Ezra Lipp

Dedication. Passion. Creativity. Heart.

02 - Melvin Seals: Keeper of the Flame

For over 15 years Melvin Seals provided the harmonic backbone of the beloved Jerry Garcia Band, illuminating the bands sounds with his exciting and soulful gospel-influenced organ playing. Before and during that tenure he also had a diverse career playing with greats such as Elvin Bishop, Chuck Berry, and even a stint on Broadway.

Not long after Garcia's passing in 1995, Seal's was invited and agreed to reform a version of the band with The Garcia band's long time bass player John Kahn. When Kahn died shortly after that, Melvin decided to reform the band as JGB which he has led ever since. Melvin Seals and JGB continuing to explore the vast repertoire that Garcia had brought to his band over decades, performing fresh interpretations and arrangements, yet keeping the same spirit alive that Garcia has left behind.

In this conversation we discuss how Melvin got into playing music, some humorous stories of his first encounters with Jerry Garcia and The Grateful Dead scene, and how he is able to keep the music alive and thriving after so many years. Please Enjoy!