JGBCB (Jerry Garcia Band Cover Band) and Sweet Knievel


One of the finest Jerry Garcia Band Cover Bands playing today!

Sweet Knievel

When asked what type of music Sweet Knievel plays, guitarist and lead vocalist Jonathan Brill can't seem to give just one answer. "One minute we'll play a funky tune and then we could follow that with a bluegrass tune or with jazz, or rock, or whatever… We basically try to play every kind of music that we like, all while leaving ourselves room for some improvisation to take place."

Brill began playing guitar the same year he saw his first Grateful Dead show. It was not a coincidence. He was so moved by the experience that he decided to capture the songs by learning to play them himself. Somewhere along the line, he broadened his musical horizons. Playing casually in bands while attending the University of Vermont, he began to study guitar in a more formal setting, both at UVM and the Atlanta Institute of Music.
Upon returning to Georgia in 2001, Brill contacted old friend Jerry Hendelberg, who was in the early stages of forming what would become Dubconscious, a reggae band who within just a few years would tour over 40 states and play festivals such as Bonnaroo, High Sierra, and Reggae On the Rocks. As an alternative to playing reggae, Hendelberg would put together side-projects with various musicians to play other types of music. For most of these shows, Brill was invited to play guitar. Over the years, the two developed a musical bond, and eventually decided to turn the side-project into it's own band.
While playing music written by artists such as Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, the Flaming Lips, and Dave Brubeck, the band began to integrate Brill's original music into their live sets. Some of their early songs had Sweet Knievel likened to Syd Barrett and the Beatles. As the band continued to add a variety of Brill's original material, the songs touched on rock, funk, folk, bluegrass, and more.

"Going back to what I learned from Dead shows," starts Brill. "One huge takeaway for me was that you can play an unlimited number of different genres over the course of a night." A typical Sweet Knievel set reflects that philosophy. "I love so many types of music. I've always loved Motown and bluegrass music at the same time… I love reggae, jazz, indie rock, and even hip-hop. But don't worry, I won't be rapping anytime soon."
Both Brill and Hendelberg have been longtime fans of the jam band scene. "Something I think we've both learned from going to jam band shows all these years," says Brill, "is that there is more to music than melody, harmony, and rhythm. There is a huge part of the musicality that comes from the momentum the musicians create while improvising off of each other. Builds and falls with climaxes; whirling tensions snapping back into a tight groove; these are what Sweet Knievel is about, to me at least. Of course songs with melodies and hooks are important to our music.. but to me, it's the dynamics and the places a song or jam can take you that make it super exciting." But Brill does not consider the songs just vehicles for jamming. "I really love playing these songs, and some of them have been written for a long time. But I've never had the right outlet for them until now."

$6.00 - $8.00


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