photo by Jessica Sprouse
Legendary drummer and co-founder of the Grateful Dead, Bill Kreutzmann, together with funky bluesman and voodoo electronic pioneer Papa Mali, officially unveil 7 Walkers’ spring plans. 7 Walkers, which also features bass virtuoso Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green, JFJO) and multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard (Willie Nelson and Friends), will stop at select markets and festivals through out the country, all in anticipation of a new album release. The complete list of currently confirmed tour dates is included below.
7 Walkers recently spent time at an Austin, Texas studio, recording an album to be released later this year. In addition to a brand-new batch of Robert Hunter (Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan lyricist) originals that were co-written with the band, the new album offers up favorites from the Grateful Dead repertoire, Papa Mali originals, and some New Orleans and Southern songbook interpretations. Overall, the result is a fiery and funky collection of tunes that quite brilliantly capture the unique collaboration between these two very different musical shamans.
Bill Kreutzmann (who played every show in the Grateful Dead’s illustrious 30 year career as well as The Dead incarnations since) first met funky Papa Mali at a festival in 2008. Bill recalls in a recent interview, “We first met at the Oregon Country Fair last year. He was the headliner on the main stage, and I sat there and watched him and went, ‘This guy’s for real man, I like this guy.’ Then we met, after that he came over to my trailer that I was staying in and you couldn’t separate us, we talked for hours. It was just one of those natural things, you know? You can’t plan it; You can’t make it happen. And then we started playing together.”
Live audio recordings of the 7 Walkers can be heard at the newly re-launched www.billkreutzmann.com.
Meanwhile, at nugs.net, fans can now download live BK3 recordings from their 2009 Colorado shows. Another potent Kreutzmann musical project, BK3 first toured in 2008 and featured a rotating lineup including such players as guitarist Scott Murawski (Max Creek) and bassists James “Hutch” Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt), Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers), and Mike Gordon (Phish).
Bill Kreutzmann is also working to support the efforts of University of California at Santa Cruz, who has committed to helping to archive all things Grateful Dead. As Kreutzmann explains, “I am incredibly happy that the kind archivists at UC Santa Cruz understand the social value of [the Grateful Dead’s] priceless archive, and its hallowed meaning to our most beloved ‘Dead Heads.’ Without the care it is now going to receive, these treasures would be lost.”
7 Walkers Spring/Summer Tour Dates:
(*Please note guest bass player George Porter Jr. will perform these dates with 7 Walkers)
Tuesday, April 6 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Big Room Chico CA
Wednesday, April 7 Red Fox Eureka CA
Thursday, April 8 Crystal Bay Club Crown Room Crystal Bay NV
Friday, April 9 Great American Music Hall San Francisco CA
Saturday, April 10 Moe’s Alley Santa Cruz CA
Friday, April 16 Spirit of Suwanee Music Park Live Oak FL
Saturday, April 17 The Salt Lick Driftwood TX
Friday, April 30 Mahalia Jackson Theatre New Orleans, LA
Thursday, June 3 Wakarusa Festival Ozark AR
Friday, June 11 Sonoma County Fairgrounds Santa Rosa CA