Bob Weir

Ace: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
Bob Weir

When is a Grateful Dead album not a Dead album? When it’s Bob Weir’s solo debut from 1972, also featuring members of the fabled jam institution. Now remastered, the disc is a longtime fan favorite with cuts that become Dead concert staples; “One More Saturday Night” is boogie-woogie with barrelhouse piano and Allman-esque harmony guitar, while “Cassidy” is breezy West Coast rock highlighted by Weir’s spry (and underrated) rhythm guitar. With the Dead working as Bob’s studio backup band, the sounds are surprisingly focused; no listless jams here.

In 2022, Weir played a 50th anniversary concert of Ace in New York City, billed as Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros. The gig is here on Disc 2; the 75-year-old’s voice has aged (as heard in “Playing In the Band”), but guest Tyler Childers lends a mighty vocal rasp to “Greatest Story Ever Told.” Barry Sless’ steel adds depth to “Black-Throated Wind,” and you’ll hear Bob take a real-deal guitar solo on “Mexicali Blues,” deploying his signature D’Angelico Premier SS.

A live version of “Cassidy” closes the disc, neatly defining Bob Weir himself – laid back, quirky, and ever-intriguing. Just like the rest of Ace.

This article originally appeared in VG’s April 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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