The Rock Collection is an exciting new super group out of San Francisco, California, heading to the East Coast for their premiere performance next week! Wasting no time getting into some prime time East Coast music venues, they’ll be at Garcia’s in Port Chester, NY, on April 26; at Brooklyn Bowl in New York, NY, on April 27; and Ardmore Music Hall in Ardmore, PA, on April 28.
What makes the group so super you ask? The band is headed by Greg Anton of Zero, who wrote original music for the band along with the legendary Robert Hunter, former writer for the Grateful Dead. Greg is joined by a cast no less legendary — Melvin Seals (Jerry Garcia Band/JGB), Dan “Lebo” Leibowitz (ALO), Stu Allen (Phil Lesh & Friends), Stephanie Salva (Tumbleweed Soul) and JP McLean (JGB). The band mixes up their set with a mix of original songs, music by Melvin Jeals and Lebo, and some choice covers. To prep us for their East Coast appearance next week, we spoke to Greg Anton about the birth of this remarkable group.
How did the idea come about for The Rock Collection? How did this group of musicians come together?
Four or five years ago I was offered a gig at the Oregon Country Fair which is my number one favorite gig…I put together TRC and the gig rocked!
What was it like the first time jamming? Whose personalities were the most dominant?
Jamming: it rocked.
Dominant personality: one of the player’s wive’s.
Being called “The Rock Collection,” do you play a lot of rock songs during your set? How do you choose the songs that go into your set?
Yes, we play a lot of rock songs. To choose the songs in our set, we write the name of every song we know on a scrap of paper and put them in Melvin’s hat, shake it up, and pick out six or seven songs per set.
Tell me a little bit about working with the legendary Robert Hunter when writing these songs. What was the writing process like?
Mostly I would give him an instrumental recording or play something for him on his piano, and he would write the lyrics. Once in a while, he’d give me the lyrics first. By all appearances it was like some kind of magic trick, him pulling lyrics out of thin air.
What do you enjoy about playing Melvin Seals songs and working with him?
Melvin and his songs are, for me, about as soulful as you can get.
You guys are coming all the way from San Francisco! What do you like about visiting New York City and playing the East Coast?
This will be the band’s first time in NY…ask me next week…..thanks for supporting the music.
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