Thursday, September 22, 2005

Dark Star Orchestra keep playing music of the Grateful Dead


From Nashville City Paper:


By Ron Wynn, rwynn@nashvillecitypaper.com

September 22, 2005

The Chicago-based Dark Star Orchestra (DSO) commemorates and performs the music of the Grateful Dead in a manner that’s authentic and respectful, yet not solemn or overly reverential. Indeed DSO has found a comfortable middle ground in terms of approach, one that enables them to faithfully recreate and revisit the wealth of the Dead music’s, but also stresses fresh interpretations and solos within that framework.
“I had attended 100 Grateful Dead shows and was thoroughly familiar with the band’s music and loved it long before coming into DSO,” drummer/percussionist Rob Koritz said. “What makes this such a fantastic experience is that we don’t ever play the same song the same way any night. You might catch three shows and you’ll hear three completely different performances of Grateful Dead music. “The second thing that’s so great about being part of DSO is that you’re around people who are thoroughly committed to playing the music, and an audience that’s there to appreciate that. We’ve met so many people over the years who have their own Dead memories, but they’re also very open and supportive of what we’re doing with DSO.”When the band started, they considered themselves just a bunch of friends getting together and doing Tuesday night jam sessions around Grateful Dead music. There was little thought about expanding beyond Chicago, and even less consideration about possibly becoming a national act. But some six years later, they’ve drawn national and international praises for their shows, and such former Dead members as rhythm guitarist/vocalist Bob Weir, drummer Bill Kreutzmann, vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux, and keyboardists Vince Welnick and Tom Constanten have appeared with them. Both a CD/DVD package Live at the Fillmore and three-disc set of their 1000th show are currently available online from DSOlive.com. The band has also survived a traumatic event, the April 24 passing of co-founder/keyboardist/vocalist Scott Larned from a sudden heart attack during their spring tour.“When Scott passed, our first thoughts were just let’s get through this tour,” Koritz said. “But now that we’ve had a month off, we’re all happy and eager to get back on the road and keep playing the music, though we’ve certainly suffered an irreplaceable loss.”

What: Dark Star Orchestra
When: 9 tonight
Where: Mercy Lounge, 1 Cannery Row
Cost: $18 in advance, $20 at the door
Info: 251-3020

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