by Tyler Blue
Thirty minutes east of S.L.O., the Pozo Saloon has seen a lot of
action since its establishment in 1858, but nothing like this
Saturday’s meeting of jam band goliaths. Colorado groove gurus
String Cheese Incident, following Ratdog, led by Grateful Dead
guitarist/vocalist Bob Weir, pay a visit to the Central Coast.
Tickets and info can be found at www.pozosaloon.com.
The past couple of years you’ve focused more on studio
projects. What’s your current attitude toward touring? I
still love it. When we tour now I want to make the most of it
because I don’t think it’s sustainable to do 220 shows every year
of your career. You kind of have to go back to the well, find your
own creativity, and tour with what you’re psyched about.
You had quite the adventure traveling through Africa
recently. What effect has that experience had on your
music? Music and dance run so deep in Africa; they’re
oozing out of everything. You leave a part of yourself there and it
becomes a part of you at the same time. I don’t think your life is
ever the same afterward. I definitely got to learn a lot of stuff
while I was down there.
What would you say is the biggest difference in String
Cheese’s approach to jamming now versus five or 10 years
ago? Right now we’re in a phase where we want to get to
the next level. I think the new breakthroughs are harder but you’re
digging deeper for little musical gems. So, the approach now is to
be a lot more discerning about what we want to create musically and
getting into some grooves that are not exactly the first things
we’d play. Throughout the entire process it’s not always easy, but
making good, lasting art is not necessarily the easiest