Bob Weir - Ace (50th Anniversary Deluxe 2CD)
Bobby Weir celebrated the 50th anniversary of his solo debut, Ace, on stage in April with two special shows at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. On both nights, he performed the entire album live with his group Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros, featuring The Wolfpack, a string and brass quintet, pedal steel player Barry Sless, and special guests Tyler Childers and Brittney Spencer. One of those performances is included here in a special edition of Ace that also includes a remastered new mix of the original album.
Issued the same year as Jerry Garcia's Garcia and Mickey Hart's Rolling Thunder, Ace features all of the Grateful Dead members at the time except for Ron "Pigpen" McKernan including Jerry Garcia, Keith Godchaux, Bill Kreutzmann, and Phil Lesh. The album includes studio versions of "Playing in the Band" and "One More Saturday Night" which became concert staples for the Dead.
When Weir started working on Ace at Wally Heider's Studio in San Francisco in early 1972, he wasn't planning for the Dead to be his backing band. It just happened. "I pretty much knew in the back of my mind what would happen," Weir told Crawdaddy a few months after the sessions. "I go and get the time booked and start putting the material together. Everybody gets wind of the fact I got the time booked, and I may be going into the studio. So, one by one, they start coming around..."
It made sense, the band was already familiar with most of the music, having road-tested six of the album's eight songs, including "Greatest Story Ever Told," "Mexicali Blues," and "Playing In The Band," destined to become one of Weir's signature tunes. Ace also marked the beginning of Weir's long-running collaboration with lyricist John Perry Barlow and includes early standouts "Cassidy" and "Looks Like Rain."