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Hanson, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Hanson, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
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"Get Out! A friend of the devil"

Written by Matt York
Friday, 27 March 2009 08:36

Get Out! grew up on the mean streets of Foxboro in the shadows of Foxboro Stadium. Every summer, like clockwork, a flood of people in tie-dyed clothing would roll into town to celebrate the arrival of the Grateful Dead. Fourteen years ago, their leader Jerry Garcia died, yet the enthusiasm of the “Dead Heads� has hardly waned.

While other seminal acts from the ’60s have long been forgotten, the Dead have remained relevant. For many, the band’s music and, perhaps more important, their concerts represented an oasis that was hard to match for their fans. Hippies grew up, put “Deadhead stickers on their Cadillacs and had kids —and a new slew of Deadheads were spawned.

On April 4, at Lucky Dawg, Grateful Dead cover band Fennario will return to town. Mike Young of Hanson, who plays the Jerry Garcia role in the band, talked up their upcoming show with me. “We played at the Lucky Dawg [recently]. The crowd turnout was by far larger than we had expected. We usually attract a good crowd but this night was exceptional. I personally met people that had traveled from different parts of the state to see the show. This was our first time at the Lucky Dawg and the whole experience was great. The show at the Lucky Dawg was one of our finest and the most pleasing for us as a band. No doubt this is sometimes fueled by the response of the crowd as was likely the case on that night. It was a packed house of fans spanning a diverse age group that were very enthusiastic. Overall it was an extremely fun night and we are thrilled to be coming back again.�

Young says Fennario has been together for a year but that all of the members have been playing in bands for years. He’s says that he’s been really excited about how things have taken shape for the band. As for why people come from all around to see them play, Young credits the Dead’s style. “I really think that it’s the creative improvisational jams that keep people coming to see Dead-related shows after all of these years. Because the jam sections of the songs are not strictly regimented and rehearsed, I think that people love the unknown of where the jam might go. It’s also about the dynamics of the jams that people really enjoy — the music can soar on high energy sounds and then quiet right down to a soft and sweet sound, and the crowd comes right along for the ride. No two versions of the same song are ever identical. People can come and see a show time after time and never see the same set of songs or the same versions of the song. This keeps things fresh for both the band and the audience.�

With many of the Dead’s original fans now shuffling off to retirement, Florida or both, Young seems amazed at the broad appeal that the Dead’s legacy encapsulates. “There are absolutely new generations of Deadheads that never saw Jerry. I always feared that once Jerry died and the Grateful Dead stopped playing that fan base would have died along with it. But that has not been the case. I think that it’s something that has been passed down to successive generations. I find that our audience is comprised of both people that have seen the Dead and people that never saw the Dead and love to hear what it must have been like.�

So turn on your love light, break out the incense, dust off your favorite tie-dye shirt and get down to the Lucky Dawg.

Odds and Ends: The Moms and Dads Guide, co-owned by Pembroke’s Jessica Spencer, will be hosting their second annual expo on Sunday, March 29 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Independence Mall in Kingston. Many Pembrokian businesses, including The Little Gym of Pembroke, Scalliwags, Hidden Hollow Farm and Fashion Focus will be taking part. Also on the 29th, Circle Furniture will be hosting a jazz brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Patrick Mottaz Trio will be performing and there will be “tasty brunch treats� from local restaurants. Call 781-826-2728 to make a reservation.

Matt York can be reached at matt@pembrokexpress.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . - Pembroke Express

"Dead Again"

By Kelly A. Mello
Hanson Town Crier
Posted Apr 20, 2009 @ 04:03 PM
Hanson —

It all started in 1965, with the blues. It evolved into a psychedelic genre adding country and folk influences to the mix. Today, Grateful Dead’s music is kept alive through tribute bands like Fennario.

“People still like the sound of Grateful Dead. With the death of Jerry Garcia [lead guitarist] I was afraid their popularity would fade, but it hasn’t,” Mike Young, lead guitarist and founding member of Fennario, said.

He said the band appeals to both younger crowds who were not able to experience the Grateful Dead live, as well as connoisseurs of the group.

Based in Hanson, the tribute band is made up of five seasoned veterans of the local and national Grateful Dead music scene.

Young, 43, was first intrigued by the guitar in second grade when a student played in front of the class.

Three years later, he took a musical aptitude test, which claimed the tuba was a good fit for him. Though it was a far cry from what he wanted to play, he gave it a try for a while before he gave it up for the guitar. In 11th grade, Young began going to Grateful Dead shows where people gathered in the parking lots to play their music. He picked up some of the notes and decided that this was worth pursuing. He joined another Grateful Dead tribute band called Laughing Water, which also included current band mates Ben Tallman and Dan Sullivan at one time or another.

Since Laughing Water is on hiatus, Young decided to start his own band. Through friends and their recommendations he gathered the other four members who make up Fennario.

For bassist Dan Crea, 33, of Waltham, Fennario is the first Grateful Dead tribute band he’s played in. The St. Paul, Minn. transplant played in a garage band called The Farming Game in high school. Their name sprung from a stack of board games in his friend’s garage, the weirdest one named just that.

“Music sort of resonates with me,” Crea said. He also enjoys listening to Phish, John Coltrane and Radiohead.

The band also includes Tallman on keyboard and vocals; Sullivan on rhythm guitar and vocals; and Toby White on drums. They have all formerly been in Grateful Dead tribute bands.

“We all work hard individually, have the right amount of devotion and a lot of experience,” Crea said.

What sets Fennario apart from other Grateful Dead tribute bands is that they have meticulously researched and duplicated both the music as well as the custom equipment that gave the Dead their individual sound and dynamics, Young said.

“We do it like the Dead did it,” he said.

A lot of bands try to put their own spin on the Dead’s already famous music, but Young suggests that in order to be a successful tribute band, you must “try to be very authentic to the live sound that [Grateful Dead’s] got.”

Fennario will play the Luck Dog, Pembroke, Saturday, May 30, at 9 p.m.

It also plays every Wednesday at Tammany Hall, 43 Pleasant St., Worcester.

Kelly A. Mello can be reached at kmello@cnc.com.
Copyright 2009 Hanson Town Crier. Some rights reserved - Hanson Town Crier


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