Bob Weir and the Wolf Bros played two nights at Radio City Music Hall in New York this weekend, bringing out an all-star list of guest performers that included Tyler Childers, John Mayer, Brittney Spencer, and bassist Ron Carter to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Weir’s album Ace. For one of Childers’ appearances, the Kentucky singer-songwriter sang Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried,” which the Grateful Dead performed often on tour.
Childers and Weir start the song off with their guitars, Childers handling the fingerstyle figure that opens it and Weir peeling off the song’s signature bend before the verse kicks in. Childers delivered his singing parts with gusto, and the band took a few bars to jam between verses. Just as the song ends and Childers heads offstage, Weir and the band have already struck up the next tune.
There was a second appearance by Childers earlier in the evening, singing on Weir’s “Greatest Story Ever Told.” Weir and the band set up the song’s deep groove while Childers, this time without a guitar, did some seriously soulful lead singing that was accented by horns and Weir’s guitar fills. Other performances included Weir’s Dead & Company bandmate John Mayer on “Scarlet Begonias” and “Sugar Magnolia” and Brittney Spencer joining in for “Samson & Delilah” and “Walk in the Sunshine.”
Weir and the Wolf Bros — including Don Was on upright bass and Jay Lane on drums — released the album Live in Colorado via Third Man Records in February.