McMenamins Crystal Ballroom is thrilled to commemorate the 50th Anniversary (down to the very day!) of the Grateful Dead's historic "Quick and The Dead Tour" shows at the Crystal Ballroom, celebrating with a two-night appearance by Grateful Dead founding member Phil Lesh and his Terrapin Family Band. The 1968 event was an epic two-night double-bill, featuring the Grateful Dead and The Quicksilver Messenger Service, with performances that were magical enough to merit inclusion in the Dead's Anthem of the Sun album, released later that same year.
McMenamins is honored to host Phil Lesh, a man who has continued to cultivate a vibrantly creative community of musicians around him, for a not-to-miss commemoration of a golden era in music. Join us, turn on your love light, and leave it on!
Like so many other musical endeavors that Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead has been a part of, the Terrapin Family Band grew naturally and spontaneously out of something special. In this case, it was the unique environment that he fostered at Terrapin Crossroads, the music venue that he recently opened in Marin County, CA.
Using the Grateful Dead songbook as a springboard for reinterpretation and as inspiration to create original material, theTFB musicians were inspired as much by one another as they were by the diverse group of influences that they brought to the table; as a result, the music conveyed friendship, respect, warmth, and companionship for listeners and performers alike.
'Family' isn't just a moniker for the group, either. The first person that Phil brought on was Grahame Lesh, his son. From the beginning Grahame's guitar chops, powerful vocals and harmonic touch helped form the backbone of the band's sound.
Keeping with the family theme is Alex Koford, a longtime family friend whom Phil recruited to be his drummer. It quickly became apparent that Alex had a voice to match his drumming ability, and before long he was pulling a 'Levon Helm,' delivering soaring vocal leads while pounding away on the drums.
Then, there is the man of many talents, Jason Crosby. He started playing violin at the age of 2, discovered he had perfect pitch not longer thereafter, and then proceeded to master virtually every instrument known to man. You can usually find him on the piano or violin with the Terrapin Family Band, adding a delicate touch here, a perfect note there.
Last, but certainly not least, is our very own Ross James. The dynamic, bearded guitarist wowed crowds from the moment he burst onto the scene at Terrapin Crossroads, and it wasn't long before his distinct sound and style were as recognizable at Terrapin as Phil's bass bombs. Combine Ross with the two Lesh men, and you've got about as electric a musical front-court as you can find anywhere.
Over time, the band's music has developed organically, merging and fusing each musician's influences (including rock, folk, punk, jazz, metal, psychedelic, experimental, classical) into a hard-rockin' sound rooted in the communal/collective, telepathic, exploratory spirit of the Grateful Dead.
What began as a house band for Phil's Terrapin Crossroads has turned into something much more, and the band is excited to take the unique Terrapin Family Band sound outside of their home turf as they explore new musical grounds.
Original poster from 1968 “Quick and the Dead” tour”