Phil Lesh and Friends
Love Will See You Through - Highlights Volume One

review = C+

Back when the Grateful Dead were around, deadheads would chant, "Let Phil sing!" Not because Lesh is a great singer, far from it. It was a -love- thing. Plus, it was fun. Occasionally, Lesh obliged. After Garcia died in ‘95, it seemed that Bob Weir’s side project, Ratdog - would be the one to keep the lava lamp burnin’ for the tie-dyed faithful. Then came ‘The Other Ones," complete with Lesh -and- Weir, as well as Mickey Hart on drums, among a slew of others. Now Lesh has a new ensemble, "Phil and Friends," and post-Garcia era deadheads have yet another road to travel as they continue their long strange trip.

-Love Will See You Through- is a double live CD that finds Lesh sharing the limelight with Hot Tuna/Jefferson Airplane founder Jorma Kaukonen, who plays guitar and sings on more than half the album. Steve Kimock, at the time Lesh’s one constant in the ever changing "Friends" lineup, is brilliant throughout on lead guitar - very much in the vein of Garcia’s melodic psychedelia, but with his own distinct voice. In fact, Lesh’s bass and the rest of the band -all- sound great, it’s just that most of this material has already been done countless times - the music feels like a celebration of the past, rather than the present, with little or no exploration of the future. Sure it’s cool to hear Phil sing, and Jorma too. But then again, that’s a love thing. ###