Dead Heads unite at Roots and Blues

Artists will pay tribute to both The Grateful Dead and the band’s late leader Jerry Garcia at 23rd Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival.

Roll away the dew, and wear that tie-dyed T-shirt proudly, the 23rd annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival has just announced that a number of its artists will pay tribute to both The Grateful Dead and the band’s late leader Jerry Garcia.

The festival takes place Aug. 14 to 16 at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Grateful Dead becoming a band in San Francisco.  It also marks the 20th anniversary of Garcia’s death.

It seems only fitting that the incredible songbook and spirit of what this group of musicians created be recognized by Roots and Blues, said festival artistic director Peter North

“Yes, the Dead helped create the psychedelic scene of the ‘60s, but the band has always been so much more than that,” said North. “Collectively and individually, Garcia, Bob Weir, lyricist Robert Hunter, drummer Mickey Hart and the others had a foothold in the traditions of folk music from country to blues and bluegrass while Hart, in particular, has been a pivotal player in introducing a huge audience to many sounds associated with world music.”

Roots & Blues will present a handful of shows drawing from the deep well of The Dead and Garcia.

Acoustic acts will dive into The Dead’s traditional sources, while electric acts will take on classic Dead tunes ranging from Fire On The Mountain to Deal to Truckin’.

One of the acts that will dispense a number of Grateful Dead songs is Brothers Keeper from Vail, Colo. Joining the band are two members of the extended Grateful Dead family, multi-instrumentalist Jason Crosby, who has performed with both Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, and guitarist/singer Mark Karan, who toured and recorded with Lesh, Weir, Hart and Bruce Hornsby in The Other Ones after Garcia’s passing.

Karan also spent the better part of a decade in Weir’s band Ratdog.

“These guys all know the Grateful Dead and Garcia/Hunter songbooks inside out and there are a few other great artists who have serious connections to The Dead camp that will be announced as part of the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival down the road,” said North.

Also performing at Roots and Blues this summer are Canned Heat, Oysterband, Rocky Lawrence, the Stooges Brass Band, and The Duhks, and others.

•• Just announced as of March 6, Roots and Blues has added 10 other artists to play the 2015 festival.

They are:

Marty Stuart and The Fabulous Superlatives (USA)

John Oates (USA)

Royal Southern Brotherhood ft. Cyrille Neville (USA)

Adam Cohen (Canada)

Elephant Revival (USA)

Tony McManus (Scotland / Canada)

Quartetto Gelato (Canada)

Rockin’ Highliners (Canada)

Monica Heldal (Norway)

Hanggai (China)

Roots and Blues is also hosting the  Doin’ It Right Dance and Concert at the Shaw Centre Arena in Salmon Arm, March 14 with all your music loving friends in the community.

Buying a ticket to the Doin’ It Right gives you a great evening of music with one of the greatest blues band to have ever called Canada home, Vancouver’s Powder Blues Band.

Tom Lavin and company will be delivering all the hits, Doin’ It Right, Boppin’ With The Blues, Hear That Guitar Ring, Thirsty Ears, What’ve I been Drinkin’ and more for two full sets of timeless sounds.

With the help of Kelowna’s Devon Coyote, and Salmon Arm’s own Patrick Ryley from EZ Rock and Seal Skull Hammer, Doin’ It Right promises to be a night of great music, fun and community bonding.

Help The Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival keep on Doin’ It Right….phone Roots and Blues at 250-833-4096 for your tickets.

For more information, visit