Saturday, July 7, 2012
Donna Jean Godchaux sang with the Grateful Dead from 1972 to 1979. By the time she was 15, she was singing back-up vocals on sessions at Rick Hall’s Fame recording studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. She sang on numerous songs recorded at Fame, including Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” and Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman.” She headed to San Francisco in the summer of 1970 where she met keyboardist Keith Godchaux, and they married shortly thereafter. In 1971 Keith joined the Dead, and Donna joined a short while later. She recorded with the band on Wake of the Flood, From the Mars Hotel, Blues for Allah, Terrapin Station, and Shakedown Street. During their tenure with the Dead, the Godchauxs released the album Keith and Donna, with Garcia on guitar. They also appeared with the Jerry Garcia Band. After leaving the Dead, they formed the Heart of Gold Band. Then, after the death of Keith in 1980, Donna remarried and moved back to Alabama to work at Muscle Shoals. In 2009, she formed a new band, the Donna Jean Godchaux Band, with Jeff Mattson and other members of the Dead cover band the Zen Tricksters.
Friday, August 3, 2012
Drummer Bill Kreutzmann, best known as the steadfast heartbeat of the Grateful Dead from 1965 to 1995, has devoted his life to stretching and surpassing the percussive limits of music. Armed with his signature dynamic rhythm and uncanny subtly, Kreutzmann’s lifetime pursuit has garnered him the reputation as an unequivocal, if enigmatic, backbeat.
Enigmatic because, during his four decade career with the Grateful Dead, and even since then, Kreutzmann has let his sweet rhythm and undeniable musical charisma do the talking.