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Grateful Dead cover band plays Riverside

BY SAMANTHA GENTRY | DECEMBER 08, 2011 7:20 AM

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Every year, musicians from all different genres gather at the New York Guitar Festival and share their love for music. And there is something else that brings them together — the Grateful Dead.

The members of the American Beauty Project met at this festival years ago, and the appreciation they shared for the iconic band brought them together. The group will play its eighth show, hosted by Hancher, at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, 3184 Highway 22, Riverside. Admission ranges from $10 to $37.

The Hancher staff members, especially Director of Marketing and Communications Rob Cline, said they are excited to bring in this musical group.

"I think the best thing about them is that they have taken music from this famous band and treated it like the greater American songbook," Cline said. "We are in the era now where rock 'n' roll music is starting to get that treatment, and it's interesting to see these musicians take on the music of the Grateful Dead."

The American Beauty Project focuses its music on the Grateful Dead albums Workingman's Dead and American Beauty.

Jim Lauderdale, the rhythm guitarist for the band, remembers listening to these particular albums when he was a teenager. He was a country-music and rock 'n' roll fan, but when he heard the live albums from the Grateful Dead, he was instantly hooked.

"Those two records in a way were [the Grateful Dead's] take on country music, but they made it their own unique hybrid," Lauderdale said. "I had never heard anything like that before, and I loved the pedal-steel guitar that they used."

The group also consists of folk band Ollabelle and jazz/blues singer Catherine Russell, among other musicians.

The concert near Iowa City will mark the first time the band has played in this area, and Lauderdale hopes it is the first of many times.

Jacob Yarrow, the Hancher programming director, remembers when he first saw the band play at Lincoln Center in New York City.

"The musicians are some of my favorites, and they have a long history of playing together, so there is great chemistry between them and the music," Yarrow said.


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