I haven't been able to get to see much live music in the last few weeks, so I was intrigued when an ad appeared on Facebook for a Grateful Dead night at the Potomac Grill. Then when the Bird suggested that we try a new sushi restaurant that was right across the street, fate seemed to be directing us to a Saturday night in Rockville. On the Bus is a Grateful Dead cover band that I know little about but it seems they've been playing in the area for 7+ years. Saturday night they did an admirable job of playing a variety of songs from the Dead catalog, including "China Cat Sunflower", "Eyes of the World", "Cassidy", and "Ramblin' Rose". A pleasant surprise was "Peggy-O", one that you don't hear very often. Their lead guitarist, Darrell Bailey, played some excellent solos and their instrumental improvisations were very nice. Another added bonus was the frequent additions of friends from the audience to sit in on a song or two and sing, play guitar or harmonica.
The Potomac Grill is in a small strip mall and seems to be your typical American cuisine restaurant/bar. The band was set up in the bar area and the remaining seats and tables were all taken by the time we arrived. We were able to get a table in the restaurant area, but our view was blocked by the room layout, and we were reminded of City Farm nights at the Tiffany Tavern. Friends of the band get there early and secure the seats with good sight lines and the late arrivals are relegated to the back room. From their website it appears that On the Bus plays regularly at the Potomac Grill, so next time we'll have to arrive early to get a good spot among the regulars.