‘Psychedelic and electrifying’
The Wolfman Jack Band performs at the Stone Church in September.

‘Psychedelic and electrifying’

Wolfman Jack Band to perform Grateful Dead music from 1965 to 1972 — ‘Primal Dead’ — at Stone Church

BRATTLEBORO — Wolfman Jack Band leader and drummer Jack Betzen of Alstead, New Hampshire, just returned from playing a week of shows in Florida with The Garcia Project.

“We had a string of great shows in Florida; it was warm for almost all of them,” Betzen said. “We kept on rockin' out, even though the last show was outdoors and a bit on the cool side so they had a heater on stage for us, which is admirable,” he says.

On Dec. 3, the Stone Church will host the return of the band, which Betzen describes as “a live music project of veteran musicians from the New England area who perform the psychedelic and electrifying full sets” of Grateful Dead music from 1965 to 1972, the era that Dead fans refer to as “Primal Dead,” the years when the band was “first cutting their teeth as a live music act.”

In its publicity, the Wolfman Jack Band describes itself as “a true dance band in the style of such legendary Grateful Dead shows at venues like The Fillmore West, Carousel Ballroom, and Avalon Ballroom.”

Band members include Betzen on drums and vocals; Brian Wood (of Skull and Roses), on lead guitar; Geoffrey Williams (of Echoes of Floyd) on rhythm guitar, David Alderman (of The Garcia Project) on bass, CC Coughlin on harp and lead vocals, and Dave Noonan on drums.

Audiences 'bouncing back'

When reached by email, Robin Johnson, owner of the Stone Church, observed that “Wolfman Jack has started to carve out their niche in the crowded Grateful Dead tribute scene,” describing its late-'60s “Primal Dead” era focus as “featuring heavy bluesy psychedelia.”

He said that such shows are drawing “large enthusiastic crowds” of local fans.

“While Covid concerns continue to linger, we're finding ways to navigate by focusing on genres catered to younger audiences who seem to be bouncing back and are hungry for live music,” Johnson said.

“We're also constantly looking at ways to expand and diversify to complement our primary focus on live music,” he added, promising more outdoor music in the warmer months.

Wolfman Jack plays Primal Dead on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Stone Church, 210 Main St., Brattleboro. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for the all-ages show, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 ($20 for loft seats).

For more information and to buy tickets, visit stonechurchvt.com. For more information about Jack Betzen and Wolfman Jack, visit facebook.com/theWolfmanJackband.

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