GRATEFUL SHRED

Grateful Shred

Wait – I know what you’re thinking. Another fucking Grateful Dead cover band?

Really?

The thing is, Los Angeles-based Grateful Shred manage to channel that elusive Dead vibe: wide-open guitar tones, effortless three-part vocal harmonies, choogling beats, and yes, plenty of tripped out, Shredded solos. The look, the sound, the atmosphere. It’s uncanny. “It’s more of a ‘take’ on the Dead than a tribute band,” says bassist Dan Horne. “We end up sounding almost more like the Dead because we approach it in this free-spirited way.”

Founded one night in 2016, the band came about almost by accident. Singer/guitarist Austin McCutchen had a residency at The Griffin in Atwater Village; his band was out of town, so he drafted some friends to play a set of Dead covers, and the four founding members (Austin, Sam, Clay, and Dan) have been together ever since. Sam Blasucci and Clay Finch (of country-folk revivalists Mapache) handle vocal and guitar duties, rounded out by bassist Dan Horne (of Cass McCombs, Jonathan Wilson, and the estimable Circles Around The Sun, who provided the incidental music for 2015’s “Fare Thee Well” concerts, the last shows played by the living members of the Dead ). Add a rotating cast of drummers (like Richard Gowen of he Growler) and keyboardists (like Lee Pardini of Dawes and Jerry Borgé of Ziggy Marley), and you’ve got the essential formula.

Far from being a historical re-enactment, Grateful Shred’s laissez faire vibe infuses the band with a gentle spirit, warmth, and (dare we say it) authenticity. From their killer merch game to their eminently watchable YouTube channel, they’re clearly having a rad time and spreading the love. Strangely enough, in a world overflowing with wax museum nostalgia and Deadly sentimentalism, we need the Shred, now more than ever.

With Special Guest Mapache

The young men of Mapache don’t like to waste time. In the studio, Sam Blasucci and Clay Finch often gather around a single microphone to capture their songs live in a take or two at most. On the road, they begin charming audiences instantly, captivating crowds with their mesmerizing harmonies and intricate guitar work from the very first notes. And now, just months after releasing their critically acclaimed debut, the duo is already back with a beguiling new EP titled ‘Lonesome LA Cowboy.’

“We just didn’t see any reason to wait,” says Blasucci. “Our repertoire has grown since our first record, and these songs are just too much fun not to sing.”

Consisting of three charismatic covers, ‘Lonesome LA Cowboy’ encompasses a far broader swath of time and space than the hour it took to record would suggest, effortlessly bridging decades, genres, and even international borders. Tapping faithfully into an era that ended well before their births, Mapache’s performances here conjure up dry desert breezes and lush coastal canyons with a distinctly southwestern brand of harmony-driven folk and country that’s at once vintage and contemporary. The pair relies on nothing more than acoustic guitars and enchanting vocals to work their magic, pulling influence from the architects of American roots music as well as formative years spent living in Mexico and filtering it all through modern, youthful sensibilities. It’s music with little regard for boundaries or barriers, reverent of the past but fully immersed in the present.

“We make music that’s reflective of the landscape we grew up with in southern California,” says Finch. “It’s a big sweep of all the really rich influences you encounter around here: folk and psychedelic and country and Latin and rock and cowboy and Hawaiian. We’re drawing from a really deep well.”

Recorded in a similarly stripped-down fashion with producer Dan Horne (Cass McCombs, Allah-Las), Mapache’s self-titled debut introduced the duo’s timeless songwriting and airtight harmonies, earning obvious comparisons to The Louvin Brothers in addition to more cosmic keepers of the flame like Graham Parsons and the Grateful Dead. Aquarium Drunkard hailed the duo as “a blazed up Everly Brothers” and raved that “the LP faithfully radiates the intimate warmth of their live shows,” while No Depression said the album “weds lilting melodies to lyrics that often extol the beauties of nature,” and Saving Country Music declared that the duo “can fill up a room with more soul soaring harmony than most symphonic assemblies.” The music helped earn the band festival appearances from Pickathon to Mountain Jam as well as tour dates with Chris Robinson, Nikki Bluhm, Beachwood Sparks, and more.

Though Mapache (Spanish for “raccoon”) only recently began recording, the duo’s roots stretch all the way back to high school, where Finch and Blasucci struck up a friendship over a shared love of skateboarding and classic songwriters. After graduation, Finch headed north to study music at Chico State (birthplace of The Mother Hips, who recently invited Mapache to perform at their beloved Hipnic festival in Big Sur), while Blasucci headed south to Mexico, where he served as a missionary for two years.

“The experience opened up new ways of creative thinking for me,” says Blasucci. “I was only 18, and suddenly I was thrust into living independently in a new country. I had to learn to rely on myself and to pursue the things that I really wanted.”

Blasucci was also introduced to whole new worlds of melody and rhythm, falling particularly hard for the folk music of northern Mexico, a style that informs his playing and writing to this day.

While the duo’s debut showcased the incisive lyrical and melodic craftsmanship of their original work, ‘Lonesome LA Cowboy’ highlights their skills as interpreters and cultural synthesizers, taking tunes best known for renditions by The Louvin Brothers, Doc Watson, and Peter Rowan and making them distinctly their own. The lilting “Katie Dear” spins beauty from tragedy, while the bittersweet “Last Thing On My Mind” bids a fond farewell to a lover, and the laidback “Lonesome LA Cowboy” captures the days and nights of a West Coast troubadour.

“Even though it was written in 1973, that song couldn’t be more accurate of life here in LA as a musician,” says Blasucci. “There’s a line in there about Barney’s Beanery, though, and we changed it to the Semi-Tropic because we live nearby and we’re there all the time. We made it a little more personal to our story.”

That’s ultimately what Mapache does best, reaching into the past to create something truly modern and deeply personal. Their sound isn’t an exercise in nostalgia, but rather a link in a chain that stretches far behind and ahead of them. ‘Lonesome LA Cowboy’ draws strength from what’s come before and lays the groundwork for what’s to come next, building on tradition at the same time as it creates its own. If Mapache can do all that in an hour, just imagine what the future holds.

Plus The Mad Alchemist Liquid Light Show

Mad Alchemy is an analog liquid light show in the great San Francisco tradition of Bill Hamm, Glen Mckay and Brotherhood of Light from the heyday of the Bay's psychedelic ballrooms. Principal Lance Gordon has been involved with this art form since 1971 and learned the essence of liquid projections from a former member of the Brotherhood of Light at 17. With a team of 3 to 4 people, Mad Alchemy typically blends 6 to 9 projections (all overhead), together creating a dramatic montage of color always moving and changing.

Sensing a renewed interest in this kind of projection 6 years ago, Lance has devoted all of his attention to reviving this analog style and taken Mad Alchemy on the road, completing seven US and two European tours. The most recent US AND European tours (late October, November, and December 2014) were in support of the Temples from the UK. Throughout the tour we performed in Iconic venues like the Forum, London; Trianon, Paris; Ritz, Manchester Rickshaw Thearter, Vancouver and the domestic greats Irving Plaza in New York and the Fillmore in San Francisco.

Mad Alchemy has a constant presence in San Francisco, performing regularly at the Chapel and other venues in the Bay Area. In addition, Mad Alchemy can be found performing at many festivals and other popular venues throughout California. Mad Alchemy has performed with the top bands in psych rock and several other genres. Just to name a few: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard (AUS), Choclate Watch Band, Night Beats (TX), Elephant Stone (CAN), Temples (UK), Toy Uk, Jacco Gardner (Netherlands), Graveyard, (Gotthenberg, Sweden), Allah-Las (LA), Mystic Braves (LA), Morgan Delt (LA), Mr Elevator and the Brain Hotel (LA), Radio Moscow (San Deigo), Fever the Ghost (LA), Moon duo (Portland), Woods (New York), Real Estate (New York), White Fence (LA), Chris Robinson Brotherhood (San Francisco), The Shrine (Venice Beach), Scorpion Child (Austin, TX), Blank Tapes (LA), Dead Meadow (LA) and the Buffalo Killers (Ohio).

When Lance Gordon first performed analog liquid light shows in the 1970's, he shared the stage with the likes of Roky Erickson, Big Brother and the Holding Co., Its a Beautiful Day, John Lee Hooker, Boz Skaggs, The Tubes, Tower of Power, John Cipollina, Copperhead, and Elvin Bishop.

$20.00 - $25.00

Tickets

Ages 15+ without a parent

All tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable following purchase

Listed price does not include tax and service charge

Price is the same online, over the phone, or in the Box Office.

NO BAGS

Who’s Going

Upcoming Events
Fox Theatre