Big Fun Band

In May 1970, at the age of 16, David Homel attended his first Grateful Dead concert. The band's finesse, arrangements and signature transitions made an impression on Homel, who continues to celebrate their legacy.

The Deadhead is now the frontman of a new local project — David Homel's Big Fun Band, featuring bassist Tim Tzwicky, guitarist Erik Larson, drummer Michael St. John, keyboardist Jack Latvaia and vocalist Carol Ann Kruger.

The band formed three months ago under the default name Big Fun Band and plays at 7:30 p.m. every Friday under a large Bedouin-style tent at Jackson Wellsprings, 2253 Highway 99 N, Ashland.

The band's aim is not to clone the Grateful Dead but to build upon the group's exceptional example, says Homel.

"The Grateful Dead are a luxury," he says. "It's like having good money, a good relationship and a good car. It brings you joy and puts you in the now."

Nearly 70 percent of the Fun Band's set is Dead songs or music by Grateful Dead members' offshoot bands. However, the band throws in a handful of songs by The Beatles, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Eric Clapton and other artists to mix it up.

The second half of the show is done in a manner that all Deadheads should recognize, with improvisational transitions between songs — a method popularized by the Dead.

"Part of the fascination of the Grateful Dead is you don't know where they're going ... and part of the challenge of a band is going from one song to another, making up a transition that doesn't sound like you don't know what the hell you're doing," says Homel.

See or call 541-482-3776.

Share This Story