Hey RTDeadheads - despite everything, 2020 was a huge year for our band of merry musical pranksters. Matt Cole, Joe Waldecker, and Laurie Lester all joined the band. We played 5 times at Otus supply, live streaming 4 of them, did a set of hits at The Beats Go On in Royal Oak, returned to The Cadieux Cafe and Watermark, and played our first gig at the Tangent Gallery. Each of the band members has selected a favorite song or sequence from 2020 to share with you once more. Enjoy these performances until we meet again in 2021.
Matt Cole - Lead Guitar and Vocals
Matt Cole’s pick is from the Labor Day weekend performance at The Beats Go On in Royal Oak. We performed a 30-minute set of hits, book-ending with Sugar Magnolia and Sunshine Daydream. But before Sunshine, we did a short medley of teases for the Deadheads in the crowd. Can you catch all 4 of them? Here’s Truckin>Sunshine Daydream.
Bill Butler - Bass and Vocals
Bill Butler’s choice for his favorite moment of 2020 comes from our October 17 “Raising Jerry” show, which featured mostly songs from the Jerry Garcia Band repertoire. In the second set, we played the Hunter/Garcia penned “Gomorroah.” Listen carefully at the conclusion of the vocal, and you’ll hear the chord changes shift, as the band crescendos into a Joe Cocker style chorus of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends.”
Laurie Lester - Vocals
Laurie Lester joined the band in the spring, but her favorite live moment of the year was on the October 1st Otus Supply live streamed show. The sumptuous series of segues has something for every Deadhead: Bird Song>The Music Never Stopped>Eyes of the World>I Know You Rider>Terrapin Station.
Dave Martin - Rhythm Guitar and Vocals
Dave Martin’s favorite moment on stage in 2020 was on October 17 at Otus Supply, performing My Sisters and Brothers>Tangled Up In Blue. As soon as the song began out of the Mississippi Half Step tag, the feeling in the room shifted and everyone began to dance. It was an amazing feeling - and when the song segued into the Dylan classic, the energy jumped yet another level.
Max Katz - Keyboards
Max Katz’s choice for the best of 2020 is the Crazy Fingers>Uncle John’s Band from our outdoor Cadieux Cafe performance on September 19, just as a chilly fall weather began to set in. This was our first time tackling Crazy Fingers, a harmonically challenging tune that led to some great soloing and an energetic climax and a seamless segue into UJB. The jam in Uncle John goes into deep space and returns triumphantly.
Joe Waldecker - Drums and Vocals
Joe Waldecker chose a moment from our very first show of 2020, February 28 at The Cadieux Cafe. Here’s what he has to say about that gig: “It was hard to pick just one moment of this year but I'm going to go back to the very beginning for this choice. I'm going with the first set closer segue of Liberty>Scarlet>Fire from my first gig with RTD. Truth be told, it took multiple people reaching out several times before I was willing to try and play this music again. I probably hadn't played a Dead tune since September and hadn't picked up a pair of sticks since November. I just wasn't sure that I wanted to play music anymore, but Dave and Sydne and Laurie and the rest of gang were quite persistent. I agreed to try out and got the gig! I was anxious to play, as you can tell by some of these tempos, but it was pretty tight. I remember looking out at all of these familiar faces and falling in love with playing live music all over again. Liberty was a nice way to kick this off and find our groove. Scarlet was bouncy, really a lot of fun the whole way through. The jam into Fire was a hoot, as we were really starting to figure out each others playing in real time. FOTM has always meant a lot to me, and to get to play and sing it again infront of my friends (old and new) and family was bringing me close to tears. Laurie isn't on stage for this one, but she is in the building smiling back at us. What a Night!”
One more Halloween night, the Otus tent was filled with the Greatest of the Grateful. As costumed revelers twirled between the vibrations, Raising The Dead spun another web of sonic bliss, this time with a strong Halloween theme: Werewolves, Hell in a Bucket, Candyman. We debuted our first Phish tune, Wolfman's Brother, and gave our first performances of Bucket and the Laurie-led anthem presciently written for 2020: New Speedway Boogie ("This darkness got to give!"). Stephen NyQuist once again joined us on the Waldecker throne, to much acclaim. We must get those two on the same stage, someday...
Asked for a show review, RTD superfan Sydne Kasle says: "Thom Bloom knows how to throw a party. The chill to the air was hardly a concern with the hot melty jams coming from inside the tent. The vocals were sublime. And the band played on!"
10-31-20 Otus Supply Ferndale, MI
I: Werewolves of London, Hell in a Bucket*, Candyman, Cassidy, Shakedown Street > Good Lovin', Althea, Picasso Moon
II: Pride of Cucamonga, Lost Sailor > Estimated Prophet > Crazy Fingers > The Other One > The Eleven > New Speedway Boogie* > Saint of Circumstance, Wolfman's Brother*
E: Bertha, Feel Like a Stranger, Franklin's Tower
*1st time played
We were prepared for a chilly October evening - layers of clothing, fingerless gloves, and hats - but despite temps in the low 50s, the tent at Otus Supply in Ferndale was cozy and comfy - and perfect for an evening of "Raising Jerry." We had prepared an evening of music consisting mostly of Jerry Garcia Band songs, and had an awesome time sharing it with our socially-distanced capacity crowd.
We were joined by frequent RTD guest drummer Stephen NyQuist, who held down the upstage throne with skill and style. He'll be with us for our shows at Tangent Gallery on October 30 and back at Otus on Halloween. For the first time, Dave played acoustic guitar with the band, adding a rhythm guitar to material Jerry mostly played without one. Lead vocals were swapped among Dave, Matt, Bill, and Stephen, and Laurie led the sparkling harmonies that RTD is becoming known for.
The show was live-streamed by the outstanding Restream team, and resident Otus sound engineer Chris made sure the sound was crisp and clear for the musicians (all wearing in-ear monitors), the audience, and the online streamers.
We're sorry to see the weather start to change and the relative safety of outdoor shows start to go away, but we're not quite done yet. See you Halloween weekend!
10-17-2020 "Raising Jerry" Otus Supply, Ferndale, MI
I: The Way You Do The Things You Do*, They Love Each Other, Mission in the Rain, Cumberland Blues, Uncle John's Band, Everybody Needs Somebody*
II: Catfish John*, Gomorrah+, Keep Your Day Job, Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo>My Sisters and Brothers*, Tangled Up In Blue*, Touch of Grey, Ripple
E: Iko Iko
*=first time played
+=with With A Little Help From My Friends tag
This October, we are taking advantage of the outdoor venues offering heaters and tents to keep audiences and the band warm, while providing the relative safety of outdoor gathering. Bring your masks and your dancing shoes! For each of these shows, we'll be joined by one of our favorite people, drummer Stephen NyQuist. We'll see you then!
What may have been our finest show yet was live streamed at The Parliament Room at Otus Supply on October 1st. The show was significant not just for its setlist (which featured 4 new songs for us), the 5-camera live stream (we were the band who begun Otus' live streaming series), but because it was the last show for a while for our Drummer/singer/maestro Joe Waldecker. Joe's soon embarking on a tour with Nina & The Buffalo Riders, and we wish him well! Fear not, Raising The Deadheads, for Joe will be back in the spring to rock Detroit stages again. In the mean time, enjoy this awesome stream and soundboard audio (including the encore) from the gig. As always, you can also find it on our Archive.org page.
10-1-2020 Otus Supply, Ferndale, MI
Alabama Getaway*, China Cat Sunflower > Viola Lee Blues* > Samson & Delilah, Loser, Big River, Deep Elem Blues*, Bird Song > The Music Never Stopped > Eyes of the World > I Know You Rider > Terrapin Station, It's All Over Now, Baby Blue*
E: Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower
*first time played
Raising The Dead performed at The Beats Go On in Royal Oak, MI on September 6, 2020 in this pro-shot video. It will premiere at 8pm on 9/30/2020.
We are excited to help raise funds for the Arts Beats & Eats Musician's Fund! If you donate to Raising The Dead via the links below, all donations will be matched by Oakland County and put towards the ABE Musician's Fund. The fund benefits professional musicians whose livelihood has been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic shut downs and cancellations. Thanks for giving!
Update: Here's the video!
Raising the Dead made our first two-set show as a 6-member ensemble one to remember! Playing the Cadieux Cafe always seems to bring out our best. Last February we were inside, pre-COVID, and featured the debut of Matt and Joe, with an unforgettable second set featuring an intense medley of The Music Never Stopped > Dark Star > St. Stephen > The Eleven > Drums > Samson and Delilah. This time, we debuted no less than 6 songs, took our full band improv next-level, and really showed what having 5 great singers in the band can sound like.
The crowd was masked and distanced and ready to move. We brought 2 subwoofers to make sure Bill's new Eden amp and stack got their due. The neighbors complained before the setbreak and we toned it down a bit, without decreasing the intensity. Some highlights of the night: we debuted our first Laurie-led songs, the Pigpen classics Big Boss Man and Midnight Hour, Dave preached on Throwing Stones, Max worked out his Crazy Fingers, Joe led a soulful Wharf Rat, Bill sang a well-harmonized Uncle John's Band, and Matt led the out-there improv on Playin' in the Band.
Relive the show below, with crispy soundboard audio and video, with a Healy-inspired wide mix, rhythm guitar and keys panned hard.
Oh, two more things: Day Job isn't really Matt's favorite song, and no, you can't play Joe's drums.
9/19/2020 Cadieux Cafe Detroit, MI
Help on the Way > Slipknot! > West LA Fadeaway* > Throwing Stones, St. Stephen, Jack-a-Roe, Big Boss Man*, Crazy Fingers* > Uncle John's Band
Day Job*, Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo > Wharf Rat > Deal, Playin' in the Band > Iko Iko* > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower > Playin' in the Band, Midnight Hour*
Sugar Magnolia > Casey Jones > Sunshine Daydream
*first time played
Raising The Dead was really excited to play The Beats Go On on September 6. The event was the result of some creative thinking by the team who produces the Arts, Beats, and Eats festival every year in Royal Oak. With the restrictions on crowd size and safety considerations of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Beats Go On was a way to help Detroit area musicians perform and raise money for themselves and other musicians in the area who have been hit hard by the inability to perform live music.
Raising The Dead was selected for a drive-in performance, and paired with the Santana tribute band The Santana Project. Each group got 30 minutes to perform, with sanitization and appropriate social distancing separating the shows. 50 tickets, each admitting one car with two people were sold, and the RTD-TSP show sold out.
We took the stage at 4:30 and had a tight, 30-minute set of Grateful Dead favorites planned. It's no small thing to whittle down what we do to just 30 minutes, but our performance seems to have turned some heads nonetheless. We started with Sugar Magnolia, pivoted into the Dead's biggest commercial hit Touch of Grey, and then started the American Beauty track Casey Jones. We all howled with laughter when, during the third chorus of Casey ("Driving that train, high on cocaine"), a train barreled down the tracks immediately adjacent the performance site. The timing was perfect! After that notion crossed our minds, we pivoted into a Jammy Truckin'. Since we couldn't play a whole show, we thought we'd give the Deadheads in the crowd a taste of what might have come next, so we teased The Other One, I Need A Miracle, He's Gone, and Dark Star before returning to end Sugar Mag with Sunshine Daydream. It was the first time we'd played the complete Daydream tag, with Laurie (who made her auspicious debut with RTD) singing Donna's parts with confidence. We ended on a high, Dave introduced the band, and we were at 30 minutes, on the nose.
Then, a funny thing happened - the event producer, Jonathan Witz, hopped on stage and asked us not to leave - a surprise when playing such a tightly timed show. He asked if we'd encore Truckin' while Channel 4 took footage for the evening news. Of course, there's only one answer when the producer wants an encore, so we hung out for a while. Unfortunately, the Channel 4 crew didn't end up recording us after all, but it's a moment we'll never forget. Our friend Warren Nelson captured the event and broadcast it to Facebook Live, and that feed is included here. Watch for the pro-shot footage from Arts Beats and Eats coming soon!
We hope to be a part of the Arts Beats and Eats shows in the future, and really enjoyed seeing all the fans that came out to support us. We'd like to ask you to support The Beats Go On as they work to raise $500,000 in order to match Oakland County's grant. Money donated will go towards supporting professional musicians in the Detroit area. Thank you for your support!
On August 20, 2020, Dave played a solo acoustic show at the Detroit Yacht Club. It was a request by Debbie Sapperstein, whose husband Leon was celebrating his birthday. Both are lifelong Deadheads who have seen Raising The Dead perform at The Watermark in St. Clair Shores. They contacted Matt, who was unavailable, but recommended Dave for the gig. The weather was warm and humid, but the breeze was beautiful. 2 hours of un-mic'd acoustic Dead followed, and it's archived here for your pleasure.
In addition, Dave helps plan and create music for online Sunday services for the Grosse Ile Presbyterian Church. On September 13, the Jerry Garcia Band song "My Sisters and Brothers" was a perfect fit. The band recorded the song at our rehearsal on Tuesday, September 9 and had a really nice performance on the second take. Unfortunately, the audio files that captured it were corrupted, which was discovered on Wednesday. That meant Dave had to get to work! In his small office studio, Dave recorded the drums, bass, guitar, organ, and 3-part gospel harmony vocals, and produced the recording here. He hopes you enjoy it!
Detroit Yacht Club 8-20-2020, Dave Solo Acoustic
I: Bertha, Dancin, Bird Song>Truckin, Moondance, FOTD, EOTW, El Paso>Mama Tried, TLEO
II: Sugaree, Watchtower>Stairway, Let It Grow, Ripple*, Good Lovin*, Terrapin
Raising The Dead will be performing for The Beats Go On, a re-imagining of Arts Beats and Eats for 2020. We will perform a special drive-in concert with The Santana Project from 4:30-6:30 on Sunday, September 6 in Downtown Royal Oak at the corner of 6th and Main. The event is ticketed and all proceeds go to the performers. A limited number of tickets are available (50 cars) and each ticket admits 2 people in one car. Ticket price is $30, and tickets are available at the Arts Beats and Eats website. RSVP at the Facebook event here.
Please also consider donating to The Beats Go On Musician's Fund by following this link.
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Raising The Dead
Is a band committed to recreating the live experience of a Grateful Dead show. We hope you'll kindly join us.