John Kadlecik will host the Summer Solstice Jam at Gyspsy Sally’s in Washington, DC from June 21st – 24th. The guitarist, who used to play lead guitar with Bob Weir and Phil Lesh’s Grateful Dead spin-off band Furthur, will join forces with keyboardist Melvin Seals, drummer Jay Lane, bassist Robin Sylvester, and backing vocalists Jessica Lake and Mary Lankford for four shows.In addition to co-founding Furthur with Weir and Lesh, Kadlecik also co-founded popular Grateful Dead tribute act Dark Star Orchestra, though he is no longer a member of the band. These days, he plays with the John Kadlecik Band, the Golden Gate Wingmen, and a variety of other projects.Kadlecik won’t be the only person on stage with connections to the Grateful Dead. Seals, who co-founded The Mix with Kadlecik in 2004, performed with the Jerry Garcia Band for over 15 years and continues to play the group’s music with his Melvin Seals and JGB project. Lane—who is also a member of Golden Gate Wingmen—and Sylvester are both current members of Weir’s post-Dead project RatDog (and Lane was even one of the early drummers for Primus).Tickets for the Summer Solstice Jam are now on sale. Fans can expect to hear plenty of jams and tunes from the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia catalogs. Each night will feature two sets.In related news, Kadlecik was just added to the lineup for the inaugural Waterloo Festival in Austin, TX. He’ll be performing with Oteil & Friends, a group led by Dead & Company bassist Oteil Burbridge.
Vermont Agriculture Secretary Roger Allbee yesterday met with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack at a town hall meeting in Concord, New Hampshire, where he joined other Northeast agriculture commissioners, emphasizing the serious need for assistance for dairy farmers in Vermont and across the nation. At his first face-to-face meeting with the Obama administration official, Allbee thanked Secretary Vilsack for the leadership he has already provided the dairy industry including moving surplus products into food export and nutrition programs. He also asked for more direct assistance, explaining the dire need for help on behalf of the State s 1,046 dairy farmers. Secretary Vilsack indicated yesterday that he understands the seriousness of the situation our dairy farmers are facing and that he is continuing to work on additional options for the industry. He also stated the need for USDA to renew its focus on regional food production, said Allbee.Secretary Allbee specifically requested Vilsack support an immediate and retroactive increase to the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) safety net program, as well as a minimum six-month interest-free extension or debt forgiveness on USDA loans. Both of these actions would bring immediate relief to dairy farmers, as they experience the perfect storm of high input costs and protracted low milk prices. A surprise announcement by Secretary Vilsack in New Hampshire yesterday was his pledge to form an advisory group to recommend changes to the federal milk pricing system for fairness for farmers and to help promote profitability and stability in the dairy industry acknowledging that the current system is antiquated. This is a concept that Secretary Allbee and his counterparts in New York and Pennsylvania, as part of the Northeast Dairy Leadership Team, suggested to the Secretary in a letter sent earlier this year.