at the Rob Wasserman Trios Event 1994-03-26

In March 1994, Chris appeared at the Rex Foundation benefit concert at the Beacon Theater, with a busload of fellow musicians:

Rob Wasserman
Bruce Hornsby
Victoria Williams
Chris Whitley
Bob Weir
John Wesley Harding
Matt Haimovitz
Jimmy Scott
David Sanborn
George Ressili
Michael Brackler
Lou Reed

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Although mostly unrelated to our man Chris, the Rex Foundation has an interesting story, as captured in these sentences from the foundation’s website:

“From their earliest days, the Grateful Dead received countless requests for help from community organizations, and became known for their generosity and their numerous benefit concerts. In the fall of 1983, members of the band, with family and friends, established the Rex Foundation — named after Rex Jackson, a Grateful Dead roadie and later road manager until his untimely death in 1976 — as a non-profit charitable organization, allowing the band to proactively support creative endeavors in the arts, sciences, and education. The band played the first of many Rex Foundation benefit concerts in the spring of 1984.”

Rob Wasserman, a prolific bass player and close friend of Bob Weir (The Grateful Dead), collaborated with a wide variety of musicians from Willy Dixon to Jerry Garcia to Lou Reed to Branford Marsalis, Elvis Costello, and Neil Young, among many others.  His association with The Grateful Dead may have been part of the impetus for the Rex Foundation hosting this benefit concert, which was also a coming-out party for Wasserman’s Trios album.  Chris had joined Wasserman and Les Claypool to record one of Chris’s songs “Home Is Where You Get Across” for that album. 


In a later interview about the Note of Hope album, Wasserman noted that “we [Chris and Rob] had just been playing with Bob Weir back in the day. I introduced him to that whole world.”  Somewhere, in an article I read or an interview I listened to, I recall that Chris discussed a planned collaboration with Bob Weir.  Perhaps he was referring to this:  a 1993 concert at the Warfield (San Francisco) during which Chris appeared with Rob and Bob:


Another association among Chris, Rob, and Bob was their appearances at the Robert Johnson tribute in September 1998 (where Chris performed his heart-stopping “Hellhounds on My Trail”).  Chris, Rob, Bob, and Jeffrey Clemmens were recorded in a hotel room during that event singing Robert Johnson’s “Walkin’ Blues”.  Listen ….



At the March 1994 Trios concert, Chris played on five songs:

1. Living With The Law (You can hear Bruce Hornsby’s piano very clearly)

2. Easy Answers (Chris on guitar)

3. Maggie’s Farm (Chris on guitar)

4. Home Is Where You Get Across (with Rob Wasserman and others)

5. I’m Waiting For The Man (all)


Concert Playlist

You can listen to the full concert here.

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