NEWS

SAVE THE DATE!
DEAD ENDS LIVE 2024
SEPTEMBER 13-14

We were very pleased to receive so many great comments about the 2022 and 2023 festivals.
Thank you for attending and we look forward to seeing you this fall with another great lineup of performers!

We’re pleased to welcome back Heritage Records from Calgary, always a festival favourite, along with great goods from Tim Koslo,  Dale Ladouceur Leatherwork, and Frugal Spendthrift/mothra designs. 

COME ON OVER TO SHAKEDOWN STREET!

You’ll have a great time if you love to shop!
Open to everyone 5-10 Friday, noon-10 Saturday.

Shakedown Street goes back to the early 80s as the vending area of a jam band parking lot wherever concerts would take place and is named after the 1978 Grateful Dead album and song. Items sold have included music, clothing, jewellery, artwork, books, food, drink, alcoholic beverages and more. We’re very pleased to be able to honour that tradition with great offerings in our indoor marketplace.

New this year, you’ll see work from Barnswallow Corner Studio/Margo Soltice Fine Art, Xistentials, Galeana’s Closet, and Prairie Arts Collective.

Visit our Vendors page for more information on these talented artists.

Chris & Sally Jones kick off the evening of March 17 with a mix of acoustic originals and bluegrass gems.  It’s been far too long since Chris has played a concert in Edmonton. He is one of the bluegrass champions of his generation. It’s a special treat to hear Chris and Sally  jam with the rest of our great lineup – you won’t want to miss it!

SINGLE SHOW TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE for 

$30 in advance or at the door!

Visit our schedule and tickets pages for more information and great 

deals for a fabulous weekend of music.

March 06, 2023
Peter North will be guesting Wednesday March 08 on CJSR’s Calling All Blues which is hosted by Graham Guest and Grant Stovel. Peter will be talking about Dead Ends and Detours around 8:30 and the boys will be playing music by Tony D, Rooster Davis, The Dead and others.

hey will also be giving away some tickets to Dead Ends on this week’s show and Calling All Blues on Wednesday March 15.

 

That’s CJSR 88.5 on your FM dial.

The City Centre Magpie has a great article on the upcoming festival by Ethan LaPerle:
https://macewanjournalism.com/18591-2/

by Peter North, posted March 03, 2023

 

We are two weeks away from Dead Ends Live and it’s exciting to see that the musicians involved are compiling set lists that will dip into songbooks from not only the Grateful Dead’s core players, but other artists who have contributed mightily to the expansive improvisational and instrumentally fuelled roots rock scene for a long time.

 

Tony D of MonkeyJunk will be ripping through some vintage blues tunes on Friday night with Dave Babcock and his crew, and for that matter Babcock and company have some terrific arrangements of timeless R&B and New Orleans steeped tunes that should keep the Chateau Lacombe dance floor full.

 

That was pretty evident last week when the bandleader, horn ace and singer led his band through a wave of funky grooves that lured an enthusiastic crowd onto the dance floor at St. Basil’s Cultural Centre as part of the extremely successful Winter Blues Fest, as produced by the Edmonton Blues Society.

 

We won’t divulge who is doing what, but expect to hear some Little Feat gems, blues ala Hot Tuna, a few Dylan and Neil Young tunes over the two nights in the ballroom.

The bass playing James Stuart of Mbira Renaissance Band mentioned to me the other day that Mbira, “will be rolling out some brand new material for Dead Ends Live,” and that guest percussionist Dwayne Hrynkiw, “is a great fit for Mbira. The rehearsals have been a blast.”

 

Edmonton cellist Christine Hanson has made a career of accompanying a number of brilliant singer-songwriters including Scotland’s Eddi Reader and the late-great Michael Marra. She’s also the creator and guiding light of The Cremation of Sam McGee production that has played festivals and theatres in both the UK and Canada.

 

Hanson will be guesting with Joe Craven and David Gans on their Saturday night concert in McDougall United Church and she’ll also join Gans during The Roots of The Grateful Dead set Saturday in the same venue. Look for Hanson to create a bridge from the UK tradition to an interpretation of the Hunter/Garcia gem Black Muddy River which Gans will sing.

 

Collaboration was a major part of the first Dead Ends Live event and patrons are going to hear some serious and joyful interplay between like-minded musicians for the entire weekend.

Chris Jones & the Night Drivers have released a new single, “The Price of Falling”.

John Kadlecik news! Click on the CD cover for the new video: The Latin Dead play Shakedown Street.

by Peter North, posted February 21, 2023

 

As a print journalist for a number of years I can point to the Blueberry Bluegrass Festival as a constant source of inspiration pretty much since the inception of the event in the mid-eighties.

Organizers have consistently hired some of the greatest bluegrass artists of all time and our time, and how many of us can point back to Blueberry festivals where pioneers like Jimmy Martin, Bill Monroe, and Mac Wiseman were drawing large crowds on the July/August long weekend at the Stony Plain Exhibition Grounds. Del McCoury, John McEuen, Rhonda Vincent, Marty Stuart, J.D. Crowe, Missy Raines, David Grisman’s Bluegrass Xperience, Leroy Mack, and our own Jerusalem Ridge are another handful of acts that delivered memorable shows at Blueberry through the years. 

 

 

Chris Jones was hired on a few occasions in the nineties when he started his solo career following a few years of working for other bandleaders, and pulling stints in both the Weary Hearts and Special Consensus.

 

 

He’s recorded no less that 10 discs as a solo artist and or leader of The Nightdrivers and guested on albums by Lynn Morris, Larry Sparks and Sierra Hull.

I highly recommend the 2019 release The Choosing Road which was issued under the Chris Jones & The Night Drivers banner.

 

 

Jones and company execute 12, largely original tunes with an authority and passion that is second to none. While many of the songs were co-written with Joe Weisberger, the set also includes a rippling interpretation of Steve Winwood’s Back In the Highlife Again that is another reminder of how great songs can take on all sorts of cool arrangements when performed by top drawer musicians.

 

 

So, Chris and The Night Drivers have been recording recently and he sent us a new tune that he might draw on for his Saturday night Dead Ends Live show with his talented wife Sally Jones at McDougall United Church.

 

It’s titled The Price of Falling

Take a listen,

 

 

Thanks Chris

PRESS RELEASE Dead Ends Live 

by Peter North, posted February 14, 2023

 

The weekend of March 17 and 18, 2023, marks the return of Edmonton’s newest winter music festival, Dead Ends Live.

 

Born out of a love for the Grateful Dead songbook and the jam band culture, the inaugural Dead Ends Live thrilled fans of this broad musical canvas last spring, just as things were shifting to some sort of normalcy.

 

Organizers are thrilled to announce that guitarist and singer John Kadlecik, a prominent and critically acclaimed figure in the Grateful Dead extended family will be headlining the event with both solo and band performances at the Chateau Lacombe Hotel and MacDougall United Church which conveniently sit next to each other at the top of Bellamy Hill in downtown Edmonton on 101 street just south of Jasper Avenue. “John was the founder of Dark Star Orchestra thirty years ago, arguably the finest interpreters of Grateful Dead music on the scene. He was tapped by Bob Weir and Phil Lesh to inject the Garcia vocal and guitar sound into their Further project and John continues to channel his appreciation of Jerry Garcia as a member of the JGB which is led by Garcia’s organ player Melvin Seals.

 

We’re excited John said yes to coming to Canada and Dead Ends Live. This is only the third time John has played Canada and one of those shows was when Further played the Ottawa Bluesfest back in 2010,” says Dead Ends Live AD Peter North.

 

Returning for round two of Dead Ends Live are the two artists who proved to be galvanizing forces: multi-instrumentalist Joe Craven and singer-songwriter David Gans who has also been the host of the Grateful Dead Radio Hour for close to three decades.

 

“Joe and David loved playing with our hometown faves The McDades/McDeads last year and sitting in with some of the blues players in the ballroom. Joe left everyone who attended in awe of his abilities,” says North regarding the violinist, mandolinist, percussionist and music educator who spent much of his career playing in the David Grisman Quintet and recording a string of brilliant albums with Grisman and Jerry Garcia.

 

Gans chimed in with, “I had a great time at the first Dead Ends Live Festival! I met a bunch of great musicians, played two full sets with the amazing Joe Craven, and got to perform in a beautiful church in front of a very enthusiastic house.”

 

Dead Ends Live is also injecting a couple of new musical components into the 2023 event.

 

Violinist Shannon Johnson of The McDades will be leading The Terrapin String Quartet through a selection of Grateful Dead and Beatles tunes at MacDougall Church on Friday March 17 on a bill with Kadlecik. Bluegrass is also a component that will surface at Dead Ends Live ’23. 

 

Critically acclaimed American guitarist, singer-songwriter Chris Jones will performing with his wife, Canadian bluegrass guitarist and singer Sally Jones, on Saturday March 18.

The duo will appear the Roots of the Grateful Dead session at MacDougall Saturday afternoon with an all- star cast that will touch upon everything from bluegrass to acoustic blues to New Orleans sounds.

 

Chris Jones is also a host on the popular Sirius XM show Bluegrass Junction.

 

“We are looking forward to sharing music that was an important part of the bluegrass and folk roots of the Grateful Dead. From songs like “Dark Hollow” to “Deep Elem Blues”, which draw connections between the Dead and musicians like Bill Monroe and Red Allen, we’ll honour the artists and sounds that both influenced us and captivated the imagination of Jerry Garcia in the 1960s and 70s,” says Jones who has won a number of International Bluegrass Association Awards including Song of the Year for his co-write of Fork In The Road as recorded by the Infamous Stringdusters. He and Sally will also be on the Saturday night bill at McDougall church before Craven & Gans.

 

Dead Ends Live will also present additional Saturday afternoon sessions in the Chateau Lacombe Ballroom and the best of our homegrown talent, which was a central to the 2022 event.

The McGowans, Edmonton’s best proponents of the Dead and classic jam band sounds are on board as are singer-songwriter John Hewitt, cellist Christine Hanson, drummer Sandro Dominelli, sax ace Dave Babcock and his bandmates, pianist Rooster Davis and the bass playing Harry Gregg.

 

“The Mbira Renaissance Band is also returning with a ballroom show featuring a number of special guests. This is a band with a big rhythmic heartbeat, that our Grateful Dead fans loved dancing to. Since they played the inaugural Dead Ends, Mbira knocked out crowds at the Newfoundland Folk Fest last summer,” added North.

 

Other artists playing Dead Ends Live are Tony D of MonkeyJunk, while Daniel Gervais and the incredible Calvin Vollrath will be part of a Fiddle Summit the afternoon of March 18. Percussionist Dwayne Hrynkiw, and spectacular African dancer Okama will also be putting in guest appearances at workshops and alongside Mbira.

 

The full Dead Ends Live schedule is available at deadendslive.com

 

Tickets are available through both EventBrite and Tix On The Square as well as Blackbyrd Myoozik.

 

Follow Dead Ends Live on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/deadends.live 

Dead Ends Live: Conversation and Music on Folk Routes, CKUA February 12 at Noon
Posted February 10, 2023

Peter North on Folk Routes Sunday Feb 12, noon to 1:00. Folk Routes is a “go to” program on the CKUA Radio Network which is heard for two hours starting at 11 a.m. every Sunday morning.
 
Host Tom Coxworth was the host and emcee at the inaugural Dead Ends Live Festival last March in the acoustic venue, McDougall United Church.
 
This year Tom will be back, but he’s also taking time to chat about last year’s show and what is happening for Dead Ends Live ’23, the weekend of March 17 & 18 in downtown Edmonton.
 
Peter North of Dead Ends Live guests on Folk Routes Sunday February 12th for the second hour of the show which airs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
 
Along with conversation Tom will be playing music by some of this year’s participants, including Joe Craven and Chris Jones.

BY PETER NORTH, posted February 08, 2023
Everyone on the Dead Ends Live team is excited about John Kadlecik making rare Canadian appearances on our McDougall United Church and Chateau Lacombe Ballroom stages the weekend of March 17 & 18.  

 
There’s lots of fine performances to check out on YouTube that find John with Bob Weir, Dark Star Orchestra, JGB with Melvin Seals, or on his own. It’s a ridiculously deep dive that the guitarist and singer has taken in his thirty plus years of interpreting Grateful Dead material and the journey continues. Dave Babcock, Harry Gregg, Sandro Dominelli, and Rooster Davis will be the core group collaborating with John for the Saturday night ballroom show after an opening set from Mbira Renaissance and special guests.The set is already taking shape and I can tell you that it’s going to be filled with gems from the Grateful Dead canon, Garcia’s solo albums and covers that Garcia covered on memorable releases like Don’t Let Go and the    Garcia Live Series.
 
 Here’s a few tunes that will likely make it to the Saturday night set. From the Garcia Band book of finely crafted covers we’ll hear a version of J. J. Cale’s After Midnight, Jimmy Cliff’s Sitting In Limbo, and the great Little Milton’s That’s What Love Will Make You Do. Garcia/Hunter tunes recorded for Jerry solo albums, and released on countless Grateful Dead live albums, include Sugaree, They Love Each Other, and Lazy River Road. Lazy River Road first appeared on the 1999 box-set So Many Roads and it was one of the last tunes Garcia and Hunter penned, apparently on a trip to Hawaii. So the fuse is lit so to speak, and all the aforementioned players are looking forward to taking us on a great musical ride filled with some spontaneous and highly charged moments. 
 
 It’s easy to check out many fine moments from John Kadlecik’s thirty plus year career, interpreting and channeling Garcia and the Dead’s songbook, on Youtube and his website with Bob Weir, Dark Star Orchestra, JGB and as a solo artist.

 Keep On Truckin’ 
Peter North  
Dead Ends Live: Conversation and Music on Folk Routes, CKUA February 12 at Noon
Posted February 01, 2023

Tom Coxworth has been hosting Folk Routes on CKUA for the better part of three decades and his contributions to the international folk music scene are well documented and respected. In 2015 Tom was awarded the Spirit of Folk Award, then inducted into the Folk DJ Hall of Fame by the North American Folk Alliance.
 
Since the idea was hatched, Tom has been a strong supporter of Dead Ends Live and on Sunday February 5 he’ll be interviewing Dead Ends co-producer Peter North in the second hour of Folk Routes, which begins at noon. Conversation and music regarding Dead Ends Live which runs March 1 and 18 at McDougall United Church and the Chateau Lacombe Ballroom.

By Peter North, posted on Jan 17

 

Last year’s edition of Dead Ends Live yielded a couple of bonuses for some of the participating musicians and in turn Dead Ends 2023 will also benefit from at least one of the collaborations we witnessed last year.

 

Mark Hummel and Gary Vogensen were asked to create the An Evening At The Fillmore show. One, it seemed like an idea that could work because the canvas is so large that the artists would likely have no problem coming up with material from musicians that played in the esteemed San Francisco venue. And two, Hummel and Gary have some serious connections with artists who played The Fillmore. 

 

After debuting the show in Edmonton, the two returned to the Bay Area and been booked into a number of top rung showrooms including Yoshi’s in Oakland and The California in Santa Rosa.Their set list includes songs by Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Nick Gravenites, Fleetwood Mac (with Peter Green), Traffic, Corky Siegel, The Grateful Dead, Country Joe McDonald and Big Brother and the Holding Company, along with traditional blues from the books of Muddy Waters, Little Walter and James Cotton.

 

The Fillmore tribute now includes drummer Gary Silva who, along with Vogensen, played in Elvin Bishop’s band in the 1980s and ‘90s and bassist Bob Welsh who is a member of Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio and the newest member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

 

The other duo that came together over the inaugural Dead Ends weekend was Joe Craven & David Gans. While the two had certainly crossed paths over the years they never got down to business quite like they did during Dead Ends last March. David sums up what has transpired in the last ten months.

“I’d been a fan of Joe Craven for decades, and I had shared festival stages with him from time to time. Dead Ends Live was our first opportunity to do a full performance as a duo, and we slipped readily into an onstage rapport that served us brilliantly and pleased the audience audibly. Since then, we’ve been collaborating on what appears to be emerging as two ongoing projects.


The first is a monthly series at the Monkey House in Berkeley, in which Joe and I invite a third party for an unplanned evening of songs and jams. The second series is called GARCIA SONGBOOK LIVE, at the Ivy Room in Albany, California – an extension of our experience at last year’s Dead Ends live, in the spirit of the wonderful 2018 album Garcia Songbook Live by Joe Craven and the Sometimers.

 

“I think of our experience at the McDougall United Church in March of 2022 as the launch of a thrilling musical partnership, and I am delighted to be returning in 2023 to show off what we’ve learned.”

 

So, will there be another musical union coming out of Dead Ends Live 2023? We’ll see, but we can guarantee that there will be some exceptional collaborative moments with the cast we’ve lined up and personally I can’t wait to hear Gans plug in with some of our musicians in the Chateau ballroom both nights. I also won’t be surprised if there aren’t some serious sparks on the blues front when Tony D and Joe Craven whip it up with Dave Babcock, Rooster Davis, Sandro Dominelli and Harry Gregg.

PRESS RELEASE
By Peter North, posted  on Jan 13

 

Thanks to all of you who purchased Early Bird passes for Dead Ends Live ’23 which is taking place March 17 & 18 at the Chateau Lacombe and McDougall United Church in the downtown Edmonton.

 

I am personally excited that John Kadlecik will be headlining our event and appearing in a couple of settings, one being solo at McDougall on the 17th and then with some of our finest homegrown players, as led by Dave Babcock, in the Chateau Ballroom on the Saturday night.

 

Dead Ends Live co-producer Jayne Bawden is currently down in Jamaica where Jam In The Sand is being ruled by Dark Star Orchestra, which Kadlecik co-founded some three decades ago, the Melvin Seals led JGB of which Kadlecik is now a full time member and the somewhat eccentric and always engaging Keller Williams.

 

It was hard to not get swept up by Jayne’s enthusiasm during a quick phone call the other night after she had heard Kadlecik a couple of times on the beach.“He did a killer version of Jimmy Cliff’s The Harder They Come last night and he just channels Jerry Garcia’s songs from both the Grateful Dead and the solo recordings so brilliantly. He’s going to blow our Edmonton audience away,” said Bawden who met a number of fellow Canucks from Toronto at Jam In The Sand.

 

Kadlecik should know how turn heads when it comes to handling Garcia material as he was Bob Weir and Phil Lesh’s choice to hold down the Garcia role in the Futhers tours of a decade ago.

The last time I caught Kadlecik was the night before the Dead’s first of two Fare Thee Well concerts in Santa Clara in 2015. 

 

Kadlecik joined Melvin Seals and the rest of JGB at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco with Chris Robinson, and for my money that show was superior to what the four original members of the Dead, Bruce Hornsby, Trey Anastasio and Jeff Chimenti delivered at Levi Stadium, although there were some memorable moments during that concert.

 

Kadlecik has a natural affinity for all the elements that went into Garcia’s musical equation, whether it’s the subtleties and references in his playing, the turn of a vocal phrase or the ability to bring fresh takes to timeless tunes.Look at any of Kadlecik’s set lists and any Dead and Garcia fan should smile at the inclusion of Garcia/Hunter gems like Sugaree, Lady With A Fan, Deal, Ship of Fools and Shakedown Street that are interspersed with Weir and Hunter’s Playing In The Band, plus covers of material penned by Johnny Cash, John Lennon and Bruce Hornsby.

 

Kadlecik can also drill down deep into Garcia’s solo output as well and as we know, the Garcia & Merle Saunders Band or any version of the Jerry Garcia Band delivered brilliant covers of everything from r&b classics to the best Dylan interpretations we’ve possibly heard.

 

This is going to be one of Kadlecik’s rare appearances in Canada and that he played as recently as last summer with our friend Joe Craven, who is returning to Dead Ends this year, we should expect some instrumental fireworks at Dead Ends ’23.

PRESS RELEASE Dead Ends Live 2023 

by Peter North

 

The weekend of March 17 and 18, 2023, marks the return of Edmonton’s newest music festival Dead Ends Live. 

 

Born out of a love for the Grateful Dead songbook and the jam band culture, the inaugural Dead Ends Live thrilled fans of this broad musical canvas last spring, just as things were shifting to some sort of normalcy. 

 

Organizers are thrilled to announce that guitarist and singer John Kadlecik, a prominent and critically acclaimed figure in the Grateful Dead extended family, will be headlining the event with both solo and band performances at the Chateau Lacombe Hotel and McDougall Church. The venues conveniently sit next to each other at the top of Bellamy Hill Road in downtown Edmonton on 101 Street just south of Jasper Avenue. 

 

“John was the founder of Dark Star Orchestra thirty years ago, arguably the finest interpreters of Grateful Dead music. He was tapped by Bob Weir and Phil Lesh to inject the Garcia vocal and guitar sound into their Further project and John continues to channel his love of of Jerry Garcia as a member of JGB which is led by Garcia’s organ player Melvin Seals. We’re excited John said yes to coming to Canada and our event,” says Dead Ends Live Artistic Director Peter North. 

 

Returning for round two of Dead Ends Live are the artists who proved to be galvanizing forces at the inaugural event. Multi-instrumentalist Joe Craven and singer-songwriter David Gans who has also been the host of the Grateful Dead Radio Hour for close to three decades, will be front and centre at Dead Ends Live once again. 

 

“Joe and David loved playing with our hometown faves The McDades/McDeads last year, and sitting in with some of the blues players in the ballroom. Joe left everyone who attended in awe of his abilities,” says North regarding the violinist, mandolinist, percussionist and music educator who spent much of his career playing in the David Grisman Quintet and recording a string of brilliant albums with Garcia and Grisman. 

Gans chimed in with, “I had a great time at the first Dead Ends Live Festival! I met a bunch of great musicians, played two full sets with the amazing Joe Craven, and got to perform in a beautiful church in front of a very enthusiastic house.” 

 

Dead Ends Live is also injecting a couple of new musical components into the 2023 event. 

 

Violinist Shannon Johnson of The McDades will be leading Terrapin Station String Quartet through a selection of Grateful Dead and Beatles tunes at MacDougall Church on Friday March 17 on a bill with Kadlecik.  

Bluegrass is also a component that will surface at Dead Ends Live ’23. Critically acclaimed American guitarist, singer-songwriter Chris Jones will be performing with his wife, Canadian bluegrass guitarist and singer Sally Jones, on Saturday March 18.  The duo will host the Roots of the Grateful Dead session at McDougall Saturday afternoon with an all-star cast that will touch upon everything from bluegrass to acoustic blues to New Orleans sounds. 

 

Chris Jones is also a host on the popular Sirius XM show Bluegrass Junction. “We are looking forward to sharing music that was an important part of the bluegrass and folk roots of the Grateful Dead. From songs like “Dark Hollow” to “Deep Elem Blues”, which draw connections between the Dead and musicians like Bill Monroe and Red Allen. We’ll honour the artists and sounds that both influenced us and captivated the imagination of Jerry Garcia in the 1960s and 70s,” says Jones who has won a number of International Bluegrass Association Awards including Song of the Year for his co-write of Fork In The Road as recorded by the Infamous Stringdusters. 

 

Dead Ends Live will also present additional Saturday afternoon sessions in the Chateau Lacombe Ballroom and the best of our homegrown talent, which was a central to the 2022 event. 

 

The McGowans, Edmonton’s best proponents of the Dead and classic jam band sounds are on board as are singer-songwriter John Hewitt, cellist Christine Hanson, drummer Sandro Dominelli, sax ace Dave Babcock and his bandmates, pianist Rooster Davis and the bass playing Harry Gregg. 

 

“The Mbira Renaissance Band is also returning with a ballroom show featuring a number of special guests. This is a band with a big rhythmic heartbeat that our Grateful Dead fans loved dancing to. Since they played the inaugural Dead Ends, Mbira knocked out crowds at major festivals in Newfoundland and the Yukon last summer,” added North.