Grateful Dead tribute artists come together in Vail Village
VAIL, Colorado By day, Jake Wolf is a music teacher at Avon Elementary. By night, hes the drummer in a Grateful Dead cover band called the Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Revue. Wolf and his band plan to dust off Dead tunes tonight and Thursday at Samana Lounge in Vail. With a heavy focus on songs from the 70s, the Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Revue includes members of separate Grateful Dead cover bands Shakedown Street and Dark Star Orchestra. The Revue formed in 2005 to mark the 10th anniversary of Jerry Garcias death.We put together this act that pulled in four Grateful Dead cover bands from the area, Wolf said.The current lineup consists of Wolf and Vail guitarist Rob Eaton along with Front Rangers Joe Weisiger on keyboard, Jim Allard on bass and Dave Kochmann on lead guitar.
Vail Daily: Do each of you play a certain member of the Grateful Dead?Jake Wolf: Yeah, absolutely. Rob would be the Bob Weir. Dave would be the Jerry Garcia. We keep the parts pretty specific. … For me, I would say I try to find myself in between Billy Kreutzmann and John Molo, and Molo is the drummer for Phil Lesh and Friends. The two drummers for the Grateful Dead were Billy and Mickey (Hart), but I do less Mickey because it doesnt sound right being a single drummer.VD: What makes your band stand out among the dozens of Grateful Dead cover bands throughout the country?JW: Ive been told repetitively the energy that we create on the stage and the interaction between the audience. And it is so obvious to the most casual of observers that were having a great time.VD: Why does the Grateful Dead have such strong staying power?JW: Its organic. Its constantly changing. I mean look, 40 years later, the Deads going to play in Denver and its gonna to sound a lot different than it did 40 years ago. It keeps people on their toes. People keep coming back. And everyones always wondering, well what are they going to play next?VD: If you could take a time machine back to the 70s, what would be the first thing you would do?JW: I would hit a Fillmore East Grateful Dead show, like a 71 Grateful Dead show. I think that would be really cool. Can the time machine jump around a couple years? Then the next stop would have to be 77, I would have to hit Studio 54 in New York and then go see a Grateful Dead disco show.VD: How did you become a Grateful Dead fan?JW: When I was a young lad back in the day, I was listening to all kinds of crazy music, mostly just to piss off my parents, I think. They had my cousin take me to a Grateful Dead show, they were like, Maybe he needs to expand his mind a little bit musically. Show him something a little different… I got dragged kind of to my first Grateful Dead show. I was 12, 13, it was RFK [Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C.] 89. …It was cool because I was hanging out with my older cousin.VD: Whats your favorite Grateful Dead song and why?JW: Ill give you a couple of mine: The Music Never Stops, Help on the Way. Theyre groove-oriented songs that lend themselves heavily to emotion …VD: Why do you focus on mainly the Grateful Deads 70s repertoire?JW: It lends itself to being more open with one drummer, would be one reason. Its a gear issue too, like Robs guitar rig is ideal for the 70s situation and maybe not so much for the late 80s stuff.High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or email@example.com.