Bob Weir's First Release of All Original Music in Over 30 Years
Weir is currently on the road with the Campfire Tour. He has mentioned that this album reminds him of the times when cowboys would sit around the campfire at night and sing songs and tell stories togethers. His latest tour connects those moments in Wyoming with audiences around the United States.
In 2014, Weir worked on the release to The Other One: The Long, Strange Trip of Bob Weir. The documentary was produced by Netflix, and premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Since then, he has been touring with Dead and Company, as well as working on Blue Mountain in Woodstock, NY and San Rafael, CA over the spring and fall of 2015.
‘Only a River’ starts the album off with soft and downtempo percussion from San Francisco-based Jay Lane on drums. The song showcases Weir’s skillful guitar playing, as well as his vocals and lyrical depth. ‘Cottonwood Lullaby’ continues the western vintage style.
Weir has mentioned that during his youth he ventured to Wyoming to work with westerns on a ranch. The tone to ‘Gonesville’ is more upbeat, but still carries the style of vintage western, acoustic rock.
“WHEN I WAS 15 I RAN AWAY TO BE A COWBOY. I FOUND MYSELF WORKING IN WYOMING LIVING IN A BUNK HOUSE WITH A BUNCH OF OLD COWPOKES AND RANCH HANDS, AND A LOT OF THOSE GUYS HAD GROWN UP IN A ERA BEFORE RADIO HAD EVEN GOT TO WYOMING.” – BOB WEIR
Weir continues to reinvent himself with projects featuring the band The National. On Blue Mountain, Weir was speaking about western music with The National when the idea to put together an album started to form.
Blue Mountain marks the first solo record from Bob Weir in over a decade, and the first time he has release an album consisting of all original in over 30 years.
‘Lay My Lily Down’ offers a powerful beat, mixed with an alternative country style of guitar. As most of this album are more calming and relaxing, select tracks still provide fuel to the Campfire Tour. Currently, Weir is performing these songs in venues to display strong acoustics, such as the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
On the track ‘What Happened to Rose,’ I found the beauty and romance within Weir’s early life. In this song, as well as ‘Lay My Lily Down,’ I feel a sense that Weir is attempting to find closure with Rose and Lily in a way. These names and songs could all be fictional to give the album a romantic edge, but they could be real people that Weir has loved over his lifetime.
The overall tone of the album is melancholy.
In one of the most extensive solo records by Weir, we find him diving deep within himself to bring out the fire within himself during his time in Wyoming.
‘Ghost Towns’ is currently available to stream via the NPR First Listen below. It features one of the starkest tracks on the album. Weir displays a desolate mountain town that once thrived during the gold rush, in a similar manner to the Summer of Love within San Francisco, is also now a tattered form of its original self.
There is still beauty within San Francisco, but the city has a lot of work to do overall.
As Weir travels the West Coast on the Campfire Tour, he has made appearances in Los Angeles and will be performing in Oakland, as well as San Rafael, CA during the California section of the tour. Scan over the tour dates below.
Bob Weir - Campfire Tour
Date | Location | Venue
September 27 – Hollywood, CA @ Amoeba Music Hollywood
October 7 – San Rafael, CA @ Marin County Civic Center
October 8 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
October 10 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
October 12 – Upper Darby, PA @ Tower Theatre
October 14-15 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theatre
October 16 – Port Chester, NY @ The Capitol Theatre
October 19 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
October 20 – Chicago, IL @ The Chicago Theatre
*Events in bold are currently sold out.