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Oteil Burbridge to Join Grateful Dead Alumni Band “Dead and Company”

Oteil Burbridge
Photo by Jess Burbridge

Hundreds of thousands of people witnessed The Grateful Dead’s “Fare Thee Well” concert series, marking the final time the “core four” surviving band members would perform together under the band’s moniker. A month later, three of the four band members – Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart – have announced a concert on Halloween night at Madison Square Garden as “Dead and Company”. The band will include John Mayer and Jeff Chimenti.

Phil Lesh is the only member of the core four not joining the lineup as his own band Phil Lesh & Friends will be performing a six-night run at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. Bass guru Oteil Burbridge will instead be filling in the low end. As a former member of The Allman Brothers Band, he knows what it’s like to fill big shoes.

“It’s so hard when you come in to bands like the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band where the fans actually do know and care who the bassist is,” he told Billboard. “You don’t want to copy the original guy but you feel obligated to honor what bass melodies the founding bass player crafted for the song. With Phil there’s not usually a written, repeated bass line but more of an approach or philosophy that drives his choices. Billy [Kreutzmann] told me that he purposely wanted to play the opposite of conventional bass so that means it’s like the negative of a photo.”

Guitarist Bob Weir stated that the group is working on putting together more tour dates. Stay tuned for more details.