King Solomon's Marbles is a band comprised of longtime friends coming together as one cohesive unit dedicated to paying homage to the extensive catalogue of the Grateful Dead. Taking a cue from the band's unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, and jazz, KSM creates itâ€™s own live performance of Dead tunes, each one unique, resulting in an unforgettable experience for the listener.
At the end of the summer of 1998, Sean Hoppe asked fellow friends and musicians Keith "Chewy" Cable and Tom Crosby if they would be interested in getting together to play a party for a mutual friend. Both agreed, and Tom and Chewy joined Hoppe for an afternoon of fun tunes. During one of their breaks, Hoppe asked them if they would be interested in forming a Grateful Dead band, inviting mutual friend and fine guitarist John Leedes to join them. After a few phone calls, a rehearsal was set, and King Solomon's Marbles was born.
Since both Hoppe and Leedes knew the owner of Cary Street CafÃ© (Robyn Chandler), they were able to get a weekday gig to showcase the new band. On November 19th, 1998, KSM performed their first gig to much acclaim...
Terry Hugate started as the soundman, and would occasionally fill in on drums when Chewy couldn't make a gig. Sometimes both would play. When Chewy's personal life prevented him from playing all of the time, Terry stepped in full time. Nathan Brown, veteran of many fine local bands, would also sit in with the band, but soon his other musical commitments prevented him from sticking around full time, so Crosby and Leedes enlisted veteran keys man Joe Conner, whom they had played with in the Gary Gerloff Band.
In October of 2008, at their 10th Anniversary Show at Cary St CafÃ©, King Solomon's Marbles introduced Tina Marie on vocals & percussion, and Mark "Fun Dog" Henderson on drums to replace Chewy, who left to pursue other interests. Later, Terry would also leave the band, making Mark the sole drummer in the band, and today's KSM lineup was set. Many long-time fans of the band have stated that with this new lineup, King Solomon's Marbles has never sounded better. They consistently remind Dead heads of the magic that was made on so many stages on so many dates.
King Solomon's Marbles has been performing regularly at various venues in the Richmond area, primarily at their monthly residency at Cary Street Cafe. They have "closed" many a club, namely the defunct Richmond institutions: Boulevard Deli, Charley's, Jewish Mother, and the Fox & Hound. Other appearances include Alley Katz, The National Theater, opening for the Jerry Garcia Band and Jerry Joseph at the Canal Club, opening for Strange Design at the Hat Factory, as well as numerous private functions, one that included the Grateful Dead's own Tom Constanten (T.C.) jamming with the band back in 2003. Constanten remarked to the guys at the time, "That's the first time I've ever played 'Jack Straw' as I'd left the Dead by then..."
Most recently, the band has been playing 4-5 times a year at Grandpa Eddies BBQ in the West End of Richmond.
After 12 years, the Marbles continue to recreate that synergy between band and audience through their own expression of those famous lyrics, the beautiful melodies, and the soul thumping rhythms. Just like the Grateful Dead, you can only know the enchantment of a King Solomon's Marbles live show by experiencing it for yourself.