CD & Concert Reviews

“This mostly East Bay crew has tapped into yet another audience: fans of both Celtic music and the Dead. Judging by turnouts last month at Bimbo’s (Wake the Dead in a double bill with doo-wop kings the Persuasions to celebrate both acts’ CDs of Dead music) and at this sold-out hometown debut, the deliciously fresh Celtic-Dead thing was an idea whose time has clearly come.”
Larry Kelp, East Bay Express, 11/1/2000


“This marks the beginning of an era of music that I think is the most important, wonderfullest thing to happen to Grateful Dead music since Jerry died. I haven’t heard anything that portrays the spirit — not even coming from the Grateful Dead members — that came close to realizing the kindness of Jerry Garcia and the spirit of the Grateful Dead.”
Vince Welnick, after Wake the Dead/Persuasions
San Francisco CD release concert


“Shimmering renditions of Dead music fused with Celtic beauty. The music is beautiful, masterfully performed with Dead-hommage vocal style, great traditional Celtic instrumentation. The Dead songs fit this genre very well. I think any fan of the Dead will appreciate these renditions of their music. I know Jerry would’ve dug them.”
Reed Maidenberg, Amazon.com


“Five stars! This record captures more fully than any single Dead album or tribute project, the melodic beauty, lyrical depth and timeless quality of the Garcia/Hunter songbook. Largely acoustic and blended seamlessly with traditional Scots and Irish melodies, this is a record that could capture a broad audience, converting folkies into Deadheads and ‘heads into folkies.”
Amazon.com


“[Wake the Dead] have found a spiritual walkway between Irish music and the Grateful Dead . . . There’s a sense of longing in every CD track.”
San Francisco Examiner


“Just the new and different thing adventurous ears crave.”
Midwest Record Recap


“An earthy acoustic sound reminiscent of the David Grisman Quintet.”
Richard B. Simon, Sonicnet


“An eminently listenable stroll through new pastures that should please both Deadheads and trad music fans who’ve never touched tie-dye.”
Brad Kava, San Jose Mercury News


“Never, ever, mix mescaline and Guinness!”
fROOTS Magazine
, UK, 12/00


“Absolutely blew me away!”
Toni Brown, Relix Magazine, 5/-1


“Wake the Dead is a thorough delight from start to end, seamlessly interweaving the good old tunes with the good older tunes — traditional airs, jigs and reels (plus one original dubbed an “unreel”). You’ve never heard songs like “Bertha,” “The Wheel,” “Sugaree” and “Bird Song” quite like this, and it’s likely that you’ll never listen to them in quite the same way again.”
Grateful Dead Almanac


“If you didn’t know the songs, or hadn’t read the credits, it would be easy get swept up in this music and imagine that some of the Garcia/Hunter material came from the pen of Turlough O’Carolan himself. Every segue works, and every track is beautiful. This, then, is the living legacy of the Grateful Dead, great new performances of great songs. Dead songs live, and the lives of listeners everywhere are better for it.”
Shaun Dale, Cosmik Debris Magazine, 12/00


“Take eight classic Grateful Dead tunes, add seven seasoned musicians who groove to a joyful Celtic rhythm, blend it with a healthy dose of love for both, and you’ve got one hell of a party! In this case, it comes in the form of a delightful CD, Wake the Dead. From rock grooves to a touch of bluegrass to hot Irish reels to hauntingly beautiful melodies, the combination puts forth a new kind of sound that conjures up memories of Old & In the Way and early Grateful Dead vibes, familiar to Deadheads everywhere. The comfortable adaptations make it sound as if these songs were written to be performed in this manner, proving once again that the music of the Grateful Dead is capable of crossing all social and cultural boundaries, including a vast array of musical genres. A stellar cast of musicians.”
Portland Observer
, Portland, OR, 12/00