On Sunday night, Sam Grisman Project closed out the first leg of their winter tour at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle. The Emerald City show marked the final night of the ensemble’s west coast jaunt which began on Jan. 6 in San Diego, Calif. The weekend nightcap presented a plethora of pinch me moments including a first and second set appearance by David Grisman, who joined his son and collaborators on a selection of acoustic numbers which beckoned to his work with Jerry Garcia. Italian acoustic guitarist, Beppe Gambetta also made a showing and added to the night’s rendition of “Freight Train.”

The first frame of music was an electric affair–kicked into high-gear with the evening’s opening take on “Catfish John.” To follow, Sam Grisman, Ric Robertson, Aaron Lipp, Chris English and their guest on the road, Alex Hargreaves (Billy Strings), delivered “It’s Only Pain.” The set continued with crowd-pleasers “Gomorrah” and “He’s Gone.” Then, the group worked on “Funky E.M.D.” which ran over into Doc Watson’s “Red Rocking Chair.” “Crossword Boss,” an original penned by Robertson, capped the night’s initial electric offering. 

As the members of the band fetched their acoustic instruments, smiles spread across their faces as Sam approached the mic and provided a heartfelt introduction for his fabled father. David took the stage with his mandolin in hand, exciting the audience with his comment, “The torch has been passed,” before digging into “Dawg’s Waltz.” The group jammed through “Opus 38” paired with “Shady Grove” before English took the lead on “Sitting Here in Limbo.” The covers continued with “Down in the Valley” before closing set one with the supreme instrumentals of “Rinzler’s Rag.” 

The band returned from set break and dove into a roll out of acoustic tunes alongside their special guest, David, who assisted with “All About You,” a traditional tune David Grisman recorded with Watson. “Hartford’s Real” came next, and served as a homage to John Hartford, before the performers turned toward the Garcia and David Grisman’s Not For Kids Only material on “When First Unto This Country.” Gambetta took the stage next and added to “Freight Train,” before leaving the band to deliver a jubilant “Jenny Jenkins.” Lipp’s original “Blue Darlin’,” came before a soaring rendition John Lennon’s “Look At Me.” The second set acoustic offering brought forth another Robertson original, this time “The Cloud,” which also served as their last song with the night’s special guest. 

With the venue’s energy at an all time high, the final portion of the evening ensued with a return to electric on fan favorite “Stealin’.” English’s original “Alone,” came next and served as an anthem for self love, before the group turned toward Lipp’s “You’ll Be Going Again.” Robertson’s self-penned “Getting Over Our Love” prefaced the Grateful Dead’s “Black Muddy River.” Then, they returned to the Robertson original, “Choices and Chains” to cap the final frame of music. 

During Sunday’s encore, the band retook the stage accompanied by their fan’s roaring applause and delivered a heartfelt take on “Mission in the Rain.” After capping the first leg of their winter tour last night, the band will take some time off the road before returning on Feb. 7, in Nashville, Tenn., when they are billed to perform at Riverside Revival with Logan Ledger and Rushad Eggleston. From there, they will embark on the Colorado leg of the tour, which will commence on Feb. 10 at The Paradise in Paonia, Colo. Tickets for the band’s upcoming tour dates are on sale now and can be purchased here

Scroll down to view last night’s setlist. Watch a fan-shot video of “Jenny Jenkins” below.

Sam Grisman Project 

Tractor Tavern – Seattle 

Jan. 22, 2023 

Set I [Electric]: Catfish John, It’s Only Pain, Gomorrah, He’s Gone, Funky E.M.D. > Red Rocking Chair, Crossword Boss 

[Acoustic]: Dawg’s Waltz, Opus 38, Shady Grove, Sitting Here in Limbo, Down in the Valley, Rinzler’s Rag 

Set II [Acoustic]: All About You, Hartford’s Real, When First Unto This Country, Freight Train, Jenny Jenkins, Blue Darlin’, Look At Me, The Cloud 

Set II [Electric]: Stealin’, Alone, You’ll Be Going Again, Getting Over Our Love, Black Muddy River, Choices and Chains 

Enc.: Mission in the Rain 


Acoustic sets with David Grisman