On September 3rd, 1977, The Grateful Dead headlined one of the largest and most musically successful concerts of all time at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ. In addition to the Grateful Dead, who had just completed its legendary Spring/Summer 1977 tour featuring a batch of new material from Terrapin Station, the show also featured the Dead family’s New Riders of the Purple Sage and the good-time, southern rock of The Marshall Tucker Band. This tribute extravaganza will feature healthy “doses” of selections from each band’s sets that day along with other deep cuts from all three bands and more.
As Michael Falzarano tells the tale!
Everywhere I toured with The New Riders of the Purple Sage for the past 18 years someone would come up to me at almost every show and say “I saw you guys at Englishtown.” Long story short, it seemed like a good idea to put a band together and pay tribute to that legendary September 3, 1977 show. With that, The Englishtown Project was born.
The mission is to pay tribute to the music played that day in 1977 by all three iconic bands: The Grateful Dead, The New Riders of the Purple Sage and The Marshall Tucker Band. There were over 60 songs played at that show, all of which are instantly recognizable. We play an ever-changing mix of the songs at every show. From time to time we’ve been known to add songs not played that day. These bonus tunes are true to the history and legacy of the three bands. So if the spirit moves you and you have a request, shout it out. It just might get played.
The Englishtown Project
Guitar/Vocals: After decades-long stints with Hot Tuna and The New Riders of the Purple Sage, Michael has earned nothing less than iconic status as one of the most authentic figures on the blues / jam band scene. Over the years, Michael’s evocative singing, intuitive guitar playing and songwriting skills have earned him a large and loyal following worldwide.
Vocals: New York City-based vocalist Clare Maloney has been hailed for her "golden voice of immense range and depth" and has delighted audiences around the world with her thoughtful artistry, polished singing and heartfelt performances. Raised on Rock & Roll and trained in Classical Music and Opera, Clare's musical knowledge and her skillful ability to move between genres have established her as a go-to musician. Her interpretation of the Grateful Dead’s music has earned her a steady following on the Jam Band scene.
Tom Circosta (ZenTricksters)
Guitar/Vocals: Tom is one of the NY area’s most versatile guitarists and also happens to be a leading disciple of Bob Weir, arguably the best and most unique rhythm guitarist in rock history. In addition to Zen Tricksters, Tom also plays with the unique Dead On Live and Jam Stampede.
Kevin Griffin (Space Bandits)
Pedal Steel / Guitar / Vocals: Kevin has made a name for himself playing pedal steel and guitar around the Tri-State area for many years. When not on board with The Englishtown Project, Kevin can be seen with Space Bandits and The Electrix,
Klyph Black (Zen Tricksters)
Bass/Vocals: In Klyph, along with Tom and Dave, the Englishtown Project is fortunate to have 3/5ths of the classic lineup of Zen Tricksters, the best and longest running Grateful Dead-centric band in the Northeast. Not only is Klyph an outstanding bassist, he is also one of the most accomplished musicians on the Jam Band scene today.
Russell Stedman (Jeff Mattson Band/Zen Tricksters)
Drums: Fans of the Grateful Dead know what a great drummer Russell is. Having been on the Jam Band scene for quite a long time, he’s a much sought after drummer who has played in The Jeff Mattson Band and The Zen Tricksters. Now you can see him with The Englishtown Project.
When we’re doing double drums:
Dave Diamond (Zen Tricksters)
Drums: Most fans of the Grateful Dead are familiar with Dave’s drumming talents, but more and more are coming to realize that Dave is a multi-talented musician to be reckoned with. In addition to his long tenure with Zen Tricksters, Dave drums for the excellent alt-rock band Assembly of Dust and his own eclectic Dave Diamond Band.
Every performance by The Englishtown Project features one of a handful of master keyboard players:
Mookie Siegel (Phil & Friends), Scott Guberman (Phil Lesh Family Band/Gilmore Project), Mike Katzman (The Electrix), Mark Mercier (Max Creek),
Scott Chasolen (The Machine), Jordan Giangreco, (Zach Nugent/Mystic Dead),
John Pittas (Dead on Live) or Mike Borowski (Splintered Sunlight)
Keyboards / Vocals: Mookie has distinguished himself over many years as one of the principal keyboardists on the Jam Band scene. He has played with Phil Lesh and Friends and is a current member of the David Nelson Band.
Keyboards / Vocals: Scott has contributed his talents to many of Phil Lesh’s homegrown projects including Phil and Friends. Scott’s reputation as one of the genre’s best and most creative players is undisputed. He also plays regularly with many other significant musicians in the San Francisco Bay area when not touring nationally.
Keyboards / Vocals: In the past few decades Mark has become a well-regarded keyboardist in the Jam Band arena. His band Max Creek has been on the scene since 1971 and continues to tour today. Playing many shows and producing its own annual festival Strange Creek, Mark and Max Creek have carved out a firm niche in this musical genre.
Keyboards / vocals: Scott is a top-class pianist and keyboardist. He is a professional session musician, songwriter, producer and founding member of the NYC instrumental jazz/funk band ulu. Scott is also a full-time member of the world famous Pink Floyd tribute band The Machine.
Keyboards / Vocals: Based out of Branford, CT, Jordan is a brilliant keyboardist and is no stranger to the New England Jam Band scene. He plays keyboards in the band Psychedelic Breakfast and has also played with The Jen Durkin Band and Zach Nugent.
Keyboards / Vocals: John attended the Englishtown show in '77 and was actively playing the music of all three acts in a popular Jersey shore band at the time. His influences include Keith Godchaux as well as many of the same jazz, blues, country, and bluegrass artists that inspired the Dead.