Oteil Burbridge Discusses Dead & Company’s Upcoming Tour And Vida Blue

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Bassist Oteil Burbridge took part in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit this past Friday night with his wife Jess Burbridge. The pair responded to questions about their family life, careers, how they met, touring and more on the Grateful Dead subreddit. Oteil revealed Dead & Company will continue to add songs from the Grateful Dead’s repertoire during a summer tour that begins on Wednesday and also discussed his participation in supergroup Vida Blue.

One of the questions posed by user Jerry-_-Garcia was whether Dead & Company practiced songs that the band hasn’t performed yet for their upcoming tour. “We definitely have some new (old) tunes that we’re going to break out this summer,” the bassist wrote. “I feel it’s really important that we continually add more songs from the Grateful Dead catalog. There are so many great ones to choose from and so many that I know the fans are dying to hear.”

Oteil also addressed his role singing lead on certain songs with Dead & Company. User Aesop_Rocks asked, “Once you knew you’d be taking some vocals, which songs did you want to bring into the fold? Any that Jess hopes you’ll take on??” The bassist acknowledged his picked out “China Doll,” but other than that he gets most of his cues from fans. “I really like ‘Built To Last,’ ‘High Time’ and ‘It Must Have Been The Roses,'” Oteil wrote. He also explained Jess played him “If I Had The World To Give” and wanted him to give it a try. The bassist first sang “China Doll” with Dead & Company on June 3, 2017 and “If I Had The World To Give” on November 25, 2017. Oteil added Jess has “been pushing for (him to sing) ‘To Lay Me Down’ and ‘So Many Roads.'”

User Jerry-_-Garcia also asked about the return of Vida Blue, a band featuring Oteil, Phish keyboardist Page McConnell and New Orleans drummer Russell Batiste Jr. and South Florida’s Spam Allstars. The user also asked for a story about McConnell. “We just recently went into Criteria Studio in Miami. It was really great to get the old band back together, complete with Adam Zimmon and the Spam Allstars,” Oteil responded. “I remember one time we were out on the road together and Page said to me ‘Oteil, you realize this is only the second band I’ve been in in my entire life?’ It really blew my mind to think of how many bands I had played in before I had any kind of success career-wise and Page shot straight to the top in the first band he ever joined,” Burbridge shared about the Phish keyboardist. “It still blows my mind. We had an amazing time playing in the studio. I’m not sure when Page plans on putting the recording out or if there are any plans to tour, but I’m sure we’ll all find out something soon!”

Head here for the full thread with Jess and Oteil’s Ask Me Anything session.