Furthur, the project started by Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir and bassist Phil Lesh, has announced a hiatus. After their four night run in Mexico in January, the group will be taking 2014 off.
“Furthur came together in September, 2009, and from its inception was a band Phil and Bob were completely committed to, and still are,” the band stated on their Facebook page. “In the 18 years since the Grateful Dead stopped being a touring entity, Furthur has proven to be the longest-tenured, and most active band featuring two or more former members of the Grateful Dead. With shows that keep the Dead vibe alive while pushing the musical envelope, well, furthur, this band has brought smiles to hundreds of thousands of fans in the past four years.”
The band’s break is partially to allow more time for Weir and Lesh’s respective side projects. The bassist has been keeping busy with his new Terrapin Crossroads venue in San Rafael, California and also tours with his own band Phil Lesh & Friends, who just announced a Fall tour. Weir, meanwhile, will continue to run his TRI Studios and play solo shows.
Though the break will be a full year, the statement is clear that this is not the end of Furthur. “The last time the word ‘hiatus’ was used in regards to the Grateful Dead world was in 1974, and we all know how much good that break inspired,” they write. “They returned a year and a half later, stronger than ever, and for another 20 years. Furthur’s not breaking up; they’re simply taking a much-needed break. One way or another, we’ll see you around.”