Grahame Lesh, Midnight North and the “everything” of music
Before Midnight North’s show at Gypsy Sally’s on June 16th, I took a moment to speak with Grahame Lesh. Lesh, a founder of Midnight North, is no stranger to the word of music. As a child he was introduced to the power of live performances by watching his father, Phil Lesh, perform with the Grateful Dead and other great American bands of the 60’s – 70’s – 80’s. Grahame is now a musician in his own right and making his performance debut in DC.Photos courtsey of Midnight North and Bob Minkin Photography
What is Midnight North?
Midnight North is a 5 piece band based in the San Francisco Bay area. We like to describe ourselves as “Cosmic Americana,” which is a little rock and country with some psychedelica thrown into the mix. We write most of our own material, but also do a few covers of some American classics. Our latest album, Scarlet Skies, was just released on June 9th. (A link to Scarlet Skies - http://bit.ly/scarlet-skies. The debut single, “Stayin’ Single, Drinkin’ Doubles,” can also be found on iTunes.)
Midnight North, “Greene County”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hq0oilws4U
To quote the movie, Almost Famous, “Everything!” I love playing. I love creating. Making and playing music is something that I just have to do. I would keep making and playing music even if one wanted to listen. It’s just a bonus that people want to come hear us play.
You’ve described music as “something that always has and always will be a part of your life,” of all the musical options out there, what made you decide joining Midnight North was the right music move for you?
That’s a good question. We just really click together. We all have the ability and interest in creating original music. We pull from “The Great American Songbook,” (Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, James Brown, Willie Nelson, etc.) We have the ability to take a skeleton of a song and turn it into something interesting for all of us. Most of all, we just really like to play…and playing together is so much fun!
Which do you enjoy more, performing or creating music?
The two are really interconnected. To develop as musicians or as a band you must play live, the more you play the more innovative you become. However, after a while you must balance the performances with writing and creation in the studio. It is a delicate balance.
Are you excited about performing at Gypsy Sally’s?
Very excited! This will be the first time we’ve performed in DC and my first visit to Gypsy Sally’s. Several people I know who perform in and around the Bay Area say it is a great venue and will complement our music well. My cousin lives in the area and knows our music well. She too says that she is really excited to hear our music there.
You’ve been described as the heir of music royalty, how does that make you feel?
*laughing* Well, my dad certainly deserves the title of music royalty. It’s amazing how much of an impact the Grateful Dead had on a generation of Americans, an impact that still carries on to this day. The Grateful Dead’s ability to connect with an audience was amazing. I still have people coming up to tell me, the son of a band member, about how many shows they went to and how the band impacted their life. It is really remarkable and something that every musician can learn from.
So if you are looking for an evening of great live music, be sure to check out Midnight North at Gypsy Sally’s on June 16th. Be sure to tell them that Laura sent you!
To purchase tickets for the June 16th show – http://www.gypsysallys.com/event/800015-midnight-north-washington
Midnight North on iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/stayin-single-drinkin-doubles/id967789186?i=967789187
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