Mickey Hart, the drummer for the Grateful Dead and Dead & Company, today celebrates his 74th birthday. Throughout his career Mickey has sought to expand his musical palette by incorporating new sounds, styles, textures and technologies from around the globe into his percussive vocabulary. An outgoing supporter of the transformative qualities of music, Mickey has collaborated with numerous talented musicians from around the globe, often alongside his Dead drumming mate and fellow Rhythm Devil Bill Kreutzmann.
With Billy K. The Rhythm Devils were the drumming core of the Grateful Dead, their nightly improvisational solos were the pathways to the psychedelic “Space” excursions that were among the most singularly defining aspects of the legendary band’s equally legendary performances. Following the Grateful Dead’s disbandment in 1995, Hart and Kreutzmann have sporadically performed as The Rhythm Devils, including a pair of appearances at the 2010 and 2011 Gathering Of the Vibes music festivals.
Multi-tooled guitarist Keller Williams fronted The Rhythm Devils at the 2010 installment of GOTV. A highlight of the appearance at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, Connecticut that featured a Mickey, Billy, KDub and bassist Andy Hess, percussionist Sikiru Adepoju and guitarist Davy Knowles was their rendition of “Fire On The Mountain.” The Grateful Dead staple was written by Hart (a version from 1974 features “rapped” lyrics) and can be seen performed in the professionally-shot video below:
The 2011 edition of Gathering Of The Vibes saw The Rhythm Devils return to Seaside Park, once again with Williams and Adepoju in the band’s lineup. Guitarist Steve Kimock and bassist Reed Mathis were also tapped for the GOTV set that year. Watch pro-shot video of Grateful Dead staples “Samson And Delilah” and “Eyes Of The World” below:
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