For our nationally touring Jerry Garcia Band tribute, we wanted to recreate the “sounds” that were heard when one would go to see The Jerry Garcia Band. To do this we have invested time, sweat, money, patience and love into recreating the identical instrumentation and electronics that The Jerry Garcia Band performed with.
Kat Walkerson has performed with Melvin Seals (the keyboardist from The Jerry Garcia Band) many times. She has a soulful voice that captures the essence of the Jerry Garcia Band singers through all of the years. She sings all of the eras and feels the music like no one else. Her signing, enthusiasm and smile brings joy to all who come to listen!
Tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band. Mik’s guitars are identical to Jerry Garcia’s custom Tiger and Rosebud guitars, built by Doug Irwin. From the pickups to the unity gain buffer and on-board effects loop – not one thing has been skimped on to recreate that wonderful Jerry Garcia Tone.
The guitars are just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to Jerry Garcia’s unique tone. The amps and effects are also a very important aspect of achieving the right sound. Mik had acquired a 1967 Fender Twin (blackface) from a friend about 15 years ago. Using some inside information on components and wiring that needed to be modified, Mik took the twin and made it as close to Jerry’s specifications as known. The twin is just used as a preamp, though. The real raw power (and additional tone) comes from the Mcintosh 2100 solid state power amp. Why use a 30+ year old power amp? Because nothing else on earth sounds like it. The Macintosh has been heavily modded as well.
Combine the preamp and power amp sections with a rectreation of the Wall of Sound speaker cabinets and authentic JBL e-120 speakers, and thats where the magic starts to happen! Mik plays the guitar in his own style, not copying Jerry note for note. This gives a new energy to the music and helps create a new magical journey for each song.
Mik’s main guitar is a custom made guitar made from a WARMOTH body and neck, Dimarzio Super II pickups, a WALDO preamp unity gain buffer, and an on board effects loop. He also plays a 1978 Ibanez Musician 300 series bought off the showroom floor at NAMM. It has been “Jerrified ” as well. Recently, Mik has been playing a PHRED INSTRUMENTS “Liger” guitar. Mik uses a custom set of DR TIGHT FIT strings, a new set every show.
Mik performed on October 11, 2014 at the Oneonta Theater with Tom Lieber’s (apprentice to Doug Irwin) 50th Anniversary Garcia Guitar! [Read more here]
Depending on the era, you will see and hear either a hammond b3 with leslie or electric pianos. So many variations in The Jerry Garcia band over the years make the keyboard slot in The Garcia Project a fun and exciting position.
The bass guitar, played by the late John Kahn, was just as important to the special sauce that was the sound of the Jerry Garcia Band. John Kahns bass playing style is a key part of recreating the Jerry Garcia Band experience. John Kahn played in every version of the original Jerry Garcia Band – both acoustic and electric. All of the bass players that perform with The Garcia Project appreciate John Kahn and have Kahn’s stlye down.
Dan uses custom modified Fender/Warmoth Precision basses to replicate the look and feel and tone of John Kahn’s stock and modified Fender Precisions from 1974 through 1981. Both also have bypassable modern electronics to replicate his Steinberger tone from 1986-1994 when the setlist calls for it, and they do a pretty good job of Phil’s various 80’s/90’s Modulus tones in a pinch as well.
His main black and white P-bass is “007”, a 2010 American Special Precision neck on an Alder Warmoth body with an extra-thin nitrocellulouse lacquer finish, a Gotoh 201 bridge, and EMG PAX and EMG35PCS bridge pickup, with EMG BTS system, finished black to hide the extra electronics.
The backup bass and for gigs where a little more warmth is needed is the “Disco Bass”, a 2012 Fender American Special Precision neck on a Swamp Ash Warmoth body with a tinted Tru Oil finish, a vintage Leo Quan Badass II bridge, with EMG PX and LJCSX pickups and an ACG EQ-02 preamp with high and low selectable-frequency shelving filters, with a custom bypass switch that enables the pure non-filtered tone when desired. The overall design is meant to look like a bass from the 70’s that was modified in the typical fashion of that era. Dan uses LaBella .45-.105 Deep Talkin’ flatwound strings on both Precision basses.
For late 80’s / early 90’s shows he uses a Steinberger Spirit all-maple headless bass modified with EMG SS pickups and EMG BTS system, Steinberger flatwound strings and a custom strap-hanger for the upper horn.
For early 80’s shows Dan is experimenting with a G&L L2000 Tribute series bass.
For upright bass work he uses a Palatino VE-550 Electric Upright bass.
Dan’s main stage amp is a vintage 70’s San-Francisco-made Alembic F2B preamp similar to the Dual Showman heads that Kahn used for his whole career, into a Crown XLS1000 power amp, Genz Benz NEOX 2×12” speaker cabs with a Radial JDI to feed the PA. For smaller gigs he uses a Genz-Benz Shuttle 9.0 head with just one of the NEOX cabs.
From jazz to jam and rock to roll, having a solid drummer that can keep one foot on the brakes and one foot on the gas is a very important part of creating the Jerry Garcia Band experience. Our drummers do just that – Keep time like a swiss watch and can turn any jam on a dime!