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 catalog...
… 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 a 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.
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 sometimes eluded the Dead themselves. Those precious moments during Dead jams when the synchronicity is there and all is right with the world, 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.
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
– Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten
– Ratdog & Other Ones guitarist Mark Karan
– Grateful Dead archivist/radio guru David Gans
– Ratdog bass player Robin Sylvester
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 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 two sets of high energy Grateful Dead. Jay had never even seen Cosmic Charlie but booked the band on the strength of rave reviews he had heard about the band’s Asheville NC shows. The band began to regularly headline top venues in the Southeast, including Variety Playhouse (Atlanta GA), Georgia Theatre (Athens GA), Visulite Theatre (Charlotte NC), Lincoln Theatre (Raleigh NC), and The Orange Peel (Asheville NC). In 2004 the band expanded it’s reach with a cross-country tour that saw the band featured on Main Stage of the Oregon Country Fair in Veneta OR (the site of several legendary Grateful Dead shows). As other Dead bands have come and gone, Cosmic Charlie has cemented its status as the best known and longest running Dead tribute in the Southeast. Numerous challenges – van breakdowns, club fires, huge falling oak trees – could not sideline the band from its mission of bringing live DEAD music to the people. In July 2021, Cosmic Charlie celebrated 22 years of touring, and in August, the band started chipping away at the next 20 years. The long strange trip continues!