Wake the Dead will perform its blend of Celtic music and the songs of the Grateful Dead at the Rogue Theatre. - Wake the Dead

Wake the Dead at Rogue Theatre

Wake the Dead, a Celtic all-star Grateful Dead jam band, will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 4, at Rogue Theatre, 143 S.E. H St., Grants Pass.

Opening for Wake the Dead will be Ashland's One Horse Shy.

Wake the Dead is an acoustic San Francisco Bay Area septet that explores the boundaries between Celtic music and songs of the Grateful Dead. Born out of the extended Dead family in 2000, Wake the Dead released its third CD, "Blue Light Cheap Hotel," in 2007.

For the band, an Irish wake is an expression of cultural joy, a celebration, a toast of appreciation and an expression of love. And an excuse to have a great party.

The band started when a group of Bay Area musicians realized they shared as deep a love for the songs of the Grateful Dead as they did for traditional Celtic tunes.

The band members include: Irish harpist Maureen Brennan who has performed widely for more than 20 years. Her recorded works include three solo CDs and the "Harpistry" collection.

Bassist Cindy Browne came from the eclectic world ensemble Next Village. She is equally at home in folk and jazz, touring from Jordan to Japan.

Singer, fiddler, and fretman Danny Carnahan is a two-time National Association of Independent Record Distributors "Indie" award-winner for his original Irish-tinged songs (including a collaboration with Robert Hunter).

Kevin Carr is a dance fiddler, a penny whistler and Irish piper.

Percussionist and multi-instrumentalist Joe Craven performed and recorded with Jerry Garcia and has toured for the past decade with David Grisman.

Sylvia Herold's vocal phrasing can be heard on her two solo CDs and in her concerts with several popular swing bands.

Paul Kotapish is known for his concerts and recordings with Kevin Burke's Open House, and for his guitar and mandolin with The Hillbillies From Mars.

Percussionist Brian Rice, with his expertise in Latin rhythm, rounds out the band.

Wake the Dead's music moves from rock grooves to Irish reels, and from haunting airs to beautiful melodies. The band members approach the Grateful Dead repertoire with their own take on the songs. They perform "Sugaree" in waltz time, bracketed by an ancient harp tune and infused with a poignant Celtic longing. "Bertha" comes out of "China Cat" on mandolin. The eerie lilt of the uilleann pipes gives a glow to "Bird Song" as if it was always meant to be there. The music takes off, and the band follows, grinning all the way.

One Horse Shy is a gathering of songwriters and seasoned musicians delivering a fresh brew of Americana music. The band features the song writing and vocal performances of Manda Bryn and Cris Kelly, the singing and songwriting of bassist and mandolin player Mysha Caruso, the percussion work of Bryan Helfrich and the dobro, lap steel playing and singing of Bob Evoniuk. The quintet formed in 2007 and has released a self-titled CD.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. See roguetheatre.com or call 471-1316.

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