RHYTHM OF THE HART….The
MICKEY HART BAND will be “Truckin” into
town this Thursday as part of the Labatt Blue Light
Thursday in the Square Concert Series.
HART is best known as
one half of the dynamic GRATEFUL DEAD drumming duo
which also features the great BILL KREUTZMANN.
While those credentials alone are monumental in
their own right, HART a Professor of Percussion is also
an author with four books to his credit documenting his
fascination with the history and mythology of music.
is a longtime social activist serving on numerous
committees including the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging
as well as being appointed to the Board of
Trustees of the
Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
The MICKEY HART BAND is in the midst of a twenty
city summer tour featuring songs from their recently released
DVD the RHYTHM DEVILS Concert Experience.
The enchanting double disc is set in an
enticing hard bound booklet featuring the lyrics to seven brand
new songs penned by ROBERT HUNTER a
longtime collaborator with the late great JERRY GARCIA.
HUNTER is also recognized as an official non-performing
member of the DEAD and was acknowledged as so at
the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductions
ceremonies in 1994.
The double disc includes
a vividly tantalizing concert performance filmed in
Chicago & New Jersey during the 2006 Fall tour; also
included are special features that take you behind the scenes in
the studio and front row for the tour rehearsals.
The Rock Rapport
had the honor to speak with
legendary GRATEFUL DEAD Hall of Fame drummer
MICKEY HART as he was getting prepped to hit the summer tour
Hello Mickey greetings from Buffalo,
I know the Deadhead community marked their
calendars when this show was announced as part of the
Thursday in the Square Concert Series.
To this day DEAD fans still reminisce about the
immortal experiences shared at Rich Stadium with
MICKEY HART- Thank
you so much, boy we really do have some great memories from
those Stadium shows, I can’t wait to get back and play again for
the faithful fans in Upstate
of all congratulations on the new DVD, it’s truly stimulating
both musically and visually. It’s very impressive the way
you’ve incorporated the live set with the video enhancements; it
helps tell a story within the songs. Seems you’ve spared
no expense from performance to production right on through to
so much, as for the stimulating part you’ll have to blame
JEFF GLIXMAN for that. He
really is a genius; he’s created a brilliant experience out of
what was basically just concert footage and transformed it into
something really stunning.
Sometimes just watching concert footage can be somewhat
boring, I mean how many angles can you watch a guitar player;
did was add another element of visual
It really made the final product so much
stronger; it allows the imagination to fly to places so that the
music is a subtext in some cases.
As far as the packaging we are extremely proud of it, I
think it may be the best packaging I’ve ever seen. I think the
guys who put this together deserve a Grammy.
Tell us about the experience of sharing
the stage again with BILL KREUTZMANN your longtime
GRATEFUL DEAD percussion partner; watching the DVD it
certainly seems like a joyous adventure for the entire band.
MICKEY HART- Oh my
God, BILL is just the best, for me it’s like home when we share
music together. BILL is a monster drummer I’d even go as far as
saying he’s the best drummer I’ve ever heard. When we play
together it’s like an amazing creature, we really are as one on
you’re out on the road in support of the new RHYTHM DEVILS
DVD, this summer’s tour will be with the MICKEY HART
BAND which includes a stellar line-up of musicians:
Guitarist STEVE KIMOCK, Bassist GEORGE PORTER, Jr., Drummer
WALLY REYES, Talking Drum Master SIKIRU ODEPOJU and the
vibrant vocals of JEN DURKIN.
Yeah, I’m really proud to share the stage with this phenomenal
group of musicians I’m on the road with now.
The original concept was formed around the songs that
ROBERT HUNTER wrote. The RHYTHM DEVIL’S was never built to
be a forever thing; this band is an extension of the beautiful
gems that HUNTER had written.
This current line-up takes us on a whole new adventure;
in the meantime BILL KREUTZMANN is doing his trio thing while
MIKE GORDON (PFISH) continues to create his wonderful music,
everybody is out there exploring their own niche.
Ross CAT- As
you mentioned this project finds you working once again with the
tremendous writing talents of ROBERT HUNTER along
with guitar extraordinaire STEVE KIMOCK both of
whom have a long standing tenure in the GRATEFUL DEAD
The concert features brand new songs written by
HUNTER and yourself what was the inspiration for the new
Basically I told him what my vision was
musically and that I needed some of his juice, some of his
magical HUNTER dust. I sent him over the music and he sent
me the lyrics, naturally it was more complicated then that but
that’s how it worked this time around.
The whole process really only took about three weeks
but it was magical to be part of him honing his craft observing
him doing what he does best. ROBERT has this gift of
making even the most difficult things seem easy, there is always
a positive energy and flow in his writing which makes it just a
joy to be part of as a musician.
I have to mention what a tremendous job the pipes of
JEN DURKIN has done in transcending these lyrics, she’s really
made the songs her own. She can really belt them out for
such a tiny little Mama, she just comes straight at ya like a
runaway freight train.
Ross CAT- As I
mentioned you’ve been a strong advocate for numerous worthy
causes throughout your storied career; one foundation that I
found to be extremely interesting is the Institute for
Music and Neurologic Function; give us
some insight on what that’s all about.
MICKEY HART-To put in
plainly it’s about Music and the Brain; you’re right in the fact
that it’s probably the most cutting edge thing going on in music
It’s not the art of Music it’s the Science of Music,
Rhythm and Music affect the Brain. At the Institute we
work with the motor impaired, people who suffer from
Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s; we set up drum circles and
study their Brain wave functions. What we are trying to do
is crack the code sort of a Rhythmic DNA, we try to reconnect or
stimulate those lost connections through Rhythm.
To me it’s one of the most fascinating frontiers in
Music from a scientific aspect; anyone interested in learning
more can do so at
Director Connie Taimino does an outstanding job at the
Ross CAT--One of the
highlights of the summer tour will be 10,000
Lakes Music Festival in late July, the festival
includes PHIL LESH and FRIENDS any
chance of a jam that weekend?
Te be honest I really hadn’t even looked
that far ahead on the tour schedule, I didn’t know that Phil was
going to be playing there as well. I certainly hope we get
to see each other and if we play on the same day I don’t see why
MICKEY the Rock
Rapport recently spoke with
a mutual bud the RED ROCKER
SAMMY HAGAR; he mentioned
that you where a huge influence in getting him back on the
“Bad Motor Scooter” following his initial departure
from VAN HALEN, tell us about that experience?
I just love that guy he’s so full of positive energy, his zest
for life is contagious.
The first time we ever met I didn’t even know SAMMY, I
knew the name but not much else; we hit if off instantly and
found a collaborative chemistry brewing.
We really had some wonderful times hanging out and
working together on the “Marching to Mars” record.
We’d just get down and jam; I’m extremely proud to have
co-written such a beautiful song like “Marching to Mars”; SAMMY
is really an interesting guy, I really love him a lot.
Thanks to MICKEY HART for the insightful
conversation; special Thanks to Wendy Brynford-Jones
of Hello Wendy PR and Marketing for hooking us up.
Be sure to check out
www.mickeyhart.net for a copy of the
new DVD and upcoming tour dates.
THE WRITING’S ON THE WALL…..One
of Western New York’s richest attributes is its
music community; while obvious names like the GOO GOO
DOLLS and BILLY SHEEHAN standout, it’s the
wealth of stay at homegrown talent within our region that is all
to often taken for granted.
Two musicians who epitomize that Buffalo
blue collar “Dedication” are Buffalo Music
Hall of Fame guitar genius
MICHAEL HUND (www.myspace.com/michaelhundmusic)
and Multi-award winning
singer/songwriter LANA MARIE (www.myspace.com/lanamariemusic).
Rocker with the unmistakable Golden Locks and the “Pretty
Baby” with the peerless pipes are true
quintessential musicians, honing their craft by day and storming
stages both locally and nationally by night, playing over two
hundred fifty shows a year.
The potent pair have been performing and collaborating
together over half a decade in several different incarnations;
initially stripping it down with the award winning duo of
LANA & HUND before HUND would eventually weave his
way into the web of Buffalo’s favorite Rock
‘n’ Roll party band
BLACK WIDOW (www.blackwidowband.com).
HUND has made his mark
nationally over the years with recording stints in
Los Angeles and New York City; he’s
also shared the stage with national recording artists the
likes of PAT TRAVERS, DIERKS BENTLEY, BOBBY KIMBALL
(TOTO), KENNY CETERA (CHICAGO), GARY MALABAR (STEVE MILLER BAND)
and JOE BONAMASSA to name just a few.
Eventually HUND would find his way to the
“Distant Lights” of
recording with renowned
It would be there
in the Country Music Capital of the world that HUND’S
undisputable talents would be rightfully recognized as he was
signed by CMG Records signifying the birth of
The zealous string sage would again tap into
the explosive chemistry shared with sultry songstress LANA
MARIE; rounding out the GRAFFITI line-up is a
resounding rhythm section featuring thunderous drummer JOE
SUPLICKI coupled with the brisk bass lines of PAUL
GRAFFITI wasted no time gettin’ there
“Groove Thang” on for their new label, simultaneously
releasing their self-titled disc accompanied by the mesmerizing
instrumental release of “Distant Lights” in the
summer of 2007. Both releases have been flying off the
shelves locally and are available at all Record Theatre
locations as well as online at (www.michaelhund.com).
The band is set to ride that summer wave once again
with their third studio release “Rock ‘n’ Roll Day Care
this Thursday July 10th also available
at the aforementioned locations.
The eleven new GRAFFITI tracks are a diverse mix
of music accentuating the cohesiveness between LANA & HUND
that has developed through their relentless touring.
HUND’S distinctively unique playing style
powered by the torrid passion LANA MARIE inspires
shines through on “I’m Coming Home” and “Not
Instrumental track six “Bom Chicka Wah Wah” finds
HUND just down right showing off his dexterous
mastery of the guitar.
GRAFFITI will be taking “Rock ‘n’ Roll Daycare”
out on the road this summer mark your calendars to
GRAFFITI will be going “Hog Wild” as
they headline the New York State Harley Owners Group 20th
Anniversary Rally at the Seneca Niagara Casino…For
more information on the event call (716)877-7231 or
*July 26th (N.Tonawanda, NY)….If you
love “Rock ‘n’ Roll” then this is one show you
won’t want to miss. GRAFFITI will amply fill
the opening slot for the First Lady of Rock JOAN JETT &
BLACKHEARTS at the
Lite Gateway Park Concert Series.
Opening Night of the 5th Annual
NIAGARA THUNDER MOTORCYCLE RALLY
at the brand
new location at 301 Ohio Street in downtown
For more information and directions go to
*August 29th-30th (Dover,
Tennessee)….CMG Recording Artist MICHAEL HUND & GRAFFITI
been invited to perform at one of the largest outdoor
Music Festivals of the summer. Make the Rock
‘n’ Roll roady this Labor Day Weekend to
music legend ARLO GUTHRIE along with over 40
amazing acts including BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO, TINSLEY
and JOHNNY HILAND.
www.rrolloverdover.com for more band
information and directions to this enormous event. Hope to see