I’m very proud about my new Ebook, Reckoning: Conversations With the Grateful Dead and hope that you will check it out.

The book includes interviews with Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Phil and Trey Anastasio together,Robert Hunter, Bill Kreutzmann, Warren Haynes, Dick Latvala, John Kadlecik, Steve Kimock and Mark Karan and many more.

It also includes wonderful photos by Kirk West and Bob Minkin – and it costs $2.99!

Great Dead scholars like Dennis McNally, David Browne and Peter Richardson dig the book – and you will, too.

“I suspect that it is his intimate association with another band, the Allman Brothers, that has given Alan Paul his knowledgeable but balanced view of the Grateful Dead. He’s been one of the leading G.D. observers for years, as this collection proves – connected but not caught up in the mythology. Anyone who wants to know the post-Garcia Dead should read this book.”

-Dennis McNally, Grateful Dead publicist and historian, Author of A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead

“From how songs were written to how disagreements were settled, Alan Paul asks the type of questions every Deadhead wishes he or she could ask of their favorite band. And even better, Alan elicits the honest answers every fan wants to hear from the Dead.”-David Browne, author So Many Roads: The Life and Times of the Grateful Dead

“I’ve read hundreds of Grateful Dead interviews and the ones Alan Paul has collected here as a smart, fresh, honest, and musically astute as any I’ve seen. His exchanges with Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Robert Hunter, and Bill Kreutzmann complement and update earlier collections and enrich our understanding of the Dead, their project, and their legacy. Insights from Trey Anastasio, Steve Kimock, Mark Karan, John Kadlecik, Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, and Dick Latvala only sweeten the offering. Required reading for Deadheads–and for anyone who still harbors doubts about the Dead’s achievement.”

-Peter Richardson, Author, No Simple Highway: A Cultural History of the Grateful Dead

“Alan Paul is the rarest kind of music journalist….one who hears beyond the supposed barriers of tradition, style, era, and genre, and perceives the connections and archetypes at the root of all great and innovative music.  And then he succinctly lays his discoveries at our feet, so that we may hear beyond the illusions too.”
-Reed Mathis, bassist, Billy and the Kids, Tea Leaf Green

Photo by Adrian Boot/www.urbanimage.tv – Featured in Reckoning

The book begins with a new essay, The Music Never Stopped. The intro to the intro:

This story begins at the moment when it seemed that it was ending: August 9, 1995. Every interview in the pages that follow was conducted after Jerry Garcia died. After it seemed inevitable that the long, strange trip was over. A Grateful Dead without Uncle Jerry was unthinkable – most importantly to the band members themselves.

“We had a meeting where names of people who could step in for Jerry were being discussed, and I just said, ‘No way,’” drummer Bill Kreutzmann says in a 2015 interview that opens this collection. “My feeling was that I didn’t make this decision; Jerry did.”

Bassist Phil Lesh also thought that not only was the band done, but so was his time playing the music of the Dead’s rich, 30-year catalog. “I thought I was done with it and with rock and roll,” Lesh told me in 2002. “I had this idea that I would find closure with the music by composing a 45-minute symphonic canvas utilizing Grateful Dead song themes, melodic hooks, rhythmic grooves and chord sequences.

“Then I went out and played a benefit concert with these Bay Area musicians who had continued to be so influenced and sparked by the music. I was blown away realizing the vitality that remained there and I thought, ‘Maybe there’s not supposed to be closure.’”

Lesh’s search then pivoted 180 degrees to the very opposite of closure: an open-ended exploration of the Grateful Dead’s music that has not let up in the ensuing years. Every surviving member went through a similar process of discovery, of realizing and coming to grips with the impact that their music had and the vitality it retained.

Please click here to download and read the rest.

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Zakk Wylde’s 10 Favorite Virtuoso Albums

by AlanPaul on May 23, 2016

I interviewed Zakk Wylde for the cover story for Guitar World’s April 2005 Virtuoso issue. This list of Zakk’s Top 10 Guitar virtuoso Records ran with it.

•Van Halen, Van Halen
(Warner Bros, 1978)
“It could be anything by Ed.”

•Ozzy Osbourne, Blizzard of Ozz
(Jet, 1980)
“It could be anything by Randy.”

•Pantera, Vulgar Display Of Power (US Release) [Explicit]
(East West, 1992)
“Dime’s pure brilliance.”

•Al DiMeola, John McLaughlin & Paco DeLucia, Friday Night in San Francisco – Live
(Columbia, 1980)
“Unbelievable and an absolute must-have for all guitarists.”

•Alcatrazz, No Parole From Rock N Roll
(Grand Slamm, 1984)
“Yngwie’s unaccompanied solo is flat out inhuman. He did everything that Al di Meola does on steroids.”

•Gary Moore, Corridors of Power
(Mirage, 1982)
“Jesus Christ! He’s got it all – the tone, the chops, the singing, the riffs.”

•Jimi Hendrix, Band of Gypsys
(Capitol, 1970)
“’Machine Gun’ is unreal. Jimi is one with the instrument.’”

Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush – Live
(CBS, 1978)
‘I just played this for friends and their jaws dropped. It’s way beyond good.”

•The Allman Brothers Band,At Fillmore East
(Polydor, 1971)
“Duane and Dickey just going for it.”
(Updated and expanded as The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings (6 CD Edition))

•Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Sky is Crying
(Epic, 1991)
“His version of ’Little Wing’ is proof that God exists.”

•Joe Satriani, Surfing With the Alien
(Epic, 1987)
“Joe’s phrasing reminds me a lot of Billy Gibbons, but he has the chops of doom.”
(Updated and expanded: Surfing with the Alien Legacy Edition (CD + DVD))

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Gov’t Mule, ZZ Top Announce Tour Dates

May 16, 2016

Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule will play seven September dates with ZZ Top. Both before and after those dates, the band will be on the road with Blackberry Smoke. The Mule’s archival album The Tel-Star Sessions, due out August 5, includes a cover of ZZ Top’s “Just Got Paid.” The album includes some of the band’s very first […]

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First Listen: Mudcrutch, ‘2’

May 13, 2016

Tom Petty’s pre-Heartbreakers band Mudcrutch is reuniting for a series of shows and a new album, 2, which is now available to stream via NPR. The band features Petty along with Mike Campbell, Tom Leadon, Randall Marsh and Benmont Tench. they are ruining after their 2008 debut – which represented their first work together in decades.

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Oteil on One Way Out

May 13, 2016

In October, 2014, as the Allman Brothers band were preparing to play their final shows at the Beacon Theatre, I received the following email from Oteil Burbridge about his reaction to reading One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band. I just found it. Very cool to read again. Wow. Amazing man. I just […]

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Gov’t Mule to Release The Tel-Star Sessions – first demos. Hear ZZ Top’s “Just Got Paid.”

May 11, 2016

Gov’t Mule  will release a new archival album, The Tel-Star Sessions, on August 5 via Warren Haynes’ Evil Twin Records. The album features songs taken from the group’s June 1994 demo sessions at Tel-Star Studios in Bradenton, FL. The sessions with Allman Brothers Band producer Bud Snyde feature the original lineup of Haynes, Allen Woody and Matt […]

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Allman Brothers’ Jessica – keyboards only

May 7, 2016

I thought this was pretty cool. Dickey Betts and the Allman Brothers’ classic instrumental”Jessica” – keyboards only (or emphasized). Obviously, Chuck Leavell is the star here, but pay attention to some of Gregg’s organ licks and harmonies.

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Metallica Meets Gov’t Mule

February 24, 2016

Dose, my favorite Gov’t Mule album, was released 18 years ago this week. In honor, I present this classic Guitar World Dose interview with Warren Haynes, Allen Woody and Metallica’s James Hetfield. I hatched the idea for this piece on the Gov’t Mule tour bus where I spent two long days… hanging out… with Warren and Woody […]

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Django Reinhardt, 1910-1953

February 24, 2016

Guitar World used to run little obituaries of guitar greats on its last page, complete with the info and picture of their final resting places. I wrote quite a few of them. It’s impossible to overstate the brilliance or impact of Django. Django Reinhardt,  1910-1953 When 18-year-old Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt badly damaged two fingers […]

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Eric Clapton announces new album

February 19, 2016

 I Still Do, due May 20, reunites Clapton with Slowhand Producer Glyn Johns.   The  press release via www.whereseric.com – not a word is mine. Music legend Eric Clapton has reunited with famed producer Glyn Johns for his forthcoming 23rd studio album, I Still Do, set for release on 20 May 2016 on his Bushbranch Records/Surfdog Records. Clapton […]

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JD Simo on his new album, playing Duane’s goldtop

February 18, 2016

When J.D. Simo moved to Nashville in 2006, he was 21 and had already been on the road for seven years, having dropped out of high school to play music full time. He scuffled for a year, then got a gig in a poplar club band, gigging six nights a week and jamming with some […]

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