Grateful Dead

Dead Covers Project Profiles: David Bryan and Friends


David Bryan and Friends came together just a year ago but the spirit of the Grateful Dead is strong amongst its members, so strong in fact that leader David Bryan has made the Dead's legacy part of his life's work. He will soon be publishing a compendium of his theological writings about the band, entitled "The Grateful Dead Theology Project." Learn more about the group's connection to the Grateful Dead here.

See more from David Bryan and Friends at Facebook and Instagram.

Who is playin' in the band?

Current lineup:
David Bryan - lead vocals, mandolin, guitar, strumstick, piano
Michael DiLalla - guitar, vocals
Kirk Huneycutt - guitar, vocals
Dan Keegan - drums
Jon LaTona - upright bass
Clare Maloney - vocals
Bex Odorisio - vocals
sometimes with special guest Kristen Leigh Southworth - vocals and guitar

Tell us a little bit about your musical backgrounds and how you formed.

A diverse group of musicians spanning many different genres, we formed in 2014, when we teamed up with the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation to put on a historic concert at St. Bartholomew’s Church on Park Avenue in Manhattan: “Songs To Fill The Air: Celebrating the Musical Legacy of Jerry Garcia.”

Here was the promo video explaining the purpose of the concert (you will notice it is the same music video, but includes talking points):

NOTE: this historic concert was professionally recorded, and will be made available later this year! :-)

This was followed soon after with an appearance on the 2nd stage at Rich Rivkin’s “Grateful Fest 2014” at the Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport, Long Island, then several more shows in NYC. We have been on temporary hiatus since November.

Photo courtesy of Allen Spector

You submitted two songs for this year's Dead Covers Project - "Brokedown Palace" - shot beautifully by the way – and "Brown-Eyed Women" - two very different tunes. What made you choose these?

We submitted "Brokedown Palace" simply because the video had already been shot for the concert promo.
We chose “Brown-Eyed Women” to showcase a unique interpretation of a classic Dead tune. Many of our interpretations are very different from the approach of the Dead.

As we are described on the Way Station’s website for an upcoming gig:
"Performing soulful and creative versions of Grateful Dead tunes, David Bryan and Friends combine elements of bluegrass, folk, country, gospel, and jazz. Top-notch vocals, unique arrangements, and just enough room to stretch out without being overly self-indulgent make this eclectic ensemble a fun group to watch."

And from a fan, posted on our Facebook page:
"Last week I went to see David Bryan and Friends performing a rich selection of Grateful Dead tunes at the West End Lounge right up here on the Upper West Side. These very talented musicians are not a cover band and they're not a "tribute" band. They interpret Dead tunes with an eclectic mix of instruments and arrangements that bring new life to both familiar tunes and deep album tracks. It makes for a very enjoyable musical experience and evening. . . . All of the musicians and the singers deserve plenty of . . . credit for their inspired contributions to this fine band."

Where can folks find you performing over the next fews months?

As of now, our only scheduled gig is at The Way Station in Brooklyn, NY, set for Thursday, May 28th at 9pm. (Way Station’s website: http://waystationbk.blogspot.com/2015/04/events-through-may-31-2015.html )

What's on tap for the rest of 2015?

For those who want to receive notification of upcoming shows, or for when the concert recording will be available, please contact: davidbryanandfriends@gmail.com

David Bryan's Grateful Dead