Counting Crows, Tender Mercies, George's Nightclub
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It all began around twenty years ago. Fresh out of college "Counting Crows" guitarist and vocalist Dan Vickrey was booked by venue manager Patrick Winningham to perform at the Hotel Utah in San Francisco.
Dan Vickrey recounts "After meeting Patrick and playing the show, a friendship was quickly born. He was a staple in San Francisco’s thriving music scene, playing around town with many of the local SF greats such as Chuck Prophet and Jeff Trott (of Sheryl Crow fame). At that point in time, I was next in line to take on guitar duties on the songs that would end up on the Tender Mercies disc. Also in the lineup was the quiet bass player Kurt Stevenson, who wrote songs with the timeless quality of chestnuts like “Circle Be Unbroken.” On keyboard was Charlie Gillingham, who played with many bands at the time (including my own when I played solo). Meeting Charlie changed my life. A year or two later he quit all the bands he was in and hooked up with a new band on the scene. The band was Counting Crows."
Over the ensuing years until 1993 the Tender Mercies band played many gigs under many different nom de plumes with it's core members of Dan Vickrey, Patrick Winningham and Kurt Stevenson. In 1993 Charlie Gillingham called Dan and asked if he wanted to audition with Counting Crows who wanted to add an additional guitar player. Dan aced the audition and the rest is history as the band gained even more fame and critical acclaim.
Dan reminisces, "On the Crows’ first tour we covered a few of my old band’s songs such as “Wiseblood”, “Four White Stallions”, and “Mercy” to round out the set which, at the time, consisted only of the songs on "August and Everything After". Adam (Duritz) connected with the songs just as Charlie and I had, and they still find their way into the sets today."
Dan Vickrey moved back to San Francisco about ten years ago. When the Counting Crows went on hiatus in 2010 he hooked back up with his former bandmates Patrick Winningham and Kurt Stevenson and with the welcome addition of Crows drummer Jim Bogios the group began to play occasional shows together. The chemistry rekindled and Dan decided to revisit and re-record the songs from the earlier days of Tender Mercies in a more "meaningful way". Dan related that he feels the Tender Mercies album "captured the essence of each and every one of those (earlier) tunes."
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