Visions Under the Moon
review = b+
David Nelson has always been part of the Grateful Dead family. Way back in '62, years before the first electric kool aid acid test, Nelson, Jerry Garcia, and the Dead's lyricist Robert Hunter, performed traditional acoustic music in Bay area coffee houses as the 'Wildwood Boys.' From there, Nelson went on to found the New Riders of the Purple Sage, and also performed on several Dead albums, including two of their best ('American Beauty' and 'Workingman's Dead'), as well as on Garcia's solo project in '88, 'Almost Acoustic.'
For the past few years, Nelson has been on a tear fronting the David Nelson Band. 'Visions Under the Moon,' is DNB's third release and it's a gem. While many of his counterculture contemporaries from the '60s keep tripping over old material, Nelson has been creating some of the freshest and most dynamic -new- music of the post Garcia era. One reason - the band is superb. These days Nelson is playing with Kingfish/Phil and Friends alums Mookie Siegel on keyboards and guitarist/pedal steel player Barry Sless, as well as Bill Laymon on bass and drummers Arthur Steinhorn and Charlie Crane. But it's Nelson, the most cosmic of all the singing cowboys, who gives this music a potent dose of psychedelic authenticity, and in the process, turns his 'Visions Under the Moon' into wonderful music here on earth.