Painted Mandolin explores Jerry Garcia’s musical roots

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Grateful Dead cofounder Jerry Garcia drew musical inspiration from a range of genres, and echoes of bluegrass, Celtic fiddle tunes, early blues and country stayed in his music even after he switched from banjo to electric guitar.

The band Painted Mandolin explores the acoustic side of Jerry Garcia’s music. The quartet, which features Joe Craven, will perform at The Palms Playhouse (13 Main Street) on Saturday, March 24, starting at 8 p.m. There will be space for dancing at the show.

With jamming instrumentals, grooving energy and vocals shared by all, Painted Mandolin dives into Garcia’s acoustic roots and projects including his early jug band days, the bluegrass of Old and in the Way, the Grateful Dead’s music through the “Reckoning” period and the Jerry Garcia/David Grisman projects from the early 1990s. Painted Mandolin plays Garcia’s acoustic songs, songs he was known for covering including tunes by Miles Davis, B.B. King, Ralph Stanley and others, and older traditional songs.

Painted Mandolin’s mandolinist, violinist and percussionist Joe Craven was a member of the Garcia/Grisman Band from 1991 to 1994, and a multi-instrumentalist in the David Grisman Quintet from 1989 to 2004.

He has collaborated with a number of artists including banjo innovator Alison Brown, Howard Levy, David Lindley and Jason Marsalis. In addition to Painted Mandolin, Craven is a bandleader of his own projects, including Joe Craven & The Sometimers.

Matt Hartle (lead guitar and banjotar) is also lead guitarist in the Grateful Dead-inspired projects Spirit of 76, The Chinacats and Shady Groove.

Bassist Roger Sideman is also in Spirit of 76 and The Chinacats, and Larry Graff (rhythm guitar and mandolin) is a founding member of the Banana Slug String Band and lead guitarist in Slugs n’ Roses.

Tickets for Painted Mandolin’s Saturday, March 24 show at The Palms Playhouse are $20 and are available online via The Palms’ website and through Eventbrite, as well as at Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters, Armadillo Music in Davis, Davids’ Broken Note in Woodland and at the door if the show is not sold out.

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