For about 25 years now, “Phil & Friends” has constituted several combinations of like-minded players with extensive Grateful Dead music pedigrees and acumen. On New Year’s Day, 2020, Phil Lesh performed and led a high-spirited, two-set show in the Beach Park, the outdoor performance venue at his Terrapin Crossroads club and restaurant in San Rafael, Calif.
The sun came out bathing the Ventura fairgrounds in a beautiful orange glow as sleepy festival goers woke from a long night of music and partying. The noontime drum circle was the wake-up call for many. But it wasn’t until about 3 PM, when Northern California’s premiere Grateful Dead cover band, the China Cats took the stage, that most people finally gathered together for a dance jam. The group formed in 2008 in Santa Cruz California and has garnered a loyal following since.
Returning to the scenic banks of the American River in Northern California on the last week in September, devotees of jam band/Americana music, nature, surprises, and bohemian goings-on – an environment one might call “Just Exactly Perfect” – will reconvene at the second annual gathering, dubbed the Just Exactly Perfect Festival.
The second annual Skull and Roses Festival brought Deadheads from all over California, to the Ventura Fairgrounds, for three days of music inspired by The Grateful Dead. The campground area was nearly full by the time the music started early on Friday afternoon, April 6th. Festival publicist Dennis McNally, who was the publicist for the Grateful Dead from 1984-95 choose the spot because of its significance in the history of the Dead.
As you may have noticed, Grateful Dead music has assumed a life of its own, and the joy it brings, the community it generates, is not only enduring, but also thriving. And so Dead Heads can return to one of their favorite show sites ever, the Ventura County Fairgrounds, on April 6 through 8 this year to take part in Skull and Roses, a gathering to celebrate Dead-Head-edness and listen to the Golden Gate Wingmen (John Kadlecik, Jeff Chimenti, Jay Lane, Reed Mathis), St
The air was crackling with energy last Saturday night as fans piled into The Warfield to witness a tribute to hometown hero Jerry Garcia. The significance of the venue was certainly not lost on the audience, smiles abounding through the crowd on the floor of the theater, which provided a home-base for the Jerry Garcia Band in the 1980s and 90s. Garcia performed at the hallowed venue 88 times, and the memories of countless transcendent nights of music have seeped into the bones of the old theater.