The Garcia Project returns to Stone Church

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BRATTLEBORO — It is highly unusual to have two full moons under the same sign in a row, but that is what's happening early Friday morning.

And coinciding with that second Libra full moon comes a second chance to see The Garcia Project at the Stone Church in Brattleboro on Friday night at 8 p.m. They played here in September 2018 to a full house to kick off their first national tour.

The Garcia Project — the only nationally touring Jerry Garcia Band (JGB) tribute that performs actual, full, classic JGB shows from 1976 to 1995 with proper, era-specific equipment and arrangements — creates the JGB experience for old fans to relive and for new fans to enjoy for the very first time.

Mik Bondy, on guitar and vocals, has built a replica Jerry Garcia guitar rig, including the same speakers, amps, mods and anything else he could learn about to try and capture the tone and feel of what Garcia was doing. He's joined by Kat Walkerson on vocals, who previously sang with Melvin Seals, keyboardist with The Jerry Garcia Band from 1981-1995.

Bassist Dan Crea, who joined the band in late 2011, has a collection of tribute basses that he uses for each era and has been building and perfecting his "John Kahn" bass rig for years. Drummer Tommy Nagy uses his talents to turn the band on a dime during jams and keeps the tempos for each era to the correct groove.

You will also see one of their great keyboard players channeling Melvin Seals or Keith Godchaux depending on the eta of the show they are performing that night.

The band's big news is that they plan to head into the recording studio to record their first album this summer.

"We are excited to announce that we are recording our first album in June of 2019," Bondy says. "The album will be produced by Maria Muldaur and will be called 'Spirit.' It will be a collection of spiritual, gospel and inspirational songs that Jerry Garcia performed throughout his career," says Bondy.

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The Garcia Project performed with Muldaur during their recent successful West Coast tour. Muldaur performed on the "Cats Under The Stars" album, toured with the Jerry Garcia Band from 1977-79 and had the number one hit "Midnight at The Oasis." Bondy says, "She was wonderful to work with and we recreated a 1978 Jerry Garcia Band show with her in California."

On the album, The Garcia Project band members and Muldaur will be joined by notable musicians including Peter Rowan, David Grisman, Rick Turner, Jacklyn LaBranch, Buzz Buchanan, and a few others. The album will be recorded in June in San Rafael, California, with release scheduled for September. They will have an indiegogo.com pre-sale page where fans can sign up for email alerts, news and announcements. A limited first run of 1,000 CDs will be produced. Early pre-sale buyers will be able to get special exclusive perks when they pre-order.

When asked to share some highlights from their West Coast tour, Bondy notes, "We had a fabulous West Coast tour to kick off our shows in 2019. We sold out The Sweetwater Music Hall and at that show we performed a special 1978 Jerry Garcia Band set list with Maria Muldaur."

"Maria was on tour with Jerry for that show and the fans absolutely loved it," Bondy says. "At our last two shows in southern Oregon, we sold out the first night of a two night run and on the second night I played my guitar through an original 'Wall of Sound' speaker cabinet that Jerry Garcia had used. It was an amazing experience." There is a demo of Bondy playing through the speakers on their Patreon web page: https://www.patreon.com/thegarciaproject

When asked about playing in Brattleboro, Bondy comments, "We have a killer Jerry Garcia Band set list ready for Brattleboro and we are bringing in our own light show and sound tech, Davis Thurston, for this one. I encourage everyone to come and bring their friends to this wonderful music venue in Brattleboro - The Stone Church - and help us create a magical Jerry Garcia Band experience together."

After playing in Brattleboro, The Garcia Project heads to the Wall Street Theater in Norwalk, Connecticut on April 20, to the Brooklyn Bowl on April 24, to the Tilden Performing Arts Center in West Barnstable, Massachusetts. on April 27 and to Levon Helm Studio in Woodstock, New York for an already sold-out show on May 4.

"I've always felt that southern Vermont is the West Coast of the East Coast," Bondy says. "I love the vibe, the people, the food and the mountains. This show is going to rock!"

Doors open at 7 p.m., and The Garcia Project plays two sets of music from 8 - 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door and can be purchased at www.thegarciaproject.com or www.stonechurchvt.com.


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