The second annual Skull and Roses Festival brought Deadheads from all over California, to the Ventura Fairgrounds, for three days of music inspired by The Grateful Dead. The campground area was nearly full by the time the music started early on Friday afternoon, April 6th. Festival publicist Dennis McNally, who was the publicist for the Grateful Dead from 1984-95 choose the spot because of its significance in the history of the Dead.
Just a few short weeks after the Chris Robinson Brotherhood's annual December three-night stand at The Fillmore in San Francisco, they'll set up shop once again in the Bay Area to ring in the New Year with three-nights, December 29, 30 and 31, at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. Tickets go on-sale Monday, December 18, 10am PT at https://store.terrapincrossroads.net/tickets.
Few albums have the creation myth of Interludes For The Dead by Neal Casal's Circles Around The Sun. The 10 instrumental jams that encompass the release were commissioned by Justin Kreutzmann, the filmmaker son of Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, to accompany the biographical visuals he was compiling to be shown during set break at the "Fare Thee Well" concerts the living members of the Dead played in the summer of 2015.
The gargantuan summer Fare Thee Well concerts represented a few milestones for the Grateful Dead. To celebrate the band’s fifty year anniversary the four living members, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart collectively decided two concerts at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California and three more at Chicago’s Solider Field would be the last time all of them got together to perform as The Dead.
The mystery of just who was behind those freewheeling tunes that kept the crowds groovin' during Fare Thee Well's intermissions has been revealed! Circles Around the Sun, a band convened by guitarist Neal Casal, formed specifically to record just for the shows and the results were so captivating, and the audience response so overwhelmingly positive, we decided to give the music a proper release.
Those lucky enough to score a "miracle" ticket to the Fare Thee Well concerts this summer were treated to some potent psychedelic jams during the shows’ intermissions. The mysterious group behind those freewheeling tunes was Circles Around the Sun, a band convened by guitarist Neal Casal specifically for the project.
When you see The Chris Robinson Brotherhood in your town, which they’ll no doubt be visiting sooner than later, the former Black Crowes vocalist will likely be the most recognizable. That’s not what this band is about, however, as this is no patchwork group assembled to orbit a central star. This is a band in the truest sense, with five members sharing the stage and songs that have come together as an evolving unit over four-plus years.
It’s hard to use the term super-group without a couple of obvious stigmas surfacing. It usually constitutes musicians who were sensationalized with other bands coming together to benefit off of the novelty of their collaboration with other already successful players. Often the results are under-inspired, a lucrative opportunity to make a quick buck off of an established name. Not every band assembled of already established players constitutes super group.