While Grateful Dead natives Phil Lesh and Bob Weir rock The Capitol Theatre over the next ten days, dozens of other talented musicians with their own extensive Dead repertoires will be doing the same just a couple of blocks away.
“It is just going to be fantastic musicians playing a lot of original music and music inspired by the Grateful Dead (including covers)” said Jerry Roche, a Rye resident who organized the event along with Perry Winston and Steve Liesman of The Stella Blues Band, that will be performing during the concerts.
The series’ musical director, drummer Jay Lane, of Ratdog and Primus, will be playing most nights with other musicians and also with his band, Jay’s Happy Sunshine Burger Joint. The series also feature bands and special guests like Rye’s Reid Grenauer’s of the popular jamband Strangefolk, the Stella Blues Band, Gent Treadly, the Demolition String Band, Aaron Maxwell and Jason Crosby (God Street Wine), Kenny Brooks (RatDog), the Mooncussers and many more. Rye residents JP George Hegan, Chuck Black, Steve Liesman, and Marc Loponte play in the Stella Blues Band, which is known for its lively Dead covers and original blues music.
“Those guys (Furthur) have a fantastic band and amazing repertoire and we just sort of worked off of that vibe of bringing original music to people who don’t get a chance to see that kind of music and make it really affordable,” Roche said.
If you missed the chance to get Furthur tickets - which sold out in minutes- or didn’t want to cough up the $70-$200 to see the show, you can catch the same kind of music at the Copa concerts for $20 per night. Most shows start around 10 p.m. See full schedule here.
“So far we have gotten really good reception for people who want to go and see some really good live music and people that know the jam band circuit know a lot of these players,” Roche said. “And it is affordable for music of this quality.”
Roche helped organize a similar show, on a smaller scale, following the Phil Lesh and Friends shows last November and saw success. A few months ago, when Liesman and Winston asked him to help out with this concert series he immediately signed on.
“When dead played here in 70-71 that was really a magical time and people who lived here who were old enough to go the shows said they were some of the most amazing shows they ever saw them play,” Roche said. He was too young to attend the famous Dead shows when he lived in Rye as a teen.
The concert organizers are also auctioning off two general admission tickets to Furthur for the Tuesday, April 16 show at The Cap, with full proceeds going to charity. The charity is The Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy at New York University, which uses music to help children and adolescents with autism, behavioral disorders, developmental delay, sensory impairments, multiple handicaps, and psychiatric disorders. Read about the auction details on their Facebook page.
Are you going to a show? How many times have you seen The Dead? Furthur?