In the midst of the mechanic machine that is LA a day-glo rose has sprouted and its name is Grateful Shred. Grateful Shred hold down their roots in the recently flourishing LA Dead scene. Once the stomping ground of the Watts Acid Test and last performance of Pigpen, Los Angeles’ Dead scene has stayed alive thanks to recent DIY efforts from a diverse and eclectic group of Deadheads. Online Ceramics has fortified a name for themselves in LA whilst holding the Dead ethos with a spirit of punk and ethereal artistic liberation. Blues for Sallah has pioneered the way for LA Dead nights. All of these folks were born a bit too late for the age of Jerry but nonetheless the Dark Stars keep in rotation. And things are always bound to get stranger.
Perhaps hoisted by the collective energy of the burgeoning LA Dead scene Grateful Shred has been described as a Dead tribute that touches upon the authenticity of the Grateful Dead’s early days as psychedelic troubadours running around Palo Alto. Grateful Shred’s lineup is comprised of musicians ranging from Circles Around the Sun bassist to country folk revivalist Mapache members. Upon review, heady certified.
But, “authentic?” That’s a bold claim. So I figured I had to inspect the cascading psychedelic rifts of Grateful Shred myself at Cleveland’s Beachland Ballroom. I expected a run of the mill Grateful Dead tribute.. Nothing wrong with that, I’ll boogy to mixolydian digs until my bones rot away.. And what I got was a embered glow of sincere vocals, mindful yet daring voyages into the inner dimension of my serotonin receptors, and ultimately a band that allowed the music to breathe yet blossom with the same ferocity as dare I say Garcia. In other words, Grateful Shred illustrated the magic of the Grateful Dead in a way that speaks lightly enough to reach the heart whilst holding a handle on the necessary evil to scare at the right moments. The moments of freight came organically and did not arise out of a necessary setlist placement. As I peered around the room folks had luminescent smiles and eyes that told stories of a million sunlight splatters. Grateful Shred had created the space between notes where self realization flourishes. Before I knew it the night was nearly over and everybody in the Beachland found themselves chanting the familiar mantra, “Love is real not fade away!”. Twinkles had made residence in the souls of the folks I had met that night and Grateful Shred had brought me back to my days as a 14 year old freak who wandered into a Dead tribute one fateful night in 2014. The stage went dark and the boys returned for an encore, “Terrapin”. In solidarity with my soul brothers and sisters we swayed to the music and rose hands to the proclamation, “Inspiration move me brightly!”. And the night receded into memory.
It is a monumental time to be a Deadhead. We are at the crossroads of the old and the new. The 2015 50th anniversary shows welcomed a slew of new folks into the scene who have all been nothing but eager to create. Grateful Shred, alongside folks like JRAD and the other hard working musicians Deadicated to give the people a chance to balter around like mad folk, give a foundation to the claim that, “our love will not fade away”.
Grateful Shred is still on tour.. Check them out, folks!
Feb 26 | Once Ballroom | Somerville, MA | Tickets On Sale Now
Feb 27 | Garcia’s @ The Capitol Theater | Port Chester, NY | Tickets On Sale Now
Feb 28 | Gypsy Sally’s | Washington DC | Tickets On Sale Now
March 1 | Brooklyn Bowl | Brooklyn, NY | Tickets On Sale Now
March 2 | Brooklyn Bowl | Brooklyn, NY | Tickets On Sale Now
March 3 | Ardmore Music Hall | Ardmore, PA | Tickets On Sale Now
April 6 | Skull & Roses III | Ventura, CA | Tickets On Sale Now
April 10 | Volcanic Pub | Bend, OR | Tickets On Sale Now
April 11 | Fox Cabaret | Vancouver, BC | Tickets On Sale Now
April 12 | Tractor Tavern | Seattle, WA | Tickets On Sale Now
April 13 | Mississippi Studios | Portland, OR | Tickets On Sale Now
April 14 | Mississippi Studios | Portland, OR | Tickets On Sale Now
April 19 | Winston’s | San Diego, CA | Tickets On Sale Now
April 20 | Shred 420 @ The Echo / Echoplex | Los Angeles, CA | Tickets On Sale Now
June 27 - 30 | Electric Forest | Rothbury, MI | Tickets On Sale Now
More information at Grateful Shred’s website: https://gratefulshredmusic.com/tour