This past Saturday, September 23rd, The Grass is Dead played a sprightly show on the outdoor patio of 1904 Music Hall. The cool fall air set the atmosphere for the union of bluegrass and The Grateful Dead’s rhapsodies. The night was rightly commenced with “Salt Creek”, a 1964 collaboration between Jerry Garcia and The Black Mountain Boys. Beneath the city lights of downtown Jacksonville, the crowd was energized and ready to boogie to the songs “Alabama Getaway”, “Brown-Eyed Women”, “Sugaree”, “He’s Gone”, and “Fire on the Mountain”.
The homecoming show came after a busy summer tour featuring venues such as: Gamble Rogers Music Festival, Orange Blossom Jamboree, and Soulshine Music Festival.
Frontman Billy Gilmore gave a multidimensional display of talent on the banjo, guitar, and fiddle. Billy was accompanied by members Steve Pruett (mandolin), Jon Murphy (upright bass), Jared Womack (dobro), and Brian Drysdale (drums). Highlights of the show included a breakdown of “Lonesome Fiddle Blues” and Jimmy Cliff’s “Harder They Come”.
Most memorable was the final song of the night. The band unplugged and joined the center of the crowd for an intimate sing-along of “Ripple”. As the crowd embraced one another in harmonious song, a sense of community was shared by everyone. This sense of community is a unique power The Grass is Dead holds in their music; something the spirit of bluegrass and The Grateful Dead would be proud.
Be sure to catch some of the magic at band’s next festival, Suwannee Roots Revival, October 12th-15th. Tickets on sale here.