Rhythm Devils featuring Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Mike
Gordon, and Steve Kimock came together on a whimisical spring
evening at a Pre-Jammy's get together in the heart of downtown
New York City. After performing at The Jammys & in front of
Grand Central Station on Earth Day in 2006, the core of Hart,
Kreutzmann, Gordon, and Kimock re-connected this past August
for a series of shows including The Gathering of the Vibes Festival.
They debuted new material with lyrics by Robert Hunter including
Fountains of Wood, The Center, and Who Do You Think You Are,
as well as select choices from the Grateful Dead songbook such
as, The Other One and Sugaree.
Hart & Kreutzmann's remarkable cohesion, synchronicity, and driving power would a become a hallmark of the Grateful Dead's sound for over thirty years, earning them the nickname The Rhythm Devils. The percussive duo's sole release was The ‘Apocalypse Now Sessions’ for which they were recruited by director Francis Ford Coppola to bring together the myriad sounds and "colors" for the legendary film. Coppola was in the process of conceptualizing his musical underpinnings of "Apocalypse Now" when he attended a Grateful Dead concert and found the perfect accompaniment for his cinematic vision of the Apocalypse.
Both have kept busy over the years participating in numerous projects from the Grammy winning percussive supergroup Planet Drum which brought Mickey together with Zakir Hussain
and many of the world’s best drummers, to the power trio SerialPod in which Kreutzmann collaborated with Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon of Phish.
Mickey Hart is best known for his nearly three decades as an integral part of an extraordinary expedition into the soul and spirit of music, disguised as the rock and roll band the Grateful Dead. As half of the percussion tandem known as the Rhythm Devils, Mickey and Bill Kreutzmann transcended the conventions of rock drumming. Their extended polyrhythmic excursions were highlights of Grateful Dead shows, introducing the band's audience to an ever-growing arsenal of percussion instruments from around the world. Exposure to these exotic sounds fueled Mickey's desire to learn about the various cultures that produced them.
His tireless study of the world's music led Mickey to many great teachers and collaborators, including his partners in Planet Drum. Planet Drum's self-titled album not only hit #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart, remaining there for 26 weeks, it also received the Grammy for Best World Music Album in 1991-- the first Grammy ever awarded in this category. Planet Drum is one of twenty-nine recordings released on Mickey's the WORLD series on Rykodisc. The WORLD offers a wide variety of music from virtually every corner of the globe with releases like Voices of the Rainforest from Papua New Guinea and Living Art, Sounding Spirit: The Bali Sessions. In 2002, Mickey established The Endangered Music Fund to return royalty payments from many of these recordings to the indigenous people that produced them, and to further the preservation of sounds and music from around the globe.
Mickey's experiences have paved the way for unique opportunities beyond the music industry. He composed a major drum production performed by an assembly of 100 percussionists for the opening ceremony of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Additionally, Mickey has composed scores, soundtracks and themes for movies and television including Apocalypse Now, Gang Related, Hearts of Darkness, The Twilight Zone, the 1987 score to The America's Cup: The Walter Cronkite Report, Vietnam: A Television History, and The Next Step. In 1994 Mickey was inducted with The Grateful Dead into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Mickey has written four books documenting his lifelong fascination with the history and mythology of music. These include Drumming at the Edge of Magic, Planet Drum, Spirit into Sound: The Magic of Music, and Songcatchers: In Search of the World's Music.
Long a social activist, Mickey appeared in August, 1991 before the U.S. Senate Committee on Aging, speaking on the healing value of drumming and rhythm on afflictions associated with aging. Since joining the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function at Beth Abraham Hospital in 2000, Mickey is continuing his investigation into the connection between healing and rhythm, and the neural bases of rhythm.
In 1999, Mickey was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress where he heads the sub-committee on the digitization and preservation of the Center's vast collections. In October of 2000, the Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center conferred an honorary doctorate of humane letters upon Mickey for his work in advancing the preservation of aural archives.
Bill Kreutzmann was born on May 7, 1946 in Palo Alto, California. Along with fellow "Rhythm Devil" Mickey Hart, Kreutzmann provided the heartbeat of the Grateful Dead since its inception.
By the time he was 8 years old, Kreutzmann was keeping the beat for his mother's dance class. He started taking private drum lessons a few years later, after being kicked out of his grade school orchestra for not keeping time! He nurtured his talent and formed several rock bands as a teenager, including the Wildwood Boys and the Legends.
In 1962, Kreutzmann was working at Dana Morgan's Music Store in Palo Alto, and a young picker named Jerry Garcia stopped in one day and purchased a banjo from him. Soon after, Garcia also got a job at Dana's teaching guitar lessons, and forged a musical friendship with Kreutzmann that would span four decades.
Kreutzmann formed a new band, the Zodiacs, in 1963, featuring Pigpen on harmonica, Garcia on bass, and Troy Weidenheimer on guitar. The Zodiacs became the Warlocks by 1965, and it wasn't long before the Warlocks went electric changed their name to the Grateful Dead.
During the Summer of Love, a New Yorker named Mickey Hart arrived on the San Francisco scene and wound up at a Grateful Dead concert at the Fillmore, where he met Kreutzmann during a set break. Hart eventually became Kreutzmann's drum teacher, and soon after, a full time member of the Grateful Dead.
Bill KreutzmannIn addition to Kreutzmann's significant contributions to the Grateful Dead and their legacy, he has also lent his talents to the New Riders of the Purple Sage, the Jerry Garcia Band, Keith & Donna, Go Ahead, and Backbone. He joined Grateful Dead fellow alumni in the Other Ones in 2000, and last summer went on the road with them as the Dead. In 2003, Kreutzmann collaborated with Journey guitarist Neal Schon, Sy Klopps, Ira Walker, and Ralph Woodson to form the Trichromes. The group's debut self-titled CD combines pop, folksy blues, and classic rock. Kreutzmann's steadfast rhythm and trademark sound masterfully power the band.
Outside of his timekeeping duties, Kreutzmann enjoys creating digital art using tools such as Adobe Photoshop. He began releasing limited edition reproductions of his work starting in 2001 on his Ocean-Spirit web site. He currently resides in Hawaii.
Gordon met Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, and Jeff Holdsworth at the University of Vermont, where Phish began in 1983.
Gordon's influence is the most obvious in Phish's many different renditions of various Bluegrass, calypso and even traditional Jewish songs. He also contributed by singing, usually adding to the lower end of the harmony spectrum, as well as writing off-beat lyrics to amusing but thought-provoking songs.
Gordon played many roles in Phish. Until the band became too big for self-management, he dealt with practically all public relations and fan communication, such as answering fan mail, managing funds, and booking gigs. Gordon wrote 17 Phish original songs and coauthored 22 Phish tracks.
Gordon has played in several side-projects apart from Phish, including Grappa Boom with Jamie Masefield of the Jazz Mandolin Project and Doug Perkins of Smokin' Grass.
In 2002, Gordon recorded the critically acclaimed Clone album with acoustic guitar master Leo Kottke. The duo reunited in 2005 for Sixty Six Steps.
Gordon formed featuring Josh Roseman, Scott Murawski, Julee Avallone, James Harvey, Gordon Stone, Jeannie Hill, and Doug Belote in 2003 and released Inside In based loosely on Outside Out.
In the summer of 2004 Gordon produced musician Joey Arkenstat's debut album, Bane. Gordon is also credited with providing vocals and shofar accompaniment.
In 2004, Gordon performed with The Benevento-Russo Duo for several shows benefiting Headcount, a voter registration organization. The trio played a number of dates throughout late 2004 and 2005 including the Bonnaroo Music Festival in June 2005 and a New Year's Eve series of shows in Florida and the northeast.
In December 2005, Gordon formed SerialPod with Anastasio and Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann. The group debuted at the 14th annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam in Asheville, North Carolina.
In early 2006, Gordon teamed up with his mother, artist Marjorie Minkin, to present Another Side of In — a visual and audio art show featuring interactive sculptures created by Minkin and set to the music of Inside In.
Later in the year, Gordon joined Ramble Dove — a honky tonk band led by Brett Hughes that formed out of a regular Tuesday night jam session at the Burlington, Vermont, club Radio Bean. The group performs a number of classic country songs and a few Gordon originals, such as the rare Phish song "Weekly Time."
That summer, Gordon joined the Benevento-Russo Duo and Anastasio for a co-headlining tour with Phil Lesh and Friends before finishing the final leg of the tour on their own. The group performed various songs from each members' catalog, as well as a handful of brand new originals. The quartet parted ways after the tour ended in July.
In August, Gordon joined the Rhythm Devils - a group featuring Kreutzmann, Dead drummer Mickey Hart, guitarist Steve Kimock and a host of backup players.
"Music is about the feeling you get when listening to good music. It comes from an emotional place in the performer and creates a succession of feeling states in the listener," Steve explains. "The mystery of this art, the paradox, and duality of its realization, lie in the translation between its creation as a unique and deeply personal statement from the performer, and its perception as common, universally held emotions by the listener."
Like many people, Kimock at first, fell under the spell of The Beatles, but he also had an aunt, Dorothy Siftar, who played the Philadelphia Folk Festival with Pete Seeger, so his musical horizons were broadened at a young age. When a cousin came home from the service with a gold Les Paul, Kimock was hooked. He got a guitar and played it 12 hours a day, every day. He still does. "I occasionally put it down to take a shower or eat some food," he jokes, but he’s still in love with the guitar and all its stringed relations.
After the usual high school bands, Kimock joined the Goodman Brothers Band. The group moved to California in 1976. Kimock’s first home was a cabin in Marin, directly behind the Ali Akbar Khan School of Music. Every morning he woke to the sound of sarods and sitars, inspiring the interest in the music of other cultures that still colors his own compositions. "I like music of cultures that predate the keyboard. I enjoy the natural temperament more than the 12 equal divisions of the octave. That’s why I like the blues."
For the rest of his career Kimock has balanced his own bands with freelance session and touring work. After a stint with Martin Fierro in The Underdogs, he joined The Heart of Gold Band with Grateful Dead members Keith and Donna Godchaux and drummer Greg Anton. Kimock and Anton split to start Zero, a project that lasted 15 years. "The music was eclectic, instrumental but not jazz fusion, mostly with a folk/Americana flavor, but open to anything."
Steve Kimock & Friends was both more focused and less formal than Zero. "We were R&B and blues based, more likely to cover old tunes than create new ones. A bar band without a bar."
KVHW was a collaboration with Bobby Vega, Alan Hertz and Ray White, a brilliant short-lived band with a set list of great covers and original compositions. Unfortunately, all the players were so busy that the band couldn’t survive.
Six years ago Kimock put together the Steve Kimock Band. When Rodney Holmes joined five years ago, everything clicked into place. Eudemonic is SKB’s much anticipated first studio album. Forty plus years into a rich and vibrant musical career, this release confirms: Kimock is the stuff that musical legends are made of.
The man whom former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart calls "the Mozart of the talking drum," Sikiru Adepoju (Seek-ee-roo Ah-deh-poh-joo), first came to the focus of the American music scene through his involvement with Hart in the Grammy Award winning Planet Drum project. His technical mastery of the talking drum and various indigenous percussion instruments (dundun, gudugudu, gome, omele, sekere, etc.) have gained acceptance and respect among music listeners of all tastes. Yet, it is his unique spirit, discipline, and commitment to the moment that have gained him respect among his musical peers, and have contributed to his ability to engage and draw in audiences, body & mind, all the over globe.
Born in Eruwa, Western Nigeria, Sikiru grew up in a "talking drum family" where he began his tutelage of the instrument at his father's side, at the age of six years old. He then went on to tour and record several albums with renowned Nigerian Juju artist Chief Ebenezer Obey and his Inter-Reformers Band. Obey, who called his personal style the miliki (enjoyment) sound, began where noted juju entertainer I.K. Diaro left off. Obey drew in such Western elements as multiple guitars and a Hawaiian steel guitar soloist, adding them to the traditional rhythmic foundation.
Through his work with Obey, and subsequent work as a studio musician in Nigeria, the young Sikiru quickly won himself appreciation as a leading force on the talking drum throughout his homeland. In 1985, rising afrobeat artist, and nephew of I.K. Dairo, O.J. Ekemode, approached Sikiru to join his band. Sikiru agreed & later the same year Ekemode brought Sikiru and several other musicians from Nigeria to the United States to record and tour.
After he moved to the Bay Area in 1985, Sikiru, soon met world-renowned percussionist and leading African music artist Babatunde Olatunji. Shortly after meeting Olatunji, Sikiru joined his Drums of Passion ensemble and began a 17 year period of productivity with the group, recording & touring extensively throughout the world, until a year before Olatunji's death in 2003.
While a member of Olatunji's Drums of Passion, Sikiru recorded with Stevie Wonder, & Carlos Santana, and performed with the Grateful Dead, where he met Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart. It was after meeting Hart that Sikiru also joined Hart's Planet Drum ensemble to record & tour. In 1991 the group's debut release "Planet Drum" hit #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart, remaining there for 26 weeks, and went on to receive a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album. In 2002 Sikiru joined Mickey Hart's Bembe Orisha (party to the spirits), where he continues to tour & perform.
In 2003 Sikiru joined Trinidad born steel pan wizard Val Serrant to create Afrika Heartbeat. Afrika Heartbeat melds the musical influences of Yoruba culture across the African Diaspora with a foundation in Nigerian Juju music and Highlife.
aka Pipes is a 12 year veteran of the funk jamband scene. Started Deep Banana Blackout with Tongue n Groove All stars in 1996. DBB self produced two CDs and hit the national touring hard until 2000 when she joined Bernie Worrell and the Woo Warriors. While working with the Wizard of Woo, Jen and the Conscious Underground ,a Brooklyn based funk metal band toured on the off nights. In 2002 Jen decided to focus on funk rock band The Bomb Squad and won a performance on the American Music Awards in 2003. Jen has appeared on stage with George Clinton and the Pfunk AllStars, The Original P, John Scofield, Gov't Mule, Fred Wesley, Bernard Purdie, Melvin Sparks, Melvin Seals, George Porter Jr, Leo Nocentelli and Tina Weymouth to name a few. Performing with these legendary musicians has profoundly affected Jen in her writing, recording and performance goals.
Now with the start of her new production company Lotus Soundworks she will be stretching her self further into Soul jazz, Reggae Ska and Metal. Her most recent guest appearance on the Agent 23 Bski Rocks CD was masterfully recorded at Busstop Studios in Brooklyn by Tao Kostman. Jen is currently writing with Mystic Bowie as well as her third Bomb Squad collaboration.