Roots of Creation
I was a Deadhead when I was in high school. It wasn’t a cool thing to be back then. I got into the band through Terrapin Station and Blues for Allah. I have a recording of the first Dead show I saw at the Grand Rapids Civic Auditorium. I saw the Deadhead followers at that show; there were about 20 of them. Of course, all that changed after “Touch of Grey” became a hit and the band took on mythic proportions. The last Dead show I tried to go to had several hundred followers camped out in the parking lot. Now, there is a whole industry of Deadness with legions of tribute bands, endless merchandise and bars dedicated to the bands legacy.
Roots of Creation are a reggae band working the jam band circuit. Their latest project puts a reggae spin on a dozen Grateful Dead tunes. The album is called Grateful Dub, even thought only the ska instrumental of “Shakedown Street” could be called a dub mix. The band does a nice job mixing the set with deeper cuts like “They Love Each Other” and “He’s Gone” with the standards like “Ripple”, “Friend of the Devil” and “Fire on the Mountain”. Roots of Creation lay down solid grooves with funky horn and faithful interpretations of the source material. Playing this disc, I imagined a laid back beach bar somewhere with happy hippies of all ages boppin’ to the riddim. I don’t think we needed the moment of silence for Jerry Garcia, but I’m sure they know their audience better than I do.