Donna Jean Godchaux
Grateful Web recently had the honor of visiting with Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay. While most folks are familiar with Donna Jean as the radiant co-vocalist of 1970s Grateful Dead, augmenting some of the seminal group’s most celebrated tunes such as “The Music Never Stopped,” “Cassidy,” “Mississippi Half-Step,” and “Playing in the Band,” she holds deeper roots in Americana as a 1960s session musician of the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.
Some 14 years ago, Donna Jean and the Tricksters (Donna Jean Godchaux and the Zen Tricksters, basically) put out an album of the same name. It included a song called “Shelter.” As the pandemic took over our lives, Donna Jean thought about the new meaning of the song and….but let me let her tell you about it:
This year's Dave's Picks series comes to a close just as the band's getting back together again in '76. By the time the Grateful Dead hit New Jersey’s Capitol Theatre - for the very first time - on 6/17/76, they were buzzing from their reunion, armed with new and revived material, the Rhythm Devils reformed with the mischievous Mickey Hart once again behind the kit. They'd skived off the unwieldy Wall of Sound and scaled back the venues from cavernous arenas to intimate theatres. Quite the treat!
Hosting the musical memory of one of the Grateful Dead’s most beloved, historic shows, Dark Star Orchestra has pledged to recreate the July 8, 1978 performance at Red Rocks Amphitheater at the iconic venue 40 years to the day of its original performance. The band announces today that original Grateful Dead member Donna Jean Godchaux will be making a guest appearance on stage with the band at the upcoming July 8 performance.
The decline of 1970's Grateful Dead piano player Keith Godchaux was sad but not entirely unexpected. The hardships of the never-ending grueling tour and travel schedule (that had always been for The Dead) had taken its toll on Keith and his wife Donna Jean Godchaux, a talented Muscle Sholes-alum vocalist. It was Donna who introduced Keith to Jerry Garcia in 1971 after a Dead show they had attended.
Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson is proud to announce the release of their debut album, Back Around on February 18, 2014.The album will be sold for digital download through Heart of Gold Records’ exclusive agreement with The Orchard on ITunes and other digital media CD distribution will be online through Grateful Dead (Dead.net), CD Baby and Amazon.com.Recorded in Muscle Shoals, AL at the Nutthouse Recording Studio, the album blends a Muscle Shoals groove with a psychedelic San Francisco vibe.