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:
They resurrected a spry Dead set from early ’87—April 7, Brendan Byrne Arena (NJ)—that again moved a crowd of hopeful dreamers and warmed yearning hearts with smiles, smiles, smiles.
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.
The beauty of the Grateful Dead legacy extends far past the demise of the original line-up that sadly ended with the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995. The Grateful Dead created a dedicated community, or rather a counterculture, based on music and family values that have since refused to give up and let go.
The Grateful Dead's Donna Jean Godchaux and The Zen Tricksters, the pre-eminent jam-rock band, have come together. While having performed on occasion with the Zen Tricksters in the past, this reunion marks the second time Donna Jean has joined with this band for a complete performance. The first time was just last November 12, 2005 for the Grateful Dead's Rex Foundation. They are joining forces, along with Mookie Siegel (David Nelson Band, Phil Lesh & Friends) on keyboards and Wendy Lanter (Hope in Time) on vocals, as KETTLE JOE'S PSYCHEDELIC SWAMP REVUE.