"Truckin' Up the Coast with Cubensis" featuring Vince Welnick
Former Grateful Dead keyboardist VINCE WELNICK to make his first West Coast appearance in years when he joins Dead tribute CUBENSIS for a series of shows beginning March 30th at the Galaxy Concert Theatre in Santa Ana.
"Hang on to your Deadheads! They may want to go back on tour after this," laughs Cubensis guitarist Craig Marshall. After an absence of many years, former Grateful Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick is joining forces with renowned Dead tribute Cubensis to tour the California West Coast in a collaboration that will celebrate the best of the band's repertoire while introducing a fresh improvisational approach to the music.
Although always being true to the original tunes, the focus of this pairing will seek to explore the boundaries of the music, much as the Dead did during their 35-year reign as road warriors. Vince Welnick relates, "Recently, I've been performing almost exclusively on the East Coast, while Cubensis has served as the "Keepers of the Flame" here in California. This tour promises to be an authentic portrayal of the Dead, and seeping with San Francisco tradition... it's a dynamic combo."
Welnick is fresh off the Bacchus Krewe Mardi Gras float, having performed at the New Orleans Convention Center for a black tie Katrina Benefit along with Willie Nelson in front of 12,000 fans. "Michael Keaton was King of the parade, and our entry featured Sean Astin and Elijah Wood," says Welnick, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame along with the rest of the Grateful Dead in 1994.
This will be the third outing in as many years for Cubensis and Welnick, who performed with the Dead for five years until the band's demise in 1995. He first gained notoriety as a long-time member of the eclectic ensemble The Tubes, and has since lent his passionate vocals and chops to numerous groups on the "jam band" circuit. "I'm excited about this tour," he says. "This is an opportunity to catch a really fine band playing all your Dead favorites, plus a surprise or two."
"Doing Grateful Dead songs with Vince onstage with us is almost eerie," observes Cubensis frontman Marshall. "We're replicating the music, and he MADE the music, so it's like we're experiencing a musical double-take... it makes you shake your head, it's so good!" Since Cubensis has been saluting the Dead for 19 years, they have a vast selection of songs from which to choose, "all of which we'll be playing during this tour. No show will be the same."
The "Truckin' Up the Coast with Cubensis" tour debuts at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana on March 30, visits Winston's in San Diego on March 31, headlines the Ojai Classic Rock Festival on April 1, travels to Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz on April 2, appears in San Francisco at the Elbo Room on April 3, and rocks the Last Day Saloon in Santa Rosa on April 4. At this point, Welnick leaves the tour due to East Coast obligations, and Cubensis continues to Mendocino's Caspar Inn on April 5, Humboldt Brews in Arcata on April 7, Downtown Brew in San Luis Obispo on April 8, and winds down at Santa Monica's 14 Below on April 9.
Opening for the entire tour is the Nate LaPointe Band, featuring rootsy and eclectic originals by the Cubensis rhythm guitarist and author of the Cherry Hill instructional video "Grateful Dead Legendary Licks."
CUBENSIS TOUR DATES
03.25 | Marlin Bar & Grill | Huntington Beach, CA
03.26 | 14 Below Santa | Monica, CA
03.30 | Galaxy Concert Theatre | Santa Ana, CA
03.31 | Winston's | San Diego, CA
04.01 | Libbey Bowl | Ojai, CA
04.02 | Moe's Alley | Santa Cruz, CA
04.03 | Elbo Room | San Francisco, CA
04.04 | Last Day Saloon | Santa Rosa, CA
04.05 | Caspar Inn | Caspar, CA
04.07 | Humboldt Brews | Arcata, CA
04.08 | Downtown Brewing Co | San Luis Obispo, CA
04.09 | 14 Below | Santa Monica, CA