To find out what makes Dark Star Orchestra unique as a tribute band, check out our print piece here. We mention that the band's Aug. 1 show in Newark happens on what would be Jerry Garcia's birthday, and we asked new "Jerry," guitarist Jeff Mattson, about the revered guitarist.
"When I first got into the Dead, I just thought his playing was just so different from other players," Mattson said. "His melodic sense drew me to him. A lot of players have intensity but fall into comfortable patterns. Garcia was deeply in touch with melody and flow and it immediately pulled me in. He was able to do a long improvisation and keep it interesting."
"That has always been my idea, to take stuff I really like and make it part of what I do. Of course part of me is hardcore Deadhead, but it's not like when I'm playing I'm constantly thinking 'What would Jerry do?'"
The last part he said with a chuckle, then added that Garcia's birthday was like a "high holy day. He passed on Aug. 9, so it's like Easter week. I much prefer the day he was born."
Dark Star drummer Rob Kortiz was catty about plans to mark the occasion.
"I'm sure we'll do something special," he said. "I'm just not sure what."