Jerry Garcia is dead and gone, but his music lives on. Thankfully, we can all still get our fill of music inspired by the Grateful Dead from tribute bands like The Grass Is Dead.
The group is due to make a stop in Memphis this Friday at Growlers, but not before they make their way around the solar system.
"We're going to Jupiter, [we're going to] outer space, and then we're going to Mars later tonight," jokes Brian Drysdale, drummer, percussionist, and a vocalist for the band.
- The Grass Is Dead
While we can only assume this celestial quest is a ritualistic rite of passage, they'll be back down to Earth soon, and we can revel in their Dead-inspired sounds, mixed with elements of bluegrass, blues, rock, and soul.
"We're just a collection of friends," says Drysdale. "You've got Drew Matulich, who's not only a guitar player, he's also a mandolin player. He can pretty much play any of the strings, and he's super talented with swing music, jazz, bluegrass, reggae, all of that. And Ed Richardson, he's the bass player. He's a phenomenal musician and knows the Grateful Dead catalog so well. You've got Jared Womack with his bluegrass roots, and Billy Gilmore, he's an encyclopedia of Dead tunes."
Drysdale rattles off a long list of the group's musical influences that include greats like the String Cheese Incident, Galactic, Sturgill Simpson, and, of course, the Grateful Dead.
"We've just been exposed to this insane kaleidoscope of tunes," he says. "The best thing about it is to be able to meet these awesome humans and hear them play and be healed by music — because music is therapy, and everybody needs it."
The Grass is Dead, Growlers, Friday, January 31st, 10 p.m.-1 a.m., $13/advance, $15/door.