Jam with John K Band at Rams Head Live on March 29th – by Matt Ellis

titlePhoto Credit:  simonsaysbooking.com

Very few people get the opportunity during their lifetime to meet their idols, let alone earn their respect and actually join them in their endeavors.  But, John Kadlecik, lead singer and guitarist of the John K Band, has been lucky enough to do just that, and establish himself as a perennial player in the jam rock scene in the process.

Kadlecik originally made a name for himself as co-founder of Dark Star Orchestra, a band dedicated to playing historic Grateful Dead shows, song for song.  Beginning in 1997 with co-founder and keyboardist Scott Larned, this formula worked well for Kadlecik as the band provided the live concert fix all Deadheads had been craving since Jerry Garcia’s passing in 1995. 

If there was anyone to try to fill that void left by Jerry, it was John Kadlecik.  A native Iowan, who now resides in Takoma Park, Md., Kadlecik attended college as a classical guitar major but later dropped out.  Before departing the realm of academia, a friend turned him on to the Grateful Dead and a new seed was planted.  He formed a strong bond with their music and his voice and guitar playing bore an uncanny resemblance to the late, legendary Garcia, earning him playing time in a number of Dead-influenced jam bands including Uncle John’s Band, and then Dark Star Orchestra.

Dark Star Orchestra still plays today, but original co-founder Scott Larned passed away from a heart attack in 2005 and Kadlecik eventually made the transition to playing live with actual Grateful Dead founders Phil Lesh and Bobby Weir to form the renowned super group, Furthur, in 2009.

Kadlecik later formed the John K Band in 2010 to perform nearby his home in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, and after Furthur announced in 2013 that they’d be taking a hiatus, the John K Band became his primary focus.  In the spirit of his prior projects and lifelong love for the Grateful Dead, John K Band play joyful, spacious, psychedelic jam rock, sometimes featuring a female vocalist, and overall very reminiscent of the Grateful Dead’s primetime live shows. 

John K Band play original compositions by Kadlecik, as well as covers of Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band, and Phish songs.  The March 29th Rams Head Live show will be the John K Band’s last concert date until April 18th in New York.  Tickets are $15 in advance, and $18 the day of the show. 

Check out the live version of “Desert Trance,” by John K Band, below.  And for comparison (and because you can never get enough of Jerry), a great live video of the Jerry Garcia Band performing Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up in Blue.” 

– Matt Ellis

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.