Traverse City Record-Eagle

October 24, 2010

A long, strange tradition continues

Grateful Dead tribute band playing in TC


TRAVERSE CITY — A new member adds some legacy touches to the Dark Star Orchestra.

The Grateful Dead tribute band will be playing at the City Opera House Tuesday, Oct. 26.

Jeff Mattson has performed in two Grateful Dead members' bands.

Mattson, who has more than 30 years' experience, was enlisted by Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, founding members of the Dead, for their new band; Mattson is the Jerry Garcia-player. He was a founding member of The Zen Tricksters and has been praised for his "eerily on-point Garcia interpretations."

The Dark Star Orchestra also recently recorded a song, "Run Mary," with longtime Garcia collaborator Robert Hunter.

The group has performed more than 1,800 shows worldwide over the past 12 years, often being joined by original Dead members.

"Playing with Dark Star Orchestra feels just exactly like it felt when I was playing with the Grateful Dead," said vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux.

The band re-creates Grateful Dead setlists, interspersed with some of their own in an effort to "raise the Dead."

The show is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Opera House, 106 E. Front St. Tickets are $25, available at