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Pete Sawyer & The Left Hand Monkey Wrench Gang with Brightshine
Pete Sawyer and The Left Hand Monkey Wrench Gang took Northern California by storm in 2022, offering high-energy renditions of Grateful Dead classics and deep cuts. Every show features a unique setlist played by Pete Sawyer and a rotating cast of the Bay Area’s most accomplished interpreters of Grateful Dead music. Walking a middle path between bands that seek to sound exactly like the Dead, and bands that sound nothing like the Dead, the LHMW Gang connects to the Dead’s sound and vibe, while still taking the music somewhere new.
Jonny Mojo (Achilles Wheel, Matt Hartle and Friends), Kara Cavanaugh (Melvin Seals), Steve Sofranko (China Cats), Mike Owens (China Cats), and Murph Murphy (Stu Allen) will be joining Pete in The Left Hand Monkey Wrench Gang for this special performance at Kuumbwa Jazz Center.
Brightshine’s upcoming album “The Wire” was born out of quarantine, a period that proved to be creatively fruitful for the band. During this time, their funky style incorporated energizing rock-based sounds. Brightshine’s expressive playing, and scintillating, deeply musical improvisations showcase Sawyers’ stylistically diverse compositions and feature unusual and masterfully executed harmonic structures that are adorned with deep, multi-layered lyrics.
“The blend, quality, and variety of vocals set Pete Sawyer and The Left Hand Monkey Wrench Gang apart from many practitioners of GD Music…Their set evoked a really hot 80s Dead show but the vibe and sequencing was unique to this group, this performance. The Gang’s driving, gorgeously drawn take on “Foolish Heart” beat any version by the Grateful Dead I’ve heard, which is another treat for longtime fans where a seemingly known tune blooms into a beautiful, moving new thing.
The evening began with a winning set of emotionally and melodically rich songs from Brightshine, celebrating the release of their timely, all-the-feels, born from pandemic isolation song cycle, The Wire. Brightshine is a collection of very talented musicians pouring themselves into strong originals and well-picked covers. At times, Brightshine recalled Dire Straits and Paul Simon’s One Trick Pony band but inflected by something distinctly Coastal Californian, characterized by a lightness of touch and welcoming shafts of light.” —Dennis Cook, Jambase.com
Pete Sawyer and The Left Hand Monkey Wrench Gang Website
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