Photo by Alan Sheckter

The 7 Walkers opened their brief West Coast tour last night at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.‘s Big Room in Chico, CA. Bill Kreutzmann, Papa Mali and Matt Hubbard were joined by guest bassist George Porter Jr. who will swap in for Reed Mathis during the five dates. Over two and a half hours, New Orleans funk met hard-driving Grateful Dead jams. The material included several newly penned Robert Hunter tunes, along with Dead classics “Bertha,” “I Know You Rider,” “Mr. Charlie,” “Turn on Your Lovelight,” “Sugaree,” “Not Fade Away” and “Goin’ Down the Road (Feelin’ Bad).” Tonight it’s on to Eureka for a gig at Red Fox.