The Grateful Dead were probably the most important drug band in drug band rock 'n' roll history.

Led by fingerless, beatnik messiah Jerry Garcia, naked fans swarmed from around the country for a chance to hear one of his rare live banjo performances. One time he pushed Phil down the stairs.

Heavily steeped in Americana, the group thought Bob Dylan covers were pretty cool. Using the harvested organs of innocent young children, Phil showed the other members of the band how to play without sheet music onstage.*

*Umphrey’s has played more shows.

Troy Anastasio

From a technical prowess standpoint, Trey in his prime would absolutely destroy Jerry. Really… The two guys shouldn’t even be mentioned together in the same sentence as far as technical skill is concerned. Anyone with an ounce of musical knowledge as it pertains to playing, or even understanding the guitar as an instrument knows this to be true. It’s not even up for debate.

You can most certainty appreciate Jerry’s tone, creatively, song writing, note choices, style, and ability to improv more. That is completely understandable. That’s preference. I am sure there are countless people out there that prefer Dave Matthews on guitar over Eddie Van Halen.

Was Trey a competent jazz player? Yes. Was he fantastic at jazz? No, Did he play things that are at least as impressive technically as what you can hear from a quality jazz musician? Most definitely. Although, Jerry didn’t have that rinky dink “percussion kit” for that short period of time so I guess its really a toss up as to who is more “dynamic.”

Trey formally studied music (and has a degree) which none of these hippies, including Jerry, ever did.

Bruce Motherfucking Hornsby

Hornsby recalled when he saw Phish at the Hampton Coliseum and referred to it as a “transcendent” experience. “They have a really beautiful relationship with their audience, just like the Dead.” Shortly after witnessing Trey shred a face-melting YEM, he wrote this song:

Standing in line, marking time
Waiting for the welfare dime
‘Cause they can’t buy a job
The man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old lady’s eyes
Just for fun he says, “Get a job.”
That’s just the way it is
Some things will never change
That’s just the way it is
Ah, but don’t you believe them
Said hey, little boy, you can’t go where the others go
‘Cause you don’t look like they do
Said hey, old man, how can you stand to think that way?
And did you really think about it before you made the rules?
He said, son
That’s just the way it is

Jeffe Chimenti

A native of the San Francisco Bay area, Chimenti began playing piano when he was four and he studied formally from the age of seven to around the time he finished high school. Once he graduated from high school, he began playing in bands around the Bay area. He played in local jazz bands as well as Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade; he’s also played back-up for pop acts such as En Vogue.

He was playing in Dave Ellis’s jazz quartet when Ellis was hired to play saxophone in Ratdog. Ellis informed him that Ratdog was also looking for a new keyboardist. Chimenti was hired and played his first show 28 May 1997.

Chimenti was on tour with Ratdog and performed with Phil Lesh and Friends.

Jeff will be performing with Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Billy & The Kids, Communion (Phil Lesh, Stu Allen, Grahame Lesh, Ross James, Alex Koford and Jason Crosby), Widespread Panic, The Disco Biscuits, Bruce Hornsby, Eric Church, moe., Railroad Earth, Buddy Miller, David Grisman, Greensky Bluegrass, Jimmy Cliff, Yonder Mountain String Band, Jorma Kaukonen, Los Lobos, O.A.R. and Trampled by Turtles on May 14th, 7pm EST @ Merriweather Post Pavilion, MD for “Dear Jerry: Celebrating the Music of Jerry Garcia.”