Melvin Seals to jam
at The Roosevelt
Express Arts Editor
has played music with the likes of Chuck Berry, Charlie Daniels and Elvin
Bishop has been around for a while. This is not to mention the 18 years of
playing keyboards with Jerry Garcia and the Jerry Garcia Band.
Seals. Courtesy photo.
The man and
the musician is Melvin Seals, and he is bringing his latest music project,
The Melvin Seals’ Melting Pot, to the Roosevelt Tavern in Ketchum. Seals
will play Thursday at 9:30 p.m.
been a force in the music industry for over 30 years. His roots are in
gospel music because, as he said in a telephone interview from his
hometown San Francisco, "I grew up in the church." It still
informs his music.
father was the piano player in the church. The singers would do the verse
and course, verse and course, then the tag of the song—that would be
improv, another form of jam, and things would get higher and higher and
the goosebumps would start coming."
first professional job was with the band Gideon & Power, a group that
was in the thick of the San Francisco gospel music scene. From there, he
went to Broadway and worked on a number of Broadway plays. It was work
that required your "crossing your ‘t’s and dotting your ‘i’s.
It was all very precise," Seals said.
years after that, Seals played with the Jerry Garcia Band, a group that
toured when the Grateful Dead was on break.
introduced me to a whole new style of music, a way of looking at
music." It is basically what many bands have adopted as a
"jam" music—bands like Widespread Panic, Phish and others.
"Rehearsing with Jerry, a lot of times the music would just fall
apart, and I was saying, ‘Jerry, I can arrange this for you.’ But I
had to learn that whole style of playing. Now that’s all I do."
he has a CD coming out on July 28. Though he has produced many CDs, this
is the first for which he has written most of the songs. "It’s what’s
in my heart, what I’m saying."