Cosmic Charlie was born in the musical Mecca of Athens, Georgia. From its summer 1999 inception, the band has been swiftly cementing its reputation as a band that puts a unique and personal twist on the Grateful Dead catalogue, a Dead cover band for folks that are ambivalent about Dead cover bands. Rather than mimicking the Dead exactly, Cosmic Charlie chooses to tap into the Dead's energy and style as a foundation on which to build. The result is healthy balance of creativity and tradition, and both the band and its audience are taken to that familiar edge with the sense that, music is actually being MADE here tonight.
Talk to anyone who has seen the band. "Grateful Dead like none other". Moving and shaking even the most skeptical of Deadheads, Cosmic Charlie storms into a town and plays with an energy that eludes other bands, an energy that often eluded the Dead themselves. Those precious moments during Dead jams when the synchronicity is there and all is right with the world, these are moments that Cosmic Charlie relishes and feverishly welcomes with open arms. Clearly, Cosmic Charlie's audiences are also eager to arrive at those moments, and together with the band, they have indulged in many memorable evenings.
Members of Cosmic Charlie are a versatile bunch, having collaborated with the likes of Widespread Panic, Robert Fripp, Indigo Girls, Michael Stipe, River Phoenix, and Vic Chesnutt, to name a few. Originating as a "one-night-only" Jerry Garcia birthday tribute, word spread quickly that this was no ordinary musical confluence. Gigs started knocking at the door, high profile ones no less.
2004 found Cosmic Charlie sharing the stage with such luminaries as Grateful Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick, Other Ones/Ratdog members Mark Karan & Robin Sylvester, and Grateful Dead Hour host/songwriter David Gans. It is an honor to connect musically with these talented players who are such a central part of the Dead world.
The general consensus is that, if you're looking for a band to play Grateful Dead material and breath some life into it, Cosmic Charlie will rise to the task with breath of fire. The room will gleefully be elevated to the next dimension.
If there's one thing that distinguishes Cosmic Charlie from the Dead and other Dead cover bands, it is its unrelenting commitment to channeling ALL AVAILABLE ENERGIES into the music. When it's time to play a solo or open a jam up, you can be sure Cosmic Charlie will open the floodgates wide. Not at the expense of subtlety or dynamics, but just a healthy push toward the edge that always brings welcome results
This is NOT a band that tries to sound, look, and smell exactly like the Dead. It is a group of seasoned musicians whose diverse influences include free jazz, folk, heavy metal, ragtime, punk rock, calypso, Madonna and Gilligan's Island. Time and again fans and critics praise Cosmic Charlie for putting its own unique twist on the traditional Dead format. Listen closely and you might even hear a Gilligan's Island tease!
Cosmic Charlie crafts original, inspired sets, based on what the band wants to play on any given night. These are not recreations of Dead shows, a concept in which spontaneity can fall by the wayside. True to the spirit of the Grateful Dead, there is a sense from both the band and the audience that ANY song can rear it's head at any moment.