Category: Musicians Spotlight


Keller Williams

</p>…not the Same Old Cover Tunes: The “One-Man Jam Band” talks about Grateful Grass, Rex and Reinvented Traditions

“I’m one of the lucky ones who really love their job. To be able to do it and give the proceeds to worthy causes is a blessing, whether it is music or painting or carpentry or whatever.”

– Keller Williams



</p>Using the Power of Community for Good

“If I didn’t play in a band and I wanted to raise the money personally, it would have been a fraction of what we’re able to do, because we have moe. It goes way beyond what you would be able to do as an individual; it’s all about working together as a community to do this stuff.”

– Al Schnier


Donna Jean

</p>Catching Up With Donna Jean: For the former Grateful Dead vocalist and longtime Rex supporter, her connection with the Zen Tricksters is a match made in heaven.

“In this day and age everything is so uncertain, and people are looking for something that’s a little more certain, something that they can relate to and have a little bit of faith in. I think the Rex Foundation provides that for people – that base of faith.”

– Donna Jean Godchaux MacKay


Boris Garcia

</p>Easy to Like. Hard to Define. Doo-wop, Philly soul. Jamgrass?

“There were people who yelled at us in the beginning and said, you can’t do all these different styles! And we said, well, this is just what we do. And the reality is, now that it seems to be working, it allows for license!”

– Bob Stirner


Tea Leaf Green

</p>“If we’re in a position to help somebody or something, our choice is to take advantage of that situation. Through music or whatever media you choose, it’s a powerful thing. And it feels good from the musicians’ standpoint.”

– Ben Chambers


Railroad Earth

</p>“We’re very fortunate, in that we are able to reach a lot of people who would be willing to help out in any way they can with any worthwhile cause.” John Skehan

What’s in a band name? Railroad Earth conjures up road-tested musicians, on a quest for inspiration from the land and people around them.


Rhythm Devils

</p>The passion for a pulsing, rhythmic life has brought Mickey Hart and Billy Kreutzmann together countless times behind their drum kits post-Grateful Dead. Their bond is undeniable: soul brothers with a deep knowledge of each other’s drumming styles. Their synergistic relationship behind the drums has attracted a legion of music fans at every performance.


The New Riders of the Purple Sage

Before the New Riders of the Purple Sage, the Grateful Dead and the Rex Foundation formally existed, their roots were inextricably tangled.

So when it came to doing a benefit for Rex on November 18 in New York, it was all in the family; guitarists David Nelson and Michael Falzarano had pitched in at an earlier Rex benefit with the Zen Tricksters and Donna Jean Godchaux, and Nelson had contributed a great set with fellow old-folkie pals of Jerry Garcia at the Comes a Time benefit at the Greek last year.


The Everyone Orchestra

</p>Improvisation, Collaboration, Activism
—It’s All Connected

Perhaps the late Bill Graham’s description of the Grateful Dead is an appropriate introduction for the Rex Foundation’s next Musician’s Spotlight, the Everyone Orchestra: “They’re not the best at what they do, they’re the only ones who do what they do.”


Dark Star Orchestra

</p>A testament to the prophetic lyric
“The music never stopped.”

Not since the Grateful Dead’s final show at Soldier Field in 1995 has their musical legacy been so alive and dynamic. Phil & Friends, Ratdog, the Rhythm Devils and Kettle Joe’s Psychedelic Swamp Review all feature former members paying tribute to the Dead through unfettered creativity and improvisation.