If Jerry Garcia’s music could be blended with rock, jazz and other American genres, what would that sound like? Susquehanna Valley residents have a chance to find out this weekend.
Deadgrass, described as “a string band adventure through Jerry Garcia’s musical world,” will perform 7-9 p.m. on Sunday at the Rusty Rail Brewing Company, Inc.
“We interpret Jerry’s catalogue and make it our own,” said Matt Turk, co-founder of Deadgrass. “We’re not a tribute band. We’re a group of musicians who bring bluegrass/folk/rock/jazz/jam/Americana and more to create our own interpretation of this incredible American music.”
Turk and Grammy award winner C Lanzbom joined forces to form Deadgrass in 2015. Multi-instrumentalist Turk, based out of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, has performed and recorded with Pete Seeger and opened for Judy Collins, The Doobie Brothers, Fiona Apple and the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart. He has performed throughout the United States and Europe.
Guitarist Lanzbom has produced, performed, written or engineered with Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, American Idol finalist Crystal Bowersox, Shlomo Carlebach and Soulfarm. A press release said, “He has absorbed Israeli-Arabic musical rhythms from travelling in the region as well as the rock and roll he grew up with along the Jersey shore.”
Turk and Lanzbom are joined by bassist Dave Richards, banjo player Russell Gottlieb and jazz violinist Kensuke Shoji.
“Anyone who loves Jerry, the Grateful Dead, Old & In the Way, American music, bluegrass, jazz and more will have a great experience,” Turk said. “Our vocals and instrumentals are very fine and refreshing. We’re a string band (no drummer): bass, guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and vocals.”
Turk studies mandolin with Barry Mitterhoff, former member of Hot Tuna. Through lessons and his love of the craft he discovered the Pizza Tapes, a 1993 album by Jerry Garcia (acoustic guitar, vocals), David Grisman (mandolin), and Tony Rice (acoustic guitar).
“I fell in with Peter Shapiro at Garcia’s in Port Chester, New York, for a monthly gig,” Turk said. “After a year, I connected with C, and we formed Deadgrass. People love hearing this music, and I love the craft of learning and interpreting it. Jerry’s music is great American music. It is the American songbook.”
“Anyone who loves the Dead and appreciates a well detailed, thoughtful and respectful group of superb musicians artistically intercepting the music will have a spectacular night,” said John Rattie, programming/tech/advance at the Rusty Rail. “But also, come on out to seed, cultivate, be part of, and help elevate live music and the arts in a small town in the middle of Pennsylvania, where this type of event at this caliber is less frequent.”