William Panzer’s latest music blog post.

Dark Star Orchestra, Half Step, The Grass is Dead, Shady Groove, Zen Tricksters and the Donna Jean Godchaux Band, Into The Now… there are dozens of cover bands. Some of these bands perform a whole show from start to finish and some perform only a few songs. Dark Star Orchestra is considered to be one of the best Dead cover bands. Every living member of the Dead except for Phil Lesh has played with Dark Star Orchestra. DSO has even toured with the Dead soundman Dan Healy. It’s true that they put on a wonderful show creating the environment for a great experience; however, so does another cover band called Joe Russo’s Almost Dead.


Joe Russo rocks the drums. Marco Benevento dominates the keyboard. Dave Dreiwitz, the bassist, also plays with Ween and Bustle in Your Hedgerow, a well known Led Zeppelin cover band. Guitarist Scott Metzger has played with Phil & Friends among many other musicians. Tommy Hamilton, who has dappled with songwriting, producing, singing, and the guitar, started playing guitar with the rest of the crew in 2013. This quintet seems to bring back that raw energy created long ago by the Dead members themselves. They are able to play tight versions of some of the most complex original Dead songs while still taking the audience on a wild, adventurous jam-ride.

Joe Russo is in the peak of his career. Metzger has been referred to as a chameleon, with the ability to compliment any situation. Dreiwitz contributes a wonderful kind of intensity. And Marco fingers produce layers of sound, compiling the best sounds from all the keyboardists in the Grateful Dead history. Hamilton’s voice and guitar playing adds the cherry on top this grateful sundae. After seeing Bustle in your Hedgerow and then Joe Russo’s Almost Dead it is clear that these characters have something wonderful is happening among them. I strongly recommend Joe Russo’s Almost Dead to any music lover, especially those of the Dead elk.

from William Panzer Music http://ift.tt/1g08CmD


About williampanzer

William Panzer is a lawyer practicing in the Oakland, CA area supporting medical marijuana initiatives.
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