The David Nelson Band was founded in 1994 by no other than David Nelson who performed with Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter and Peter Albin in the Wildwood Boys in the early 60s, then with Garcia and Hunter in The Hart Valley Drifters and Garcia and Albin in Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions in 1963. The later band was the first direct ancestor to the Grateful Dead as it included Garcia, Pigpen and Bob Weir who then founded The Warlocks.

David Nelson and Peter Albin moved on to The Liberty Hill Aristocrats (ca. 1963 to 1965) before Albin moved on to Big Brother & the Holding Company. David Nelson joined The New Delhi River Band around 1967 and also played with Big Brother for some time.

 DNB photo by Lisa Law
DNB 96/97: Bill Laymon, Mookie Siegel, Arthur Steinhorn, Barry Sless, David Nelson

 All this meandering through various (now historic) SF bands ended when David Nelson founded The New Riders Of The Purple Sage (NRPS) with Jerry Garcia from the Grateful Dead and John Dawson from The New Delhi River Band at the end of 1969. Although they were regarded as an off-shot of the Dead they were signed to Columbia Records in 1971 and were one of the top psychedelic country rock outfits until the early 80s. David Nelson also played guitar on three Grateful Dead albums and was a member of the late 70s bluegrass band Good Ol' Boys (album produced by Jerry Garcia). Last but not least, he joined the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band in the mid-80s.

Pictured left: David Nelson and Jerry Garcia on Broadway in 1987.

Finally in 1994 Nelson founded the David Nelson Band with former members of the NRPS and Kingfish whom all played in a Grateful Dead tribute band and decided to keep that magic in a new band, i.e. DNB. Members include(d): Barry Sless (Cowboy Jazz, Kingfish), Mookie Siegel (Kingfish, Ratdog), Bill Laymon (NRPS, Jefferson Starship, Kingfish, JGB), Arthur Steinhorn (NRPS, Kingfish, Cowboy Jazz) and lately Charlie Crane.

The band, which is self-managed (they do their own bookings and produce their own albums), plays original compositions and Grateful Dead material, i.e. a foot-stomping brand of psychedelic country rock and roll (as Relix Magazine wrote).

DNB 2001: Charlie Crane, David Nelson, Bill Laymon, Mookie Siegel, Barry Sless

Although the DNB released their last album in 1999 they continue to play live (with some new members as well) - you should check out their website for latest updates. David Nelson himself toured the UK with Banana in February 2006 and together with Buddy Cage and several other musicians David tours the States as the New Riders Of The Purple Sage again. Check out the websites listed underneath and enjoy David Nelson's music.



  • 1995 Limited Edition
  • 1997 Keeper Of The Key
  • 1999 Visions Under The Moon

    David Nelson BandLimited Edition
    David Nelson Band

    (DNB 1995)
    Yvonne -- John Hardy's Wedding -- The Wizard's Son -- Freight Train Boogie -- Extra Sox -- Four: Fifty-One

    Musicians: David Nelson (vocals/guitar); Barry Sless (guitars); Mookie Siegel (keyboards/vocals); Bill Laymon (bass/vocals); Arthur Steinhorn (drums)

    Buy from artist.
    David Nelson BandKeeper Of The Key
    David Nelson Band

    (DNB 1997)
    John Hardy's Wedding -- Wicked Messenger -- Impressionists Two-Step -- The Wizard's Son -- Four: Fifty-One -- See So Far -- Sage & Egg -- The Wheel -- Kick In The Head #9

    Musicians: David Nelson (vocals/guitar); Barry Sless (guitars); Mookie Siegel (keyboards/vocals); Bill Laymon (bass/vocals); Arthur Steinhorn (drums)

    Recorded live at "The Eight by Ten", Baltimore, MD, May 6, 1995.

    Buy from artist.
    David Nelson BandVisions Under The Moon
    David Nelson Band

    (DNB 1999)
    Long Gone Sam -- No Souvenirs -- Fable Of A Chosen One -- Road To Armageddon -- Edge Of The Wire -- Snakebit -- Haunted Man -- Kerouac -- Visions Under The Moon/Penumbra

    Musicians: David Nelson (vocals/guitar); Barry Sless (guitars); Mookie Siegel (keyboards/vocals); Bill Laymon (bass/vocals); Arthur Steinhorn (drums); Charlie Crane (drums); Sandy Rothman (mandolin); Greg Anton (percussion)

    Recorded live at the Alladin Theatre, Portland, OR, in September 1998.

    Buy from artist.


    Further Links:

  • Official DNB website.

  • Listen to DNB concerts @!!!

  • Jamband interview with David Nelson.

  • New Riders Of The Purple Sage (NRPS).


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