Grateful Shred and Friends - Celebrating Jerry Garcia’s 75th Birthday

Aquarium Drunkard and the Jerry Garcia Family present

Grateful Shred and Friends - Celebrating Jerry Garcia’s 75th Birthday

Delicate Steve, King Tuff, Fruit Bats, Leslie Stevens, William Tyler, Jenny O, Omar Velasco

Tue, August 1, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$16

This event is all ages

Grateful Shred
Grateful Shred
Wait.
I know what you’re thinking.
Another fucking Grateful Dead cover band? Really?

The thing is, Los Angeles-based Grateful Shred manage to channel that elusive Dead vibe: wide-open guitar tones, effortless three-part vocal harmonies, choogling beats, and yes, plenty of tripped out, Shredded solos. The look, the sound, the atmosphere. It’s uncanny.

“It’s more of a ‘take’ on the Dead than a tribute band,” says bassist Dan Horne. “We end up sounding almost more like the Dead because we approach it in this free-spirited way; in other bands, they’ve got the perfect tones dialed in, they practice the drum parts, they’ve got their ‘Jerry.’ We just play.”

Founded one night in 2016, the band came about almost by accident. Singer/guitarist Austin McCutchen had a residency at The Griffin in Atwater Village; his band was out of town, so he drafted some friends to play a set of Dead covers, and the four founding members (Austin, Sam, Clay, and Dan) have been together ever since. Sam Blasucci and Clay Finch (of country-folk revivalists Mapache) handle vocal and guitar duties, rounded out by bassist Dan Horne (of Cass McCombs, Jonathan Wilson, and the estimable Circles Around The Sun, who provided the incidental music for 2015’s “Fare Thee Well” concerts, the last shows played by the living members of the Dead). Add a rotating cast of drummers (like Richard Gowen of The Growlers) and keyboardists (like Lee Pardini of Dawes and Jerry Borgé of Ziggy Marley), and you’ve got the essential formula.

Jams convene at Liberty Hair Farm in Echo Park, the Shred’s HQ/commune/studio. It’s at the Farm where they live, breathe, and record. Just watch the hallucinatory footage of the band tearing through “St. Stephen” (filmed live in their backyard) or “Shakedown Street” (those harmonies!). Grateful Shred is the sound of 5+ guys who aren’t afraid to learn from the masters, but who know to explore beyond the pale, searching for the sound. “Never the play the same thing once,” as Phil Lesh says.

Far from being a historical re-enactment, Grateful Shred’s laissez faire vibe infuses the band with a gentle spirit, warmth, and (dare we say it) authenticity. From their killer merch game (look for a new line with Dead revisionists Online Ceramics) to their eminently watchable YouTube channel, they’re clearly having a rad time and spreading the love. Strangely enough, in a world overflowing with wax museum nostalgia and Deadly sentimentalism, we need the Shred, now more than ever.

The Shred’s Top Picks

Austin McCutchen (guitar/vocals) Song: “Jack Straw”
Album: Workingman's Dead
Show: Dane County Coliseum 2/3/78

Clay Finch (guitar/vocals) Song: “Ripple”
Album: Anthem of the Sun Show: Veneta, Oregon 8/27/72
Dan Horne (bass)

Song: “China Doll”
Album: From the Mars Hotel
Show: Berkeley, California 9/81 (or any show where the bass is loud)
Sam Blasucci (guitar/vocals) Song: “Pride of Cucamonga” Album: American Beauty
Show: Fillmore East 4/71
Delicate Steve
Delicate Steve
“In a time where nothing makes sense, or when everyone is trying to make sense of everything, even the right idea might not make perfect sense to everybody at that moment.”

Steve Marion, the songwriter, guitarist, and producer who has made four studio records of primarily word-less, guitar-first music as Delicate Steve, is talking about the bifurcated and reactionary culture of the moment. But by no coincidence he’s also describing musical moments that helped to inspire Till I Burn Up (Anti-, 2019) his forthcoming LP.

The album name comes from a line in Dr. John's “Walk on Guilded Splinters” where Steve misheard John’s actual phrase "Tit Alberta" as "Till I Burn Up." But more than fodder for an album title, John’s Gris Gris, and records like it, informed a new frame-of-mind for an artist who has historically set out to make a predetermined statement with every recording.

“The idea of this young freak making Gris Gris in LA, and nobody knowing what to do with it in 1968... He gave me confidence to be a little more freaky and abstract instead of quirky and nicely-packaged like my last album was.” Steve goes on to cite early records by Iggy Pop and Dylan and The Band’s electric tour that were panned at the time and lauded in hindsight. “There is a confidence that comes with abandoning the idea of wanting to create something that everyone might like to check out.”

But all is not bifurcated, and we know two things can be true at once. The confidence necessary for Steve to make Till I Burn Up could also be self-inspired. Now nearly ten years into his career, Steve is a cult artist of his time who has been called to record with his heroes (Paul Simon, Kanye West) and contribute significantly to his contemporaries’ modern masterworks (Amen Dunes, Freedom), all the while recording and releasing his own critically hailed work and sharing the stage with Tame Impala, Mac DeMarco, Growlers and others.

The artist whose songwriting and playing has been marked through by transcendent moments of buoyancy and joy has created a pulsing and propulsive record in Till I Burn Up. He put up at a studio in Woodstock and found himself playing Freddie Mercury’s Oberheim synthesizer and his guitar plugged into Robbie Robertson’s Fender amp.

With the intent to turn away from the times, Steve managed instead to document the sound of this moment -- the ever-undwinding feed that feeds the feedback loop of talking heads, twitter tick-ticking like a bomb, the timed drip- like morphine- of news breaking in our hands, the party before the shoe drops, our interior dialogue, all the contradictions…

A song called “Freedom” is underpinned by a grinding circular guitar line interrupted by what sounds like synthetic warning sirens. “Rat in the House”, “Rubberneck”, and “Madness” are blinkered dancefloor rippers suited for a bunker party. “Selfie of Man” recognizes the pervasive behavior and its result, as a literal portrait of our times. It moves along in marched lockstep, with inversely reflecting guitar lines. The album’s closer ‘Dream’ allows Steve and his listeners some free range. Until then, each song is self-contained and self-referential -- an ouroboros within a greater ouroboros called Till I Burn Up.

There are turns on Till I Burn Up as dark as anything Delicate Steve has recorded, but not without reminders that a joy ride into an apocalypse is still a joy ride. Like the harrowing moment it documents, Till I Burn Up would not be true if not imbued by contradiction. True to form, this Delicate Steve record is a distillation.
Fruit Bats
Fruit Bats
American indie rock band founded in 1997 in Chicago, Illinois.
Leslie Stevens
William Tyler
William Tyler
American musician and guitarist, who plays Folk, Indie folk and Pop rock (born December 25, 1979, Nashville, TN).

Tyler was a member of Lambchop and Silver Jews before he became a solo artist. He has also played with Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Charlie Louvin, and Candi Staton.
His father is Dan Tyler (3) and his mother is Adele Tyler.
Venue Information:
The Teragram Ballroom
1234 West 7th Street
Los Angeles, CA, 90017
http://www.teragramballroom.com/