Stu Allen & Mars Hotel - Lafayette Art & Wine Festival

Stu Allen & Mars Hotel

Lafayette Art & Wine Festival - Fiesta Stage

Saturday, September 19, 2015

5:00 pm –7:00 pm

Stu Allen, the amazing guitarist from Louisville, Kentucky leads this Grateful Dead “cover” band through the vast songbook that covers 50 years of rock, jazz, bluegrass, blues, R&B, acoustic and electric. Stu, like Jerry Garcia, is one of the hardest working musicians in the Bay Area. He performs regularly at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael and the Ashkenaz in Berkeley. He was also the featured guitarist to open the “Dear Jerry” Concert in May. If you got to see the GD this summer in Santa Clara or Chicago, good for you! If you did not get a ticket, this is your chance to stand up close to the stage, and “when in doubt, twirl.”

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When Jerry Garcia left us in 1995, the Grateful Dead folded up its tent and remaining members went their separate ways. Oh sure they got back together here and there: The Other Ones, The Dead, Further and the side jobs that included RatDog, Phil & Friends, Rhythm Devils, Billy and the Kids, Mikey Hart Band and 7 Walkers. But who was going to take Jerry’s place? That is a tall order. Who can replace Jerry? REALLY? There have been some outstanding subs: Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, John Kadelick, Mark Karan, Larry Campbell & Steve Kimock are some of the best. I got to hear them all. Hey, I am a Dead Head and I am proud of it. And this year when the Grateful Dead did unite for the 50th Anniversary, the choice of Trey Anastasio was brilliant.

But I have to tell you, the guy I enjoy the most is Stu Allen.

I met Stu when he began playing with Grapefruit Ed. And I have been following him around ever since. Stu and his buddies have been filling the void for the past 10 years. I first got Stu and Workingman’s Ed to come to Lafayette to help us with a fundraising event for the Town Hall Theatre to honor Brent Mydland (former GD keyboardist who lived in Lafayette). We got them back again twice at the Art & Wine Fesitval. And sure enough, along with the band, the hippies followed. If you want to hear some of the best Bay Area music, this is your chance. But stay away from the brown acid.

Jay Lifson

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