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WSLR’s Ninth Annual “Very Merry Jerry Day” Featuring The Grass is Dead

WSLR’s Ninth Annual “Very Merry Jerry Day” Featuring The Grass is Dead

| Sande Caplin |

Sunday, August 6th, 4-10pm, 525 Kumquat Court, Sarasota.  Break out the tie-dye and hula hoops for WSLR’s annual celebration of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. Jerry Garcia was born on August 1, 1942, and lived to become one of the most famous counterculture icons of the 20th Century.

Playing guitar and singing for his band, The Grateful Dead, as well as several others, Garcia took his hippie movement from the 60’s into the 90’s, inspiring the following of millions of long-haired, tie-dye t-shirted, carefree “Deadheads.” Musicians honoring the Dead this year will include the Michael Miller Band, Grass is Dead, and The Schmitz Brothers.  The event is held at the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center with doors opening at 4pm and music starting at 5pm.

Veteran singer/songwriter Michael Miller has been writing and performing music for more than twenty years, both as a solo artist and as a member of various bands over the years (Caution, Left Foot Down, The Heart Machine).  He’ll be joined by Mark Zampella (guitar), Paul Louis (bass) and Laura Rader (percussion).
Originally formed in South Florida in 1998, The Grass is Dead are one of the original pioneers of the Bluegrass/Grateful Dead genre. Billy Gilmore, founding member of The Grass is Dead has cultivated a dedicated fan base for many years throughout his home state. The past two years have seen the band ramp up their touring schedule extensively. Pickin’ and grinnin’ is what they do best and they are always a festival favorite.  Putting their music through the prism of string music, Grass Is Dead showcases how Jerry & Co. buried innumerable gems of wisdom — sonically and spiritually — in the rich tapestry of their melodies and lyrics, all of which radiates in intimacy and inclusiveness of Grass Is Dead when they stand in front of the microphone, and also the unknown night of curiosity and exploration that they seek out and grasp with such ease.

Jerry Garcia 

The Schmitz Brothers are a dynamic family band whose harmonies and skilled musicianship you won’t soon forget. For over a decade The Schmitz Brothers Band has been entertaining audiences with classic rock and blues based music along with reggae, jazz, bluegrass, originals, and old time country thrown in depending on the venue.

4:00 doors open
5:00 -5:45 Michael Miller Band
6:00pm – 7:00pm The Grass Is Dead
7:30pm -8:30pm The Grass Is Dead
8:40pm – 9:40 The Schmitz Brothers

Jamming and dancing are “grate”-ly encouraged! Food will be provided by Chef Richard’s Kumquat Kitchen and Goodfellas Pizza . This is a family-friendly event, with kids’ activities and local vendors tabling. Attendees can bring their own chairs and t-shirts for tie-dying, but no coolers please.  Come out and help us recreate the mood and celebrate the music of the Grateful Dead.  Tickets are $15 for adults; half-price for students and free for children under 12.  Tickets are available at  For more information call WSLR at 941-894-6469.

photos from David Beaton / WSLR

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