"Cosmic Charlie really is a great band - these guys do this music the way it should be done: having the conversation in their own voices.”
-David Gans, Grateful Dead archivist
A BRIEF HISTORY OF COSMIC CHARLIE
"Truckin in Style"
Cosmic Charlie was born in the musical Mecca of Athens, Georgia. From its summer 1999 inception, the band has been swiftly cementing its reputation as a band that puts a unique and personal twist on the Grateful Dead catalogue, a Dead cover band for folks that are ambivalent about Dead cover bands. Rather than mimicking the Dead exactly, Cosmic Charlie chooses to tap into the Dead's energy and style as a foundation on which to build. The result is healthy balance of creativity and tradition, and both the band and its audience are taken to that familiar edge with the sense that, music is actually being MADE here tonight.
"A Band Beyond Description"
Moving and shaking even the most skeptical of Deadheads, Cosmic Charlie storms into a town and plays with an energy that eludes other bands, an energy that often eluded the Dead themselves. Those precious moments during Dead jams when the synchronicity is there and all is right with the world, these are moments that Cosmic Charlie relishes and feverishly welcomes with open arms. Clearly, Cosmic Charlie's audiences are also eager to arrive at those moments, and together with the band, they have indulged in many memorable evenings.
"On The Road Again"
Cosmic Charlie has performed over 800 shows at theaters, clubs and festivals across the continental USA. From Oregon to Colorado to Ohio to the Carolinas, Cosmic Charlie's unique take on the Dead has garnered the attention of luminaries from the Grateful Dead extended family. Some who have joined Cosmic Charlie on stage include:
-Grateful Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick
-Ratdog/Other Ones guitarist Mark Karan
-Grateful Dead archivist/radio guru David Gans
-Ratdog bass player Robin Sylevester
-Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten
It has been a great honor for the band to connect musically with these talented players who are have played such a central part in the Dead world.
"One More Saturday Night"
Members of Cosmic Charlie are a versatile bunch, having collaborated with the likes of Widespread Panic, Robert Fripp, Indigo Girls, Ween, Jimmy Herring, River Phoenix, Juliana Hatfield and Vic Chesnutt, to name a few. Originating as a "one-night-only" Jerry Garcia birthday tribute (performing under the moniker 'One More Saturday Night'), word spread quickly that this was no ordinary musical confluence. Gigs started knocking at the door, high profile ones no less:
-Headlining the two-day, ten band Z-93 Jerry Jam extravaganza at Variety Playhouse in Atlanta. Promoter Jeff Dunham quickly booked Cosmic Charlie to headline both days within hours of hearing a live recording of Cosmic Charlie playing Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain.
-The 3 day Jomeokee Jamboree in Winston-Salem, NC, featuring String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic, P- Funk and more. Promoter Jay Stephens booked Cosmic Charlie to close out all 3 nights with 2 sets of Grateful Dead jams. Jay had never even heard Cosmic Charlie, but booked the band on the strength of truly rave reviews he had heard about the band's Asheville NC shows.
-Regular appearances at top venues in the Southeast, including Variety Playhouse (Atlanta GA), Georgia Theatre (Athens GA), Music Farm (Charleston SC), Lincoln Theatre (Raleigh NC), and The Orange Peel (Asheville).
"It All Rolls Into One"
In 2004, Cosmic Charlie was chosen to play Main Stage at the Oregon Country Fair in Veneta OR, one of the oldest and most respected festivals in the country. The Oregon Country Fair has a strong Dead connection (Veneta was the site of some legendary Dead shows, and the OCF has had many Dead alumni grace its stage), and over the years, many of the most influential jam-bands have been showcased there (String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon). It was a joyous weekend playing in one of the most charming and ripe live music environments to be found anywhere.
"A Dragon With Matches"
If you're looking for a band to play Grateful Dead material and breath some life into it, Cosmic Charlie will rise to the task with breath of fire. The room will gleefully be elevated to the next dimension.