In the past month or so, both Dead & Company guitarists – namely John Mayer and Bob Weir – have joined the acclaimed tribute act Joe Russo’s Almost Dead for extended sit-ins. Unlike most tribute bands, drummer Joe Russo has actually spent time performing with members of the band he tributes, during his tenure with Furthur. This sets Almost Dead on a unique trajectory, performing the music of the Grateful Dead with a background in, well, performing the music of the Grateful Dead.The first of these high-profile sit-ins came when John Mayer made his way to the Brooklyn Bowl back in October. Mayer has found himself in the center of the Dead universe after his full transformation into Deadheadism, catapulted to prominence by his fame and, more importantly, his talent. The guitarist is a faithful bearer of the proverbial torch, steeped in blues rock traditions.When he made his way to the Brooklyn Bowl, John Mayer didn’t just join in for a song or two – he played an entire set with Almost Dead. A set with this band is no easy feat, as Joe Russo & co truly take liberties with the Grateful Dead catalog like few before them. Fortunately, Mayer is a pro, and he handled the band’s style with a passionate energy. You can hear that in full force on “The Other One,” streaming below.While Mayer adapted to the Joe Russo’s Almost Dead style, it seems that the band “almost” adapted to Bob Weir’s style when the Grateful guitarist joined them last weekend. Weir met up with his former Furthur bandmate, Russo, his future “Los Muertos Con Queso” bandmate, Tom Hamilton, and the whole Almost Dead crew for an intimate moment at the Fox Theater in Oakland, CA. Unlike Mayer sitting in for a whole set of Almost Dead music, the band stripped down and welcomed out Weir for a five song acoustic set.This wasn’t the first time that Joe Russo’s Almost Dead went acoustic; they actually did that at the afore-mentioned Brooklyn Bowl run in October. However, when you consider Weir’s recently completed acoustic “Campfire Tour”, it’s evident that Almost Dead adapted to Weir for the set. Not that that’s a bad thing! Bob Weir is a legend, after all. The set itself featured a mix of Bob Dylan and Grateful Dead classics, not too far off from the “Campfire Tour” setlists.Watch Joe Russo’s Almost Dead perform “Cassidy” (with “Let It Grow” teases), courtesy of MarkoVision Films, below.As Bob Weir was a founding member of the Grateful Dead. it would make sense that Joe Russo’s Almost Dead would cater to his desired performance style. Meanwhile, John Mayer, as revered as he is as a musician, is still a newcomer to the Grateful Dead world. He seems naturally elated just to play the Grateful Dead’s music, and what better way to do so than with a band who are equally as elated to play the catalog. It seems that John Mayer is almost on a level playing field as the Joe Russo’s Almost Dead crew, a member of the next generation of Grateful disciples, while Weir is O.G. Dead.All in all, these collaborations detail an underlying devotion to the Grateful Dead. The music never stopped!
The hosts, meanwhile, also made two changes by recalling Kamo Mokotjo to their midfield, while captain Pontus Jansson was fit again after a minor injury.The Bees went into the game in sixth place, level on points with the Swans but with a superior goal difference.The Swans made an encouraging start to the game against a side tipped by many for one of the play-off spots at the end of the season.But after an even opening 10 minutes, Brentford started to threaten with the influential Said Benrahma displaying some neat touches down Swansea’s right before Watkins created the first real opening of the game when he cut in to flash a deflected shot just wide in the 19th minute.And from the corner, Brentford took a 20th-minute lead when Mathias Jensen’s delivery found Ethan Pinnock totally unmarked at the far post. His header back into a crowded six-yard box was headed home by Mbeumo.Swansea tried to respond immediately as Ayew’s goal-bound shot was blocked after good battling from Surridge.But as Swansea pushed forward in search of the equalizer, they were caught on the counter-attack in the 25th minute when Benrahma drove forward before finding left-back Rico Henry overlapping. Source: swanseacity.com His cross picked out Watkins who guided a difficult finish beyond Freddie Woodman for a 2-0 lead.Brentford continued to display far more pace and purpose going forward, with Connor Roberts being overrun down the right before the visitors rallied five minutes from the break as Tom Carroll came close with a shot blocked inside a crowded area as the Swans forced two corners in quick succession.It was a half that belonged to Brentford though, as they gave themselves a two-goal cushion to take into the second period.Neither side made any changes for the second-half as Brentford started on the front foot by forcing three consecutive corners before a well-worked third saw Benrahma fire just wide.Swansea tried to respond through Bersant Celina wide on the left. The Kosovan cut inside before curling a shot wide of the far post with 56 minutes gone.Mbeumo fired just wide at the other end five minutes later before the Swans had a speculative appeal for a penalty turned down with the packed away end behind the goal claiming handball.The Swans made a double substitution in the 63rd minute as Borja and Aldo Kalulu replaced Surridge and Carroll respectively. Swansea City slipped to defeat at Griffin Park despite staging a brave second-half fightback against in-form Brentford.Having fallen behind to first-half goals from Bryan Mbeumo and Ollie Watkins, the Swans rallied to pull one back through Andre Ayew with his 11th goal of the season.But as the Swans pushed hard for the equalizer, they were hit by a late sucker punch from Watkins with his second of the game two minutes from time.Swans boss Steve Cooper made two changes to the side that won 1-0 at Luton Town last time out. It was a second-consecutive victory that pushed the Swans into seventh place.Striker Sam Surridge and central defender Ben Cabango returned from injury to take the places of Borja Baston and Mike van der Hoorn respectively.The latter change was enforced late on as van der Hoorn pulled up in the warm-up with a knee injury so Ben Wilmot went from expecting to be sat on the bench to a starting role.It meant Wayne Routledge was promoted to the substitutes bench. And the move paid off within two minutes as David Raya failed to hold Celina’s fierce shot and Ayew forced his way to the rebound first to apply the finishing touch under pressure.Swansea had the home side rattled for the first time as Jake Bidwell and the lively Kalulu threatened before Wilmot and Matt Grimes picked up yellow cards.There was far more attacking intent from Swansea now as they went in search of the equalizer with Barrie McKay replacing George Byers with five minutes remaining.But as Swansea pushed forward they were hit on the counter for the second time in the game as Watkins raced clear two minutes from time to slip the ball beyond Woodman.
Ghana’s Jordan Ayew has chosen his performance against old club Olympique Marseille as his best in France.The Lorient forward returned to the Stade Velodrome after leaving Marseille in the summer to score two goals in the 5-3 victory for his side on Friday night.He opened the scoring under 10 minutes set up a goal before adding the fourth in the eight-goal thriller.“I think this was my best match of my time in France. I was re-compensated for all the efforts I had been putting in for some years now,” Jordan, whose outshined his senior brother Andre on the opposite side, told reporters.“I thank God and my mother who called me to tell me I would score. The change in tactic did a lot of good. We worked on it all week and it came out well.Andre Ayew also scored for Marseille but wasn’t enough to at least salvage a point for the hosts. Jordan now has 11 goals for Lorient in the French Ligue 1 this season.–