December 27 | Joe Russo's Almost Dead Strikes Back

Joe Russo's Almost Dead made their debut on January 26 at Brooklyn Bowl as part of the Freaks Ball - a musical celebration put together by a group of NYC area tastemakers. The premise was simple: Furthur drummer Joe Russo would play Grateful Dead covers accompanied by his Bustle In Your Hedgerow band mates Scott Metzger, Dave Dreiwitz and Marco Benevento, along with Tommy Hamilton of American Babies/Brothers Past. I knew it would be a good show, but I never thought it would rank among the best Dead-related concert experiences I ever had. As that night came to a close, many audience members looked at each other in disbelief over what we had just witnessed which led to the inevitable question - when would this happen again? This evening we have our answer as Joe Russo's Almost Dead will play The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY on December 27.

[Photo by Andrew Blackstein]

Russo had hinted that an additional JRAD date was in the works and earlier today the band launched a Facebook Page and Twitter Feed which alluded to a Monday announcement. However a little while ago Jambands.com, which is published by Pete Shapiro, who owns the Cap, broke the news of the show. Tickets go on sale next Friday.

What made JRAD's debut so special? Not only did the quintet play tight and vicious versions of some of the most complex songs in the Grateful Dead's repertoire, but they were also raw. More importantly, all of the jams were wild and incredibly adventurous. Russo's a beast behind the kit who's in the peak of his career. Metzger is a criminally underrated guitarist who has a chameleon-like ability to alter his sound to compliment any situation. Dreiwitz's intensity is unmatched by anyone, while Marco will spout these crazy tones and layers of sound that's almost a mix of the best of what each keyboardist in GD history brought to the Dead. And then there's Tommy whose voice and biting leads help push this ensemble over the top.

But don't take my word for it, give this soundboard matrix recording a listen:

Words by: Scott Bernstein

[Published on: 9/12/13]

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