What’s in a name? Sometimes, everything… The Grass Is Dead are a bluegrass combo paying homage to the music and cultural legacy of The Grateful Dead, arguably America’s first folk rock band and one of the most influential musical artists of the last 50 years. The catalogue of the Dead’s music is a gold mine for string bands and story tellers, and The Grass Is Dead have established themselves far and wide as premiere purveyors of this rich tradition of Americana music. Pickin’ and grinnin’ is what they do best, and they have been adapting Grateful Dead songs in their own bluegrass style since 1998.
A festival favorite, The Grass Is Dead has built a loyal following from their home state of FL throughout the Eastern United States through burning live shows, and well beyond, through word of mouth, social media and old fashioned taper trees. The demand for Grateful Dead music is seemingly endless, and there are countless cover bands satisfying that demand on the local level, but there are not many artists out there approaching the music from the perspective of The Grass Is Dead. It is not complicated or artsy: this is a straight forward hootenanny built to last, and fans of either bluegrass music, The Grateful Dead, or both always leave happy, because sometimes there’s nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile…
"At the core of The Grateful Dead is the heart of American music, which is bluegrass and folk. You cannot hide behind these two genres. What you get in the studio is what you get onstage. And it's that vulnerability and honesty that sets the tone and attitude apart from the haphazard and polished nature of pop radio. Putting their music through the prism of string music, The Grass Is Dead showcases how Jerry & Co. buried innumerable gems of wisdom — sonically and spiritually — in the rich tapestry of their melodies and lyrics, all of which radiates in intimacy and inclusiveness of The Grass Is Dead when they stand in front of the microphone, and also the unknown night of curiosity and exploration that they seek out and grasp with such ease."
— Garret K. Woodward, Music Editor - The Smoky Mountain News
“I have made music with Billy Gilmore off and on for more than 15 years. He is a sensitive and expressive musician with a great attitude.”
— David Gans-Musician /Host of the Grateful Dead Hour Radio and co-host of SiriusXM Grateful Dead Channel
“Playing with Billy Gilmore has always been a privilege for not only is he an accomplished master of all stringed instruments, from guitar (electric and acoustic), to mandolin, banjo, fiddle, pedal steel, and dobro, Billy is also one of the most joyful stage performers. Always engaging the audience and his fellow musisians and always ramping up the fun factor to a higher level. Billy Rocks!”
— Pete Lavezzoli – drummer from Melvin Seals, Jerry Garcia Band, Phil and Friends and Crazy Fingers.
Pearly Baker’s Best is a Grateful Dead tribute with both a weekly residency and a devoted following at one of the top local venues in Syracuse, NY every Monday night. Playing the music of The Grateful Dead, The Jerry Garcia Band, The Beatles and other covers they delight their devout followers with a powerful show once a week out of the band’s current song list which tops 180 songs. The band’s strong improvisational foundation leads the way, allowing their sets to be visualized much like weaving a tapestry; each thread of verse, chorus or bridge is expertly weaved into the fabric of their sound and playing to be completely embraced by their audience. Also, careful attention is always given to ensuring that each song is treated with the necessary vocal ingredients to cause the listener to be drawn into the music at the deepest level. The band’s desire is to provide each audience member with a ‘Grateful Dead-like experience,’ allowing them to encounter the show as a translational, musical undertaking. Currently PBB can go 9 shows without repeating a song and is always adding to it's ever expanding catalog of 200 songs which includes original songs on occasion. The band does play shows in addition to their weekly residency in Syracuse, all across New York State. The band has begun to incorporate original music into their sets and recently had the privilege of sharing their stage with David Gans; long-time archivist for the Grateful Dead, broadcaster, song writer and music journalist. David expressed a strong desire to share the stage with Pearly Baker’s again in the near future. There is truly nothing like a Pearly Baker’s Best show.