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Dead to the Core

Photo by Rich Gastwirt

An acoustic celebration of the Grateful Dead


Featured performers include Jefferson Hamer, Erin McKeown, Natalia Zukerman, Anand Nayak, Ryan Fitzsimmons, Todd Fitzsimmons, David Surette, Steve Roy, and Wendy Ramsay, with host Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers. Click the links for details on each show. More will be announced soon.

Tour dates on Facebook

5/1 The Folkus Project, Syracuse NY — CANCELED
5/2 Recovery Lounge, Upper Jay NY — concert and guitar workshop
5/3 Argyle Brewing Company, Cambridge NY
5/28 The Parlor Room, Northampton MA
5/29 The Troubadour Acoustic Concert Series, Morristown NJ
5/30 The Barn Series, Southbury CT — concert and guitar workshop
8/5–6 Club Passim, Cambridge MA. Celebrating the 50th anniversaries of Workingman's Dead (8/5) and American Beauty (8/6).
8/12 Johnson Park, Liverpool NY

Dead to the Core is a collective of singer-songwriters and acoustic musicians, led by musician/author Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, with a shared love of the Grateful Dead. In intimate concerts, the musicians celebrate the band's music not through note-for-note re-creations but by playing the songs their own way—letting them grow and evolve collaboratively in the true spirit of the Dead.

Interspersed with the music are clips from Rodgers’ own interviews with Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir, in which they reflect on the roots and evolution of the music.

A Dead to the Core show is an experience unlike any other Grateful Dead tribute: a night of deeply personal performances that illuminate the masterful song craft of one of America's most original bands. Grateful Dead music right down to the core.

Rodgers doesn’t tap the legion of dedicated Grateful Dead tribute artists for these concerts…. Instead, he seeks out songwriters and musicians who have developed their own voices and styles, though they are very much inspired by—and fans of—Garcia and the Dead.

Arts Fuse (read the full story)

Jerry Garcia 75th birthday tribute, Club Passim
Jerry Garcia 75th birthday tribute at Boston's Club Passim, with Ryan Fitzsimmons, Greg Klyma, Wendy Ramsay, Spotted Tiger, and Celia Woodsmith. Photo by Dan Tappan.

Dead to the Core grew out of the Jerry Garcia birthday tributes that Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers has hosted at the legendary Club Passim in Cambridge, Massachusetts, since 2017. To date, performers at these collaborative shows have included have included Leslie Mendelson (who has recorded duets with Bob Weir and Jackson Browne), Jefferson Hamer (Session Americana, Anaïs Mitchell), Hayley Jane, David Surette and Steve Roy, Ryan Fitzsimmons, Laurence Scudder, Jim Larkin, Spotted Tiger, Celia Woodsmith, Wendy Ramsay, and Greg Klyma. The 2018 show at Passim even featured a very special guest: Garcia's own iconic Wolf guitar, which the artists played during the finale.

Hayley Jane sings "Crazy Fingers" with Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers playing Jerry Garcia's Wolf guitar, Club Passim, 8/1/18. Photo by Dan Tappan.

Rodgers is also author of a Homespun video series teaching classic Dead songs for acoustic guitar and often teaches workshops in conjunction with concerts.

Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers sure can play the music—listen to his 'Stella Blue’ and you'll know what I mean. Better still, he can teach it.

Dennis McNally, author, A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead

Video highlights from Club Passim 8.1.19

Stay tuned for Dead to the Core happenings in 2020, including 50th anniversary celebrations of the landmark albums Workingman's Dead and American Beauty.


Boston Globe feature on JPR's Grateful Dead guitar workshops.

Seacoast Online (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) interview

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