The U-Liners pay tribute to Jerry Garcia on July 30

The U-linersThe U-Liners

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Whether you’re a Deadhead, a bluegrass fan, a U-liner groupie, or just someone who appreciates good music, well played—a special concert on Saturday, July 30 will get you whirling.

The Takoma Park-based U-Liners describe their sound as “Woody Guthrie meets Merle Haggard meets Jerry Garcia and will pay tribute to the front man for the Grateful Dead at the IOTA Club & Café in Arlington, Virginia, on Saturday, July 30.

Joe Uehlein—founder of the U-Liners—says that he finds inspiration and common ground with Garcia’s music. With his band, Joe will perform a vast retrospective of music including the many styles that Garcia loved to play during his illustrious career. The band will offer a full range of Garcia’s music from his 35 years of making music including the rock and country sounds of the Grateful Dead, his bluegrass music with Old & In The Way, and the R&B and soul music he played with the Jerry Garcia Band.

The U-Liners feature some of DC’s best musicians including Wammie-winning multi-instrumentalist John Penovich on lead guitar, drummer/percussionist Larry Ferguson, Mindy McWilliams on violin and vocals, Barry Warsaw on bass, and Joe Uehlein on guitar and vocals, and Eli Gonzalez on Sax.

Joe Uehlein has deep roots in all the genres of music that make up “roots-rock,”and  is an aficionado of not only Jerry Garcia’s music, but of the cultural and political reverberations that came out of that period known as the sixties, and its meaning to today’s culture and politics. With their knowledge and broad talent for the genres of roots rock, the U-Liners are an obvious choice for celebrating the music of Jerry Garcia.

Background on Jerry Garcia

Jerry Garcia is a rock legend, counter culture hero, and symbol of the sixties, and a creator of what became known as “the San Francisco sound.”  His passion has been for a whole range of musical genres, including folk, bluegrass, country, rock, acid-rock, rhythm & blues, gospel, jazz, rock’n roll, and more.

Although perhaps best known for his work as leader of The Grateful Dead, one of the top touring bands in rock history, Jerry Garcia began as a banjo player and folk aficionado in the San Francisco Bay area.  He never forgot his roots.  During the 30 years that the Grateful Dead were together, Jerry Garcia always had other musical projects: like his bluegrass band Old & In The Way with Peter Rowan, David Grisman, and Vassar Clements; his R&B/Soul/ & Motown band — The Jerry Garcia Band; the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band; his folk and jazz work with David Grisman.  And of course his mainstay was the rock, country, cowboy songs, blues, and rock’n roll with the Grateful Dead.

Growing out of the late 50’s and early 60’s folk and Beatnik scene, Jerry Garcia’s music helped transition a culture and create a counter-culture.  Although avowedly apolitical, Jerry Garcia, and the Grateful Dead played more benefits for progressive causes than any band in rock history.

Garcia’s work spoke to today’s debate about file sharing.  The Grateful Dead always allowed and encouraged fans to record every concert and a network of tape traders grew and flourished.  The Grateful Dead were the first to record on a sixteen track recorder – Ampex called the machine “prototype #2” in those days.  The Grateful Dead were the first to use computers to test the acoustics of a venue, and helped spawn the Alembic Sound Company that created their famous “wall of sound” – a sound system so unique and special that the Grateful Dead moved the entire system from city to city rather than rent regular sound equipment like other bands.

Jerry Garcia played before crowds exceeding half a million, performed before the Great Pyramids of Egypt, and toured the world time and time again.  Jerry also struggled with addiction.  He died, of heart failure, in an addiction treatment center on August 9, 1995.  Through his life, he practiced living life as he did music – he lived large, and close to the edge, and with great love and compassion.