The surviving members of the Grateful Dead continue to collaborate in dizzyingly prolific and promiscuous combinations. Dead & Company is one of those productive offshoots that seems to be sprouting new creative growth.
Dead & Company came together when founding Dead guitarist, singer and songwriter Bob Weir, along with drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, assembled a group of musicians to honor the vast Dead catalog. The crew included pop star John Mayer, longtime collaborator Jeff Chimenti on keyboards, and Allman Brothers Band bassist Oteil Burbridge.
That outfit has gone out on a few runs since then (this is their fourth tour), fine-tuning their relationship with the songs and creating a new sense of expectation among fans. Weir has said that he’s very excited about this group and the new life and perspective they bring to the music. And Mayer has said that playing these songs that he’s come to revere has helped him approach music in a more selfless and joyous fashion. It’s becoming clear that the music of the Dead will have devoted players long into the future.
Dead and Company play the XL Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Hartford, on Wednesday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $50. xlcenter.com