One of my favorite Grateful Dead cover bands is a group from Southern California called Grateful Shred. They are awesome and they have recently announced 2 upcoming performances, complete with 2 new posters. Let’s take a look at them and a few others from their archival poster vault down below!
When it comes to Grateful Dead cover bands there are many options for Deadheads to choose from. Dead and Company, Dark Star Orchestra, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, just to name a few. And on any given weekend, Dead cover bands perform at venues from coast to coast. I’ve seen Dead cover bands play at bars, amphitheaters, local art centers, and even on boats cruising the Boston harbor on the perfect summer evening. I most recently saw DSO play at a drive-in movie theatre (thanks to the pandemic).
The Los Angeles-based Grateful Shred consists of 4 core members and a rotating cast of drummers and keyboard players. Founded by singer/guitarist Austin McCutchen in 2016 with guitarists Clay Finch, Sam Blasucci, and bassist Dan Horn.
I first came across the band on YouTube in a performance of Scarlette Begonias /Fire on the Mountain from 2017. The video shows the band setting up and playing an impromptu set in a lot at the Hollywood Bowl before and Dead and Company show. The video editing stylistically captures the pre-show-lot vibe perfectly, with a crowd slowly gathering, waving tie-dye tapestry, and dancing. Even the cops let the jam conclude before busting up the show. I’ve been a big fan ever since.
Grateful Shred at The Ritz.
First off we have a poster by Brian Blomerth from a show at The Ritz in San Jose, CA in 2018. The design is reminiscent of David Byrd’s 1973 poster for the Grateful Dead concert at the Nassau Coliseum. The design pays homage to the iconic design with the gold border and reverse color gradient. The 2018 design features iconography from the band like the marching bears and the invisible man shakedown character. All hanging out beneath the stars.
Pappy and Harriets.
Next up is the poster from a pair of shows at Pappy & Harriets in December of 2018. The black and white design reminds me of a Family Dog-era poster.
The print was designed by the prolific Cleveland-based artist Jake Kelly. In typical Kelly fashion, the black and white design is clean, detailed, and has just the right amount of deadhead imagery. Jake Kelly has provided lots of work for the band so we’ll see more from him later.
Grateful Shred 420.
Their latest performance was part of their annual “Shred 420” event. The virtual streaming event was the band’s first full concert experience of the year. The poster was designed by Brooklyn-based illustrator Joe Jurewicz. The design features illustrated portraits of the band and a leafy banner of pot leaves and California Poppy flowers. Jurewicz also designed the poster for the 2019 iteration of Shred 420. The poster was a blacklight throwback straight from the 1970s, complete with smoked-out van cruising down a road of pot leaves!
The last designs are for Grateful Shred’s upcoming shows in July and October. Both were designed by Jake Kelly. The first poster is for the show at Roaring Camp in Felton, CA the July. The design features the marching bears around a roaring campfire. The Grateful Shred log letters fit the camping theme perfectly.
The 2nd print is for the upcoming 2021 Halloween show at the Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA. The comic book-like cover features the Uncle Sam character and spider webs to flesh out the Halloween motif. Kelly said of the design: “I kinda feel like this guy, back from the grave and doing posters again.”
These posters are just a few of the awesome designs used by the band. If you want to see more of their awesome archived posters check out the Grateful Shred poster vault on their website.