in a rendition of Mitchell’s “A Case of You” from the brunch performance below, courtesy of YouTube user Cory Ferber:
If you missed the opportunity to hear great takes on these classics in December and are looking for some soul food to satisfy both the ears and the body, the group is conducting an encore performance tomorrow, Sunday, January 7th at Terrapin Crossroads.
Below, you can view a gallery of photos from the 12/10/17 performance courtesy of photographer Jake Cudek: