Matt Kelly - harmonica, guitar, vocals; Robbie Hoddinott - lead guitar; Bob Weir - rhythm guitar, vocals; Dave Torbert - bass, vocals; Chris Herold - drums
Kingfish, the band that added Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead as an equal member only to be positioned by much of the media as his backup band, gives a spirited performance a year after the band's first LP had been released.
Opening with "Jump Back" and "Juke," the show quickly shifts into high gear with a rockin' version of "C.C. Rider." "Asia Minor," sung by bassist Dave Torbert, is another highlight, as is the group's cover of Dave Smiley's "I Hear You Knockin" (earlier a hit single for Dave Edmunds). "Jump For Joy," a gospel-reggae song sung by Weir gets tremendous applause, as does the two-song closer, consisting of Chuck Berry's "Promised Land" and Weir's own "One More Saturday Night."
Even though it included Grateful Dead singer/guitarist Bob Weir, the band already had a record deal before Weir came on board, and had a fair amount of pedigree with bassist Dave Torbert (from New Riders of the Purple Sage) and Matthew Kelly, who had been playing ocassionally with both the Dead and NRPS. However, when Weir joined in late 1974 (after the touring "retirement" of the Grateful Dead), it began to look like Kingfish was just his backing band for a solo project. Although it was Weir's Dead association that brought the big crowds, in the end it caused the band to fall apart. Weir takes the lead vocals on an old Gospel song, "Bye And Bye," which is recreated in a reggae format. He also sings the country jug-blues track "New Minglewood Blues," which can be found on the very first Grateful Dead LP.
Kingfish would last for a few more tours before breaking up. Weir would go on to form Bobby & the Midnites with jazz drummer Billy Cobham, and he would also return full time to his gig with the Grateful Dead.