Rhythm Devils

What a total and complete honor to be invited to play in the Rhythm Devils.  Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann from the Grateful Dead head up this interesting combo that infuses Grateful Dead material with recently written music from Robert Hunter and Mickey Hart.  The Rhythm Devils material is peppered with samples and loops, which were designed by Mickey Hart.  He has an incredible vision of creating a type of spacey tribal trance using not only these loops and samples, but joining his gear with the bass and 2 guitarists by way of midi clock.  This means that each of us has an effect processer that is synced together with the tempo of Mickey’s loops and samples being locked in with our delays and freeky modulations.  Sound complicated?  It is to the outside world, but to Mickey it’s just plain simple.  During the 3 shows we have done thus far, I feel we have come close to achieving his idea.  We are not quite there yet.  With 8 shows to go, there is still time to get there.  Positivity and encouragement goes a long way with musicians who are trying to bring to life somebody else’s vision. Speaking of positivity, Bill Kreutzmann is boiling over with it. His vibe and demeanor carry over in his playing as he dances effortlessly behind his kit. Sikiru plays the talking drum.  This is a 2-headed drum with one on the top and one on the bottom connected by ropes.  Simply place the drum under your arm and squeeze while you play thus tightening and loosening the heads creating actual notes on the drum.  Sikiru is a master.  He can conjure up bass lines and take super interesting rhythmic solos.  His instrument and his vibe is a very important part of Mickey’s vision.  Andy Hess is as solid of a bass player as they come.  He’s played with such greats as John Scofield, Warren Haynes, and the Black Crowes.  He’s been somewhat of a guru of arrangement.  The go to guy to answer your musical queries.  He can bring the funk and freek me out with his tasty jaco fills at any given moment.  Davy Knowles is a young, ripping blues guitarist from the Isle of Man.  We call him “the kid” because he’s so disgustingly younger than everybody else.  The kid rocks.  His playing style is super skilled drawing from blues, rock, and fusion. He also plays lap steal with authority.  He only started listening to Grateful Dead music once he was offered this gig.  He has really done his homework with these songs while keeping his personality and his musical integrity in tact.  The kid has a long career ahead of him.  I’m looking forward to the next 8 shows.