Drop the Bone

Like a well-played concert, David Gans’ new album, Drop the Bone, hits the right moods at the right times. And Gans knows a little bit about concerts, being a seasoned scholar of live music proliferated by The Grateful Dead and others. The first track, “Life Is a Jam,” is an 11-plus-minute monster that includes four minutes of frolicking, with alt-pop whimsy that takes a left turn into a rock-jazz instrumental of varied tempos. Gans’ down-home, accessible voice works well with the many musical moods presented here, from slow tunes such as “Your Movie” to faster ones like “River and Drown” and “Summer by the Bay,” an ode to life in the SF Bay Area. Also included are a handful unique covers, including Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho and Lefty,” George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun” and a solo rendering of The Dead’s “Box of Rain.” Plenty of guests appear as well, including Jordan Feinstein (keyboards), Dead interpreter Holly Bowling (keyboards) and RatDog bassist Robin Sylvester.