Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams/ photo by Neal Justin
Some of those unable to make the pilgrimage to Chicago to witness the final Grateful Dead shows, got more than a touch of grey Saturday night at the Cedar Cultural Center as veteran musicians Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams paid tribute to the band in an Americana-flavored set.
The married couple, long known for backing up legends like Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Levon Helm, were celebrating their self-titled debut album,which primarily shows off Campbell's long neglected songwriting abilities. But the 90-minute concert offered plenty of opportunities to roam through Dead standards "Attics of My Life," "Samson and Delilah" and -- the show's highlight - a wistful version of "Sugaree" with Williams toning down her gorgeous, passionate wail that often suggested her buddy Emmylou Harris on Red Bull.
There was even a spastic take on "Wade on the Water," a staple when the pair was backing up Phil Lesh & Friends.
The pair were in perfect harmony, whether they were teaming up on Johnny Cash's "Big River" or telling flirtatious stories about their courtship.
Campbell's originals, which lean heavily on break-up blues, are strong enough to be compared favorably to tunes written by the endless list of artists he's produced and played guitar for over the decades.
Those not among the 200 fans who showed up this past weekend have another chance to see the couple when they open for Jackson Browne on Nov. 10 at the State Theatre.
1) "Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning" (Rev. Gary Davis)
2) "Surrender to Love" (Campbell)
3) "Ain't Nobody For Me" (Campbell)
4) "You're Running Wild" (Ray Edenton/Don Winters)
5) "Everybody Loves You" (Campbell)
6) "Midnight Highway" (Campbell/Julie Miller)
7) "The Texas Crapshoot" (instrumental)
8) "Blind Mary" (Turlough O'Carolan)
9) "Samson and Delilah" (Blind Willie Johnson)
10) "Attics of My Life" (Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia)
11) "Bad-Luck Charm" (Campbell)
12) "Right That Wrong" (???)
13) "Did You Love Me at All" (Campbell)
14) "Big River" (Johnny Cash)
15) "Wade in the Water' (Traditional)
16) "Sugaree" (Hunter/Garcia)