Joe Russo Clarifies Future Of Almost Dead

We’d like to wish a very happy birthday to drummer Joe Russo. The New Jersey native cut his teeth with jazzy jam outfit Fat Mama in the late ’90s and then spent the early and middle part of the ’00s focusing on the Benevento-Russo Duo. In 2009 he was asked by Phil Lesh and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead to join their brand-new Furthur project and was a member of the group until it folded in 2014. Russo formed Joe Russo’s Almost Dead for a one-off gig in 2013, but after a phenomenal debut decided to bring the Grateful Dead tribute band on the road and they now have over 50 gigs under their belts.

On Saturday night, Russo and his fellow Almost Dead members guitarists Scott Metzger and Tom Hamilton, keyboardist Marco Benevento and bassist Dave Dreiwitz will celebrate Joe’s birthday at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver. When JRAD recently announced a Northeast run scheduled for February it was accompanied by word these would be the group’s “last road dates for a while.” While some fans were worried the five-piece would be done after the run, Russo cleared up the future of the band in a new interview.

Joe appeared on the latest episode of the Noise Behind The Sound podcast in advance of the Almost Dead show in Denver. Russo clarified what is ahead for JRAD, “I think I was slightly misunderstood when I put something up the other day about the last road dates for a while. I think everybody was thinking we we’re ending or breaking up or something which is not the case.” The drummer went on to reveal, “We’re not stopping, there’s going to be a few less shows in the early part of this coming year, but that in no way is a nail in any sort of coffin.”

Listen to the entire podcast in which Joe talks about the origins of his “Sir Joe Russo” nickname, his time in Furthur, his all-improv project Icy Bridge and much more:

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