Interview with Dino English from Dark Star Orchestra

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dino english, dark star orchestra
Dino English from Dark Star Orchestra

Interview and photos by Scott Preston

Using entire shows from the Grateful Dead’s 30 years of extensive touring as a launching pad, Dark Star Orchestra recreates the original song for song performance set list for an entirely new generation of, as well as old school, Deadheads. Dark Star Orchestra presents its critically acclaimed live show at esteemed venues from coast to coast and internationally.

Dark Star Orchestra performs Grateful Dead classics in the same way that an orchestra interprets music of classical composers. The composer spirit is derived and channeled as the players capture the excitement and innovation of the original performances and compositions. Touring nationwide for nine years to the tune of nearly 1500 shows since forming, the band’s determined commitment to “raising the Dead” has drawn national media attention. (from www.darkstarorchestra.net)

Cincy Groove: How long have you been with Dark Star Orchestra?

Dino English: I joined about 1 1/2 years after they first started touring extensively.

Cincy Groove: Who came up with the idea of playing Grateful Dead shows song for song?

Dino English: Basically John Kadlecik the lead guitar player and Scott Larnerd the keyboard player get together and thought it would be a fun thing to do. They recruited players from other local Grateful Dead tribute bands who they thought would be good at keeping the musical part of the songs the same. It then really started to take off. A lot of the guys who were originally in the band were not prepared to devote their life to it.

Cincy Groove: What was it like the first time a member of The Grateful Dead performed with Dark Star Orchestra?

Dino English: It was Bob Weir, he came out with us at The Warfield. We were playing a Rex Foundation benefit show. It was definitely a special moment for me. He came out on stage and tuned up his guitar the same way I have seen him do it a million times before. When he’s done he looks up at me and nods saying “You ready to go?”. The best part is he really had a good time playing with us.

Cincy Groove: You are also a producer in the St. Louis area correct?

Dino English: Yes, right now I’m working with a local band here in St. Louis , its one of my buddies who I have played with for a long time. Their cd is almost finished and its going to be sound really good. The bands name is The Dysfunctional. I also work with various bands and singers in the area.

Cincy Groove: How many shows does Dark Star Orchestra play in a year?

Dino English: The year before last we did 167 shows, last year I think we did 153. The idea is to trim off a little bit of that so that we can have a balanced life lol. Or least attempt to have a normal life.

Cincy Groove: What is your favorite Grateful Dead song to perform?

Dino English: The song that is the most memorable to me is Comes A Time. But my favorite song to perform really varies from night to night depending on how well the vibe of the crowd feels.

Cincy Groove: How did Dark Star Orchestra‘s first European tour go?

Dino English: We played 5 shows. Two shows in Germany and 3 in Amsterdam. This year we are going to back to Amsterdam and playing 3 shows at The Melkweg.

Dark Star Orchestra’s website: www.darkstarorchestra.net

Upcoming Shows:
Sold Out! • Sat Feb 02 – The Vic Theater [Chicago, IL]
Address: 3145 North Sheffield •
Show at 8:00, 18+
Mon Feb 04 – Guthrie Theater [Minneapolis, MN]
Address: 818 South 2nd Avenue • Phone: 612-377-2224
Tue Feb 05 – Englert Civic Theatre [Iowa City, IA]
Address: 221 East Washington St. 52240 • Phone: 319-688-2653 xt. 1
Thu Feb 07 – Barrymore Theater [Madison, WI]
Address: 2090 Atwood Ave.
Fri Feb 08 – Val Air Ballroom [West Des Moines, IA]
Address: 301 Ashworth Rd. • Phone: 515-223-6152
Sat Feb 09 – The Pageant [St Louis, MO]
Address: 6161 Delmar Blvd • Phone: 314-726-6161
Sun Feb 10 – Music Mill [Indianapolis, IN]
Address: 3720 East 82nd Street • Phone: 317-841-1850
Tue Feb 12 – Bogarts [Cincinnati, OH]
Address: 2621 Vine Street
Thu Feb 14 – Newport Music Hall [Columbus, OH]
Address: 1722 N. High Street • Phone: 614-431-3600
Fri Feb 15 – House of Blues Cleveland [Cleveland, OH]
Address: 308 Euclid Ave. • Phone: 216-523-2583
Sat Feb 16 – Town Ballroom [Buffalo, NY]
Address: 681 Main Street • Phone: 888-223-6000
Sun Feb 17 – Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead [Munhall, PA]
Address: 510 East 10th Ave. • Phone: 412-462-3444
Tue Feb 19 – Metropolitan Theatre [Morgantown, WV]
Address: 369 High Street 26505 • Phone: 304-291-4884
Thu Feb 21 – The Norva [Norfolk, VA]
Address: 317 N. Monticello • Phone: 757-622-9877
Fri Feb 22 – The National [Richmond, VA]
Address: 704 East Broad Street
Sat Feb 23 – Neighborhood Theatre [Charlotte, NC]
Address: 511 E. 36th Street • Phone: 704-358-9298
Sun Feb 24 – Lincoln Theatre [Raleigh, NC]
Address: 126 E Cabarrus Street • Phone: 919-821-4111
Wed Feb 27 – Jefferson Center [Roanoke, VA]
Address: 51 Luck Ave. • Phone: 540-345-2550
Show at 8:30, All Ages
Thu Feb 28 – Orange Peel [Asheville, NC]
Address: 101 Biltmore Ave • Phone: 866-468-7630
Fri Feb 29 – Orange Peel [Asheville, NC]
Address: 101 Biltmore Ave • Phone: 866-468-7630
Sat Mar 01 – Variety Playhouse [Atlanta, GA]
Address: 1099 Euclid Ave. • Phone: 404-524-7354
Tue Mar 04 – Freebird Live [Jacksonville, FL]
Address: 200 N. First Street • Phone: 904-2462473 xt. 2
Wed Mar 05 – Jannus Landing [St Petersburg, FL]
Address: 16 Second Street North • Phone: 727-896-2276
Thu Mar 06 – Langerado [Everglades National Park, FL]
Address: Big Cypress Indian Reservation • Phone: 800-594-TIXX
Sat Mar 15 – The Melkweg, Old Hall [Amsterdam, Holland]
Sun Mar 16 – The Melkweg, The Max [Amsterdam, Holland]
Mon Mar 17 – Jam in the Dam [Amsterdam, Holland]
Address: Melkweg, The Max
Fri Apr 11 – Vilar Center [Beaver Creek, CO]
Address: 68 Avondale Lane • Phone: 888-920-2787
Sat Apr 12 – Belly Up [Aspen, CO]
Address: 450 South Galena Street • Phone: 970-274-4686
Sun Apr 13 – Belly Up [Aspen, CO]
Address: 450 South Galena Street • Phone: 970-274-4686
Wed Apr 16 – Fox Theatre [Boulder, CO]
Address: 1135 13th Street • Phone: 303-443-3399
Thu Apr 17 – Fox Theatre [Boulder, CO]
Address: 1135 13th Street • Phone: 303-443-3399
Fri Apr 18 – Fox Theatre [Boulder, CO]
Address: 1135 13th Street • Phone: 303-443-3399
Sat Apr 19 – Oriental Theater [Denver, CO]
Address: 4335 W. 44th Street • Phone: 303-466-2124
Sun Apr 20 – Oriental Theater [Denver, CO]
Address: 4335 W. 44th Street • Phone: 303-466-2124
Thu Apr 24 – Belly Up Tavern [Solona Beach, CA]
Address: 143 S Cedros Ave. • Phone: 858-481-8140
Fri Apr 25 – El Rey Theatre [Los Angeles, CA]
Address: 5515 Wilshire Blvd • Phone: 323-936-6400
Sat Apr 26 – El Rey Theatre [Los Angeles, CA]
Address: 5515 Wilshire Blvd • Phone: 323-936-6400
Mon Apr 28 – Great American Music Hall [San Francisco, CA]
Address: 8590 O’Farrell St • Phone: 800-225-2277
Tue Apr 29 – Great American Music Hall [San Francisco, CA]
Address: 8590 O’Farrell St • Phone: 800-225-2277
Wed Apr 30 – Great American Music Hall [San Francisco, CA]
Address: 8590 O’Farrell St • Phone: 800-225-2277
Fri May 02 – Crystal Ballroom [Portland, OR]
Address: 1332 W Burnside • Phone: 503-225-0047
Sat May 03 – Crystal Ballroom [Portland, OR]
Address: 1332 W Burnside • Phone: 503-225-0047
Sun May 04 – Mcdonald Theater [Eugene, OR]
Address: 1010 Willamette St • Phone: 541-868-3334

Dark Star Orchestra’s website: www.darkstarorchestra.net