A Grateful Club d’Elf To Play Dead On Next Album & Details Soundcheck Studios Doubleheader

Bandleader Mike Rivard revealed the lineups for the ensemble’s “Double d’Elf Prequinox” shows in Pembroke, Massachusetts with tickets on sale now.

By Scott Bernstein Feb 7, 2024 8:27 am PST

Club d’Elf will present “Double d’Elf Prequinox,” a two-night run at the familiar confines of Soundcheck Studios in Pembroke, Massachusetts, on March 8 and 9. The announcement of the pre-spring bacchanal comes with news the band will include a pair of Grateful Dead covers on their next studio album.

The Boston-based music collective led by founder/bassist/composer Mike Rivard recently started work on the follow-up to 2022’s You Never Know. Club d’Elf has a long history of honoring the music that inspired the band with the Dead covers, the titles of which have yet to be revealed, the latest addition to that legacy.

“I grew up listening to The Dead and was drawn to their more experimental stuff, like Anthem of the Sun,” recalled Rivard. “I had a cassette of a show they did in ’72 at Ken Kesey’s brother’s farm, and the ‘Dark Star’ they played was one of the most expansive, creative things I had heard, right up there with electric Miles and Weather Report and the other stuff I was into. One of the great adventures I had was when I was 15 I hitchhiked from my little town in Minnesota out to Colorado to see them play at Red Rocks. It was all part of an overall gestalt of experimenting with psychedelics, reading Kerouac & ‘The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,’ Carlos Castaneda — and through it all their music was a huge part of the soundtrack.”


The improvisationally-focused ensemble’s lineup for Friday, March 8 will feature Rivard, longtime d’Elf drummer Dean “The Dux” Johnston (Neighbor), guitarist Rob Compa (Dopapod), saxophonist Dana Colley (Morphine), keyboardist Paul Schultheis and turntablist Mister Rourke. Funky organ trio Otis Grove opens on the 8th.

Mike Rivard will be joined by Dean Johnston, Mister Rourke, guitarist Lyle Brewer (Neighbor), vocalist Jen Kearney and keyboardist Amy Bellamy on Saturday, March 9 with The A-Beez supporting. Look for Club d’Elf to honor another iconic jam band on the 9th.

“We contributed the track ‘Sand’ to the JamBase-produced Phish tribute Cluster Flies, and since we have pretty much the same line up that recorded the song on night two – including Jen Kearney on vocals – we’ll no doubt add that to the set list,” Rivard added. “We’ll have a nice mix of special guests with a long history of playing in d’Elf, like Dana, and more recent additions to the roster such as Rob and Lyle.”

Tickets for both Club d’Elf concerts at Soundcheck Studios are on sale now.

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