Show Report: 4-5-2018, The Wild Buffalo

wild-buffalo-posterWhat a night!!!

We had SO much fun at our April 5th show, with kindred spirits, Seattle’s The High Council, at the Wild Buffalo in Bellingham.

We kicked off the evening with two hours of our usual good ol’ Grateful Dead tunes (see our Shows page for the setlist), feeding off of the energy of our fellow Deadheads, dancing and singing along.

Every time we play, we feel the Dead’s legacy, always inspiring us, helping us recreate the magic — of music merged with community — that made such a deep impression on us.

Ahead of time, via discussions with The High Council, we schemed up a surprise that, we were told by many folks later, was one of the biggest highlights of the night.

wild-buffalo-color

We kicked off the last song in our set, Eyes of the World, jamming on the intro, and playing the first verse and chorus. Then, during the jam between the chorus and the 2nd verse, The High Council joined us onstage. Together, we played the 2nd verse and chorus, jammed a little longer, and then we left the stage while The High Council played the 3rd verse/chorus, finished off the song with a wonderful jam, and segued, without stopping, into the first song of their 2-hour set.

SUCH a blast!

The High Council then kept the music going nearly non-stop, absolutely stunning jams exploring a variety of genres, and adding two more Grateful Dead tunes to the evening: Deal, and a smokin’ Viola Lee Blues.

The-High-Council

Next up: May 5th, our return to The Corner Pub, Bow, WA for Cinco de Mayo!

Hope to see you soon!

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Gators in the Pig House!

This July 1st show, at Schweinhaus Biergarten, one of Bellingham’s gems, especially in the summer, should be a VERY good time!

Schweinhause-Gig

Beer, sausages, pretzels, cornhole, and good old Grateful Dead tunes!

We can all pretend we’re on the legendary Europe 1972 tour!


Also, check out our Shows page for other upcoming gigs.

Sleepy Alligators News: May 2017

18320877_656816134509021_7757466093290249545_oHey there, friends!

We’ve been having a blast getting ready for spring and summer shows, working up some songs we haven’t played before, and keeping the long, strange trip rolling along!

Our first show of the year…

5/21: Spring Family Fest

You know an elementary school is cool when their PTA chooses a Grateful Dead cover band to play at one of their fundraisers!

We’re excited to be participating in the Sunnyland Elementary PTA‘s Spring Family Fest at Boundary Bay Brewery on May 21st. At this all-ages (naturally) event, there will be more entertainment, as well as the great food and craft brew that the beer garden is known for.

8/5: 1st Annual Sunshine Daydream Music & Art Festival
Sleepy Alligators + Masquerade Wine Co. + Illuminati Brewing + Arts&Crafts = FUN!

This one’s a ways off and still in the early planning stages, but we are stoked to have been contacted by vinter/brewer Bill Kimmerly, who, in addition to making wine and beer, formerly traveled the world, attending over 250 Grateful Dead shows!

Well, courtesy of Bill, we’ll be bringing the music of the Grateful Dead to the 1st Annual Sunshine Daydream Music & Art Festival.

When: Saturday, August 5, 2017*, 2:00pm to 10:00pm
Where: Masquerade Wine Company / Illuminati Brewing, 3950 Hammer Drive, Bellingham, WA 98226 (map)
What: locally-crafted wine and beer, music, arts&crafts vendors, and more!

(* The date is deeply significant! The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia was born on August 1, 1942 and died on August 9, 1995, and ever since his death, Deadheads celebrate Jerry’s life and music every year from August 1st through August 9th, known as “The Days Between,” with the name taken from Jerry’s and Robert Hunter’s last great composition.)

We’re incredibly excited to be a part of this inaugural event!

More details to come!

Sunshine daydream
Walk you in the tall trees
Going where the wind goes
Blooming like a red rose
Breathing more freely
Light out singing
I’ll walk you in the morning sunshine
Sunshine daydream

~from “Sugar Magnolia” – Weir/Hunter, 1970

Sleepy Alligators News: March 2017

IMG_0188Despite our having shared no news for the last few months, Sleepy Alligators have decidedly not been hibernating!

Announcing New Gator: Jose Jimenez
Back in December, we said farewell to our founding drummer, OLar Maksin.

OLar made enormous contributions to the band in our formative first year, helping bring the project to life, going deep with his study of a body of music that he had not previously been very familiar with, and helping to craft the Sleepy Alligators vibe.

We are very grateful for OLar’s hard work and enthusiasm, we wish him well in his future endeavors, and we will always honor him as a founding Gator.

Meanwhile, we’re incredibly excited to welcome Jose Jimenez to the band. Jose has been drumming since he was 10-years old, and counts the Grateful Dead as one of his earliest influences. He’s known Sleepy Alligators keyboardist Orion Lackey since middle school, and brings great energy and passion with him.

Elizabeth Park Summer Concert Series: August 10th
As we announced on our Facebook Page, we’re honored to have been selected as one of only nine bands — out of 40 that applied — to perform as part of the Elizabeth Park Summer Concert Series. A summer evening, one of Bellingham’s beautiful parks, food trucks, family, friends, community and live music … it doesn’t get much better than that!

Since the Grateful Dead’s free concerts in the park were iconic and a HUGE part of their early legend, we look forward to recreating some of that spirit and vibe this August!

Bellingham Bay Brewery Fryday Fish Fry: August 11th
For the second summer in a row, we’ll be bringing an evening of Grateful Dead music to the always awesome Boundary Bay Brewery beer garden.

We love the all-ages picnic vibe, always appreciate the yummy fish & chips, and of course the legendary Boundary Bay craft brew will be flowing!

More?!!!
August is a ways off, we recognize that, we’re working on booking some other gigs for the spring, so we’ll keep you posted!

Playing, playing in the band.
Daybreak, daybreak on the land.

Sleepy Alligators Waking Up!

imageIt’s been a long, fruitful incubation period, and now Sleepy Alligators are about to wake up!

We’ve been having a great time coalescing as a band, building up a repertoire of about 30 songs, and exploring the high wire of group improvisation.

Our first gig will be:

It’s time for Bellingham’s Deadheads and jam band fans to wake up too, so put on your tie-dye and your dancing shoes, come enjoy a locally-crafted beer, yummy fish fry, and the music of the good ol’ Grateful Dead!

Sleepy Alligators Progress Report

SA-logo-blackHand me my old guitar,
Pass the whiskey ’round

–Robert Hunter, from Candyman, 1970

Having now logged a few months of practices, we’re VERY excited by how things are coming along.

Fortunate enough to have an excellent studio to work in, we’ve recorded baseline versions of ten songs, including classics like Bertha, Bird Song, and Big Railroad Blues, and that’s just the B’s!

These recordings are very helpful, serving as reference material for when we’re individually working on the songs at home between practices, providing the basic arrangements, and an opportunity to listen for mistakes and/or other areas that need improvement.

Meanwhile, practices, pretty much right from the start, have revealed perhaps the biggest strength of the band, namely that we really like hanging out together. The fact that we happen to have our instruments with us, share a love of making music, and are known to occasionally pass ’round the whiskey bottle, well, that’s just a wonderful bonus!

We’ve posted our baseline version of Bird Song on our Music page, so check it out! We think it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Sleepy Alligators Is Born!

skull-rosesThe Grateful Dead‘s 50th anniversary has been momentous!

There were the Fare Thee Well shows this past summer, substantial studio and live recording releases, the Dead & Company tour, and…

Sleepy Alligators, a Bellingham, Washington band, inspired by the Grateful Dead, was born!

It all began when guitarist John Wilson started delving deep into chordal and modal improvisation, which happened to be Jerry Garcia‘s wheelhouse.

And so, with all of this Grateful Dead energy in the air, John formed a new band, handpicking musicians he’s worked with before, musicians who, together, could find that sweet spot between looseness and synchronicity that the Dead were masters of. (See the About page for more about the individual members.)

The plan was to start off playing mostly Grateful Dead tunes, using them as a vehicle for building band chemistry and cohesion, to then venture out into interpreting the music of other artists, and possibly composing some originals. As of this writing, the plan is going very well, and the band is coming together nicely.

As for the name, astute Deadheads will recognize Sleepy Alligators from the first line of the song Alligator, off the 1967 Grateful Dead album Anthem of the Sun.

Sleepy alligator in the noonday sun
Lyin’ by the river just like he usually done
Call for his whiskey
He can call for his tea
Call all he want to
But he can’t call me

–Robert Hunter