Before I saw Joe Russo’s Almost Dead for the first time Monday night, I totally misunderstood the band’s titular pun. I can’t help but laugh at my sheer stupidity, but I thought it was a combination of “Hey, we’re a Grateful Dead cover band” and “When our drummer parties, we have 911 on speed dial”. But just 15 minutes into Joe Russo’s Almost Dead's first set at the Boulder Theater, it dawned on me.
There is a slow pace and a sparse population in the Adirondack Park. We have approximately the same amount of year round residents in 2015 as we did in 1900. Having a music venue that is truly close to home is a luxury I no longer have. A fair concession for living here. Hopefully, this clarifies why I consider the Higher Ground in South Burlington, despite the 90 minutes it takes me to arrive from my doorstep, my home field.
When it comes to modern day interpretations of the American Songbook that is Grateful Dead, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead is causally setting the bar. With an illustrious thirty years of Dead tunes to choose from, former Furthur drummer Joe Russo and his grateful gang of east coast friends are reinvigorating songs and arrangements that have been played to a pulp.
How many more Dead tribute bands does the scene really need? There’s truly already plenty out there. Even if the music is structured to be boundless and open for continuation, it seems like bands could better serve the music with an improvisational spirit, but playing originals instead of Dead covers. Indeed it takes a special group of musicians who understand the music inside out and have the ability to diversify the extensive catalogue instead of simply parroting it.
Another year and another successful Bonnaroo adventure can be checked off the list. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was rocking out to Sir Paul with my parental units at Bonnaroo 2013. Where does the time go? With each year I attend this festival, one thing does remain constant, change. I was in attendance the first few years when Bonnaroo was in its infancy, going just as a fan to see 'The Dead
Silver Wrapper and Purple Hat Productions have announced the first round of artists for the second annual Suwannee Hulaween, hosted by The String Cheese Incident over Halloween weekend October 31 - November 2, 2014 at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL.