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Dark Star Orchestra: Life After Dead
JamBase
JamBase
2/25/2010 12:00 AM

Dark Star Orchestra: Life After Dead
With the departure of Kadlecik to Furthur, Dark Star must find a new "Jerry." We speak with Eaton and Barraco about the new lineup, DSO history and why they ARE NOT a cover band...

dillybube
dillybube
2/25/2010 03:37 PM

Check out what Founding member BILL K of the GRATEFUL DEAD has to say about this band in a jambase interview. I totally agree with him. I always thought one of Jerrys greatest qualities was to be himself, a most unique and fearless artist. cant copy that with a jerry haircut kids.

JamBase: What's it like playing a festival with Dark Star Orchestra, a band that's put so much effort into recreating the music of the Grateful Dead?

Kreutzmann: Well, do you want my honest opinion or a good opinion?

JamBase: Feel free to give both but I'd dig the honest opinion.

Kreutzmann: Well, I'll give you the honest opinion. It always works the best. I think if you're going to spend that much time on music you should work on your own music

www.jambase.com/Articles/18944/Bill-Kreutzmann-Pushing-Forward

mattchu
mattchu
2/25/2010 03:40 PM

Yea we respect billy Ks oppinion, doesnt meen we need to think dark star is a waste.

Grateful dead should never fade away, and the tapes will always be there, but its grate to have darkstar there to produce these songs and shows the way they where once played. Dark star is pretty fucking good at what they do, and fans respond, and theyre enjoying it. Thats it. Good for them, and good for us that go see them and enjoy it.

dillybube
dillybube
2/25/2010 04:44 PM

Fun "with a capitol F" is good, great and most respectable but in music we vote with our dollar and our attention. if people were busy supporting bands who only copied Elvis 1n 1967 or Abba in 1977 or Madonna in 1987 there wouldnt have ever been a grateful dead as we know them because they would have all had to keep dayjobs- not play dead tours. what awesome bands are struggling out there now just like the GD did until they finally had a hit in '87?

I saw an interview with Phil once where he was askd "what is wrong with the American people"? he responded with "nothing, they picked me didnt they?"

We did pick the GD... when I think of all of the smaller bands we all love to go see crammed into passenger vans goin down the road, 8 members - no road crew - sharing beds at the motel 6 while DSO cashes in, i feel the need to challenge people. With all respect to the fine truths told here in mattchus post id say that living art cant be a recreation of the past...lets invest in the Gratefull Deads of the future.

jborrel1
jborrel1
2/25/2010 04:57 PM

you are the man jrod... keep it up and way. to. be.

mooneystar
mooneystar
2/25/2010 05:23 PM

If you're into it great...i definitely don't want to be a hater, but they do alot of work to try and say they are *not* a cover band. But - i mean, slice and dice it any way they want, and at the end of the day they are - a cover band. Really amazing musicians at that, for sure. Just not my thing i guess.

But I will say Rob B.'s comment about being like classical music and how it's replicated live by orchestras today and really NEEDS to be kept alive in a live setting is a pretty interesting argument and point. So...

Danimal
Danimal
2/25/2010 05:42 PM

The philosophy behind classical music and what the Grateful Dead strived to create is not the same thing. Rob's comment doesn't hold water with me. Any cover band could attach "orchestra" to the end of their name and make the same argument.

frinkazoid
frinkazoid
2/25/2010 06:18 PM

I don't want to hate BUT, these guys need to get real. They're riding the coattails of the hard work another band put in. It sucks Jerry is gone, but the fact remains that he is...I'm not really even a fan of further, bobby and phil are cool and all, but that's pretty weak sauce in my opinion. I saw the dead ONCE in 1989. They were already on their way out then, let's not fool ourselves.(I believe even Phil said that they were running on inertia after 1987's Jerry problems) DSO should really get a new idea and try that out. There are a lot of great bands doing ORIGINAL music that are much more worth the time and $ to see. I'm sorry, but DSO is a cover band, no matter what they say...

frunobulax
frunobulax
2/25/2010 06:19 PM

If you think about it - and I think JG basically said this at some point - the Grateful Dead are the most successful cover band in history. Take any given GD setlist from any era. You're almost definitely going to hear a Dylan song, maybe Otis Redding or Willie Dixon, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Jesse Fuller, Wilson Pickett, The Beatles, The Neville Brothers, Johnny Cash, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Kris Kristofferson, The Rolling Stones, Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins, The Band, Traffic ... the list goes on and on. No offense to Billy K, but exactly what band do you think you were playing in all those years?

bigbigtree
bigbigtree
2/25/2010 06:34 PM

One of the best times I ever had was at a DSO concerts many years ago in Boone NC. Not because they were a cover band, it was because they were playing music I love and they were playing it amazingly not just covering some tunes. I wish I was around when The Grateful Dead was in there prime with Jerry, but instead I am here now. I just hope when I am gone, my life's spirit lives on, just as The Grateful Dead will always be here in the smiles of all who appreciate their music. Long Live Good Music

gandrewd
gandrewd
2/25/2010 06:40 PM

Because you change the set list up you're not a cover band? Yes a cover band has negative connotations to it from a musicians perspective, but what about the New York Philharmonic? Technically they are a cover band, but still world class musicians. Just be what you are DSO, you will still have tons of fans and holier than though haters will dis you no matter how you spin what you do. You still bring energy and improvisation to music many people love.

frinkazoid
frinkazoid
2/25/2010 06:49 PM

frunoblax, did the GD name themselves after any of the artists they covered? Did they not write copious ammounts of original material? (I know DSO has a few original tunes)Did they totally "re-create" entire shows that the artists they cover played before? the answer is NO. There is a fine line between emulating someone you respect and flat out copying them.A song covered is one thing. An entire 30+ year career is another...

oldfartatplay
oldfartatplay
2/25/2010 06:53 PM

stu is amazing with jgb, and is also sounding hot with the schwag, guess i better get down to zoe this summer in case it doesn't last.

mattchu
mattchu
2/25/2010 07:14 PM

yea, although i think what dso is doing deserves credit (30plus for a ticket IS overboard though), I dont agree with the argument that the dead was a cover band just like dso is a cover band. very different context, as the dead sounding unlike any other musical force before, so they do a song like not fade away and give it a fucking freight train force to boogie with, something it had never gotten before. theyre covers (most) where very original in most or all aspects of the songs, where dark star isnt.

Fact is grateful dead works like a drug, we need our fix!

frunobulax
frunobulax
2/25/2010 07:15 PM

So, what is Furthur then? When they hired John Kadlecik, they got someone who not only emulates Jerry's licks but his tone and even (sometimes very creepily) his voice. Sure, you can close your eyes at points and almost imagine you're at a Dead show. But the reality is after years of forming bands that played the Dead's music but sounded very little like them (The Other Ones, Phil & Friends, Ratdog), they seem to have fully embraced being a roadshow or novelty act. Just sayin...at this point the surviving members of the Dead are doing exactly the same thing as DSO has been doing since 1997. But honestly, this whole "cover band" or "not a cover band" argument is all semantics. At this point, they're ALL in cover bands. But my original point is so was the original Grateful Dead. So does covering a cover band make your band one too?

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