Friday, August 05, 2005

Ratdog to play Ocean City concert on Tuesday, Aug. 9

From DelmarvaNow!:

In 1966, Mark Karan attended his first Grateful Dead concert -- as a fan.
In 1976, after returning many times, the San Francisco Bay area native's musical taste changed and he saw his last Grateful Dead concert. In 1997, he was once again walking among the Dead, though circumstances had changed dramatically.

Two years prior, the Grateful Dead disbanded after the death of guitarist Jerry Garcia. But in 1997 the surviving members regrouped as The Other Ones and asked Karan to join them on tour.
This veteran of such bands as The Rembrandts had left the Golden Gate for Los Angeles, but on the recommendation of John Molo (former drummer for Bruce Hornsby and soon to be Karan's Other Ones bandmate), Karan was back in the Bay Area, back with The Dead.

Later that year, Karan (pronounced Karen) went on to join Ratdog, the band fronted by former Grateful Dead and Other Ones guitarist Bob Weir.

Ratdog will play the Roland E. Powell Convention Center on Tuesday, Aug. 9.
The current concert tour has an added air of anticipation, as RatDog canceled its 2004 fall tour when Weir -- a forefather of the contemporary jam band scene -- succumbed to exhaustion. The group had previously played Dewey Beach several times in recent years.

During a telephone interview, Karan described as "cyclical'" his evolution from teenage garage band, "When we would pick a key and go for an hour," to performing quick, tight songs with Dave Mason of Traffic and bands like The Rembrandts, then on to the world of the Grateful Dead and all its many permutations.

Karan said performing in 1997 with the surviving members of the Grateful Dead as The Other Ones, 30 years after attending his first Dead show was "like coming home. It just felt like coming home."

Ratdog performs many Grateful Dead songs as well as original material and covers of blues standards that have always been a staple of Weir's repertoire, whether performing with the Grateful Dead or solo.

Karan's talents on the six-string have been a driving force for Ratdog. He describes Weir's approach to guitar playing as "reactive and interactive," one that keeps Karan and the other band members on their toes.

Karan recently produced a recording by Ocean City's own G-13, a local jam band. On April 15, Ratdog played the Beacon Theater in New York City, with G-13 hosting an after-party for the band later that night at the nearby B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill.

G-13 will again host an after-party for Ratdog, this time in Ocean City following Tuesday's convention center concert. G-13 will play the Sand Bar, 33rd Street and Bay, from midnight to 2 a.m., and Karan is expected to sit in on guitar.
Coast Press reporter Roger Hillis contributed to this article.

WHAT: An Evening with Bob Weir and Ratdog
WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Roland E. Powell Convention Center, 40th Street and the Bay, Ocean City, Md.
COST: $35
CALL: (800) 551-7328


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