Grateful Dead

Summertime Is Comin’ On (My, Oh My)! One Dead Show, Lots of Solo Stuff in the Offing

By Blair Jackson

If you’re kicking yourself because you didn’t get to see The Dead on their red-hot spring tour, you have one last chance to see them—at the Rothbury Festival in beautiful rural Michigan, on July 4. After that, it’s highly unlikely the group will perform together again in 2009, though most of the band members will all be criss-crossing America in different groups this summer.

Photo: Jay Blakesberg ©2009

Rothbury Rocks! In just its second year, Rothbury has become one of the coolest and most talked about music festivals in America, right up there with Bonnaroo for its ability to attract so many great acts, big and small, and present them in an appealing environment. Rothbury hasn’t attracted quite the numbers that Bonnaroo regularly does—and that’s a good thing; smaller is beautiful. At last year’s inaugural fest, both Phil Lesh & Friends and the Mickey Hart Band (with Steve Kimock and George Porter, Jr., among others) were on hand, as were such acts as the Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, John Mayer, Trey Anastasio, Snoop Dogg, Govt. Mule and a slew of others. This year, the three-day fest has a larger and even more diverse lineup, including Bob Dylan, String Cheese Incident, Willie Nelson, Govt. Mule, STS9, Umphrey’s McGee, Flogging Molly, Toots & the Maytals, King Sunny Ade, Yonder Mountain String Band, P&F member Jackie Greene with his great band, bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley and many, many more.

The festival prides itself on being a “green” event—eco-friendly and self-sustaining. The campgrounds are pleasant and well-run, and there’s lots to do when you’re not grooving to music on one of the many stages spread throughout the site, which includes woods, open meadows and a lake. The magical Sherwood Forest area is sort of a chill zone, with art installations, light displays and various bands day and night. The domed Tripolee is a multi-sensory dance/trance/rave spot that really kicks into high gear late at night. There are lectures and roundtable discussions about various issues at the Think Tank. Just lots and lots of neat stuff happening 24/7.

Contrary to any rumor you might have heard, this really is going to be the only Dead appearance for the foreseeable future, so… what the hell? See you in Michigan for the 4th of July? (Last year there were great fireworks, too!) For more info about this year’s festivities, and about the ideas and ideals behind the event, go to

RatDog Returns! With The Dead back on the shelf following Rothbury, Bob Weir and Jeff Chimenti will be going back to their mates in RatDog for what’s shaping up to be a really strong tour.

Photo: Jay Blakesberg ©2009

It begins July 5—the night after The Dead’s Rothbury performance—at the 4,500-seat LC Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio (just a hop, a skip and a jump from Rothbury for true Tour Rats). And the bill that night also includes the Black Crowes and Jackie Greene. From there, the tour bops around the Northeast a bit, heads South for a spell, then goes back up in to New England, before breaking after a July 25 show at the Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Jackie Greene or moe. will be opening at most shows, so you’re in for quite a night of music. Then, RatDog’s 13-show Western and Mountain States tour begins August 21 in Oregon. That jaunt ends in San Diego on September 6; Jackie Greene will again be the opener for most shows. For more info on dates and venues and all that good stuff, go to either the band’s official site,, or the excellent fan site,

The BK3 is Back for More! Bill Kreutzmann’s revamped group, the BK3, is back on the road, with a handful of shows in June and July, including festivals in Florida and West Virginia, and also a gig at the storied Oregon Country Fair in Veneta. Guitarist Scott Murawski remains part of the lineup, but bassist James “Hutch” Hutchinson, who has traveled the world with Bonnie Raitt for many years, is now in the bass slot formerly occupied by Oteil Burbridge (who is off with the Allmans this summer). And a more recent addition is the supremely talented multi-instrumentalist/singer from the great band Donna the Buffalo, Tara Nevins. This mini-tour sounds like it should not be missed! For more info, go to Bill’s MySpace page:

He Is Everywhere! That loafing slacker Warren Haynes will be touring with both Govt. Mule and Allman Brothers this summer. You can find Govt. Mule dates (late June through early August) here and Allman dates (mid-August into early September) here.

New Music from Mark Karan! On June 30, a new album by RatDog guitar phenom Mark Karan, called Walk Through the Fire, will be released on Mark’s own Quacktone Records label. The project has been many months in the making and includes a few original songs by Mark (such as the title track), as well a handful of cool covers, such as the Dead’s “Easy Wind,” the Robert Johnson blues “Love in Vain,” Randy Newman’s oft-covered “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” and Joe Jackson’s “Fools In Love.” Should be a good ’un! Not surprisingly, Mark’s band mates from Jemimah Puddleduck helped out, as did Delaney Bramlett and Little Feat keyboardist Bill Payne. We’ll be posting an interview with Mark talking about the album down the road a bit. In the meantime, you can catch Jemimah Puddleduck on July 4 in Ohio, and at a few far-flung spots in August. For all your Mark Karan info needs, go to

Riding the Range with the New Riders! The New Riders of the Purple Sage will always be Dead family, and the good news is the band is enjoying quite a revival. Not only have they been touring very successfully with their jammy current lineup (David Nelson, Buddy Cage, Michael Falzarano, Ronnie Penque and Johnny Markowski), but they also have an excellent new album, Where I Come From, which includes seven new original tunes co-written by David Nelson and Robert Hunter. We spoke at length with Nelson recently and will be posting it on in the near future! New Riders on the Web:

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All photos seen here are from Jay Blakesberg's 2009 Dead tour books. Go to to see more!


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comesatime's picture
Joined: Jul 2 2007
the dead playing

Ratdog has no dates after the october beacon shows, though they normally would play westbury. phil is not playing right now, and the allmans are done in mid october. does this mean we shall see the guys this winter, ya think? seems a possibility. i saw the 2 philly shows, would love another round.

Joined: Jun 14 2007
New Years Eve 2009 San Francisco Bay Area

I hope and pray,for there to be a show to end this year and bring on the new one it would be such justice !!!! we could all use it good medicine :} Larry The Deadhead of Santa Rosa,California

Joined: Oct 26 2008
Bobby,Mark and George (CD maker) must read re: 7.11.09 Estes

Dear Bobby and Mark and George,
I have to say that the Ratdog set I saw at the Mark Estes Arena Saturday Night was the best Ratdog show I've ever been to. My name is Dino Karivalis and I'm a member here AND at as member- ruk1nd - . The Franklins Tower > Cassidy opener was totally over the top. I think "Big Railroad Blues" was the BEST I've heard in decades. Great encore too. High Energy. I was there with my sister Mary, we are from the Philadelphia area. My first ever show was at the Tower Theatre on 7/21/76. I saw all four nights there. So did my sister but her first show was The Spectrum in 1972.( I saw THE DEAD there on 5/2/09 and loved it. Together we've been to over six hundred shows from 1972 till last night ( I have the stubs to prove it, and pictures too !!) Just Great !!
MOST IMPORTANTLY THO is that my casino host BOB at Showboat Casino ( I'm a "Seven Star" player) who took me over, bought me two wristbands for CD copies for the night's show. HE was supposed to meet me at the end of the show (he may have put them on my wrist earlier, I really don't remember) Anyway, he never showed at the end of the show and I told George I didn't have my wristbands and I would wait till everyone left to make sure there were at least two extras. He kindly explained to me that if I didn't have the wrist band in hand , I could'nt get any of the CD's for my sister and I. I walked about fifteen feet away and waited till EVERYONE LEFT. The Seciurity cleared everyone from the room. George was closing up the table. So quickly I asked for a tee shirt, a Hoody / sweatshirt, a poster and my two CD's (THERE WAS ABOUT FIFTEEN CD"S LEFT) and THAT I WOULD GIVE HIM THE FIFTY DOLLARS AGAIN FOR THE TWO CD"S. I put a hundred dollars on the table, my seven stars - total rewards card, my Taj Card, PA driver's license ALL in my NAME. HE WOULD"NT INCLUDE THE TWO CD"S !!!!!!
WHAT !!!!!! There's over a dozen CD's there, There is NO ONE IN THE BUILDING BUT GEORGE, THE SECURITY GUARD AND ME. He would sell every other item on the table to me but the extra CD's. THERE WAS OVER A DOZEN EXTRAS. Now we all know that I can go online and buy them tonight and have them in my hands in about a week, but I wanted them as a gift for my sister who treated me to the show tonight and so we could relive the show back in our room. We were seventh row dead center, right in front of Bobby. I broke down crying during "Days Between. She and I have shared hundreds of shows together, Bobby and Phil even gave us two tickets to the impromptu show at ROSELAND ( dino karivalis and Anna Metzner) earlier this year (check it out !! ) and I wanted to be sure my sister had this one too. I really don't understand. We owned a restaurant for years and when people were in line to pay after lunch or dinner , we always made a practice of getting them through the Cashier line fast cause this was the point when we got our money for products and services rendered. George wouldn't take my fifty dollars for two CD's , not only didn't I buy the other merchandise, I told him that it's just bad business doing that. The CD's are right there, I already paid and I'm willing to pay again. The security guard had to carry me out of the arena. ALL Because of George not selling me what I know he didn't need to keep or couldn't replace overnight if he had to. UNBELIEVEABLE!! REALLY !! Hundreds of shows between my sister and I including Blacksburg, VA 11/77 and William and Mary the following night, Rochester and Binghamton, back to back early '78 I believe (Rochester's on Dick's pick 24 or 25) Oakland Auditorium Arena '81- '82 New Years Eve w/ Joan Baez. , The Dead at "Change Rocks" for Obama at Penn State 10/08, 5/1/09 and 5/2/09 to close The Spectrum out with a record 55 Sold Out Shows ( our Home Venue, Yours too) !!


I would never buy a CD from him again, any band any venue. I wouldn't even order his shit online. PLEASE, GET HIM ON A PROGRAM. Youl'd be doing yourselves a favor as well as the rest of us DEADHEADS.

SINCERELY, C. Dino Karivalis member name ruk1nd here and at Ratdog. E MAIL ME AT

Thank you for reading this post.

Joined: Jul 11 2009
More NW shows

Perhaps a 3-night run in Portland.

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007
thanks for the heads up, Big River

that's a pretty good lineup! I'm not terribly familiar with Mark's work, but from what I've seen and heard I like his style.

Big_river's picture
Joined: May 17 2009
Mark Karan

I bought and listened to Walk Through the Fire this week--it's a scorcher! Pretty hardcore Southern Rock, with a sweet Dead vibe through and through. The backing singers and musicians are all really great--skimming the list with John Molo, Bill Payne, Pete Sears, Jackie LaBranch and Gloria Jones, the Rowans, the Persuasions, and the late, great Delaney Bramlett. I'm particularly taken by the last two songs--"Fools in Love" (personal reasons) and "Easy Wind" (wonderful arrangement with great percussion and well-timed vocals). Mark's a fine singer. Look this one up--it's worth your pennies. Wave that flag!

marye's picture
Joined: May 26 2007

I'd suggest heading over to the Walk Through the Fire site, which is here, and asking your question there.

Joined: Jun 29 2009
While surfing net to get

While surfing net to get some data related to my project no 000-330 i came here and find this web an interesting one...One can get lot of information from here...stickers,posters,albums,articles and all that...Well is their anyone who can guide me that from where can i get lyrics of new album by RatDog guitar phenom Mark Karan, called Walk Through the Fire?If someone know about tell me!

Zomby D Wulf's picture
Joined: Jun 9 2007

Here's hoping for a longer NW run in 2010, say Eugene,Portland, Seattle. With a more Handicapped Friendly promoter than the bottom line only Live Nation.

Timmy1971's picture
Joined: May 5 2009
Sprin 2009 shows kicked Assssssss.

This was the first time iv'e been on tour since J Garcia passed and i just wanted to say I was so impressed with Warren Haynes and the way he stepped up. I realy hope the Dead dose another tour next summer or some time in the futer, But untill then ill see you all at the gathering in B.P


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