Club Metronome is the perfect place for an event like Dead Set Tuesdays.
The Dead Set, a weekly jam session that includes Grateful Dead cover band Cats Under the Stars and special guests, began as a throwback to the Dead Sessions that Nectar’s promoter Alex Bundey and Cats Under the Stars band member Zach “Jerry Jr.” Nugent used to hear at Higher Ground.
What resulted was a nucleus of one or two people-in this case, its Nugent and his band Cats Under The Stars-with an arrangement of talented musicians in the area with a love for The Grateful Dead who come together to play every week.
While this has been going on since the beginning of February, I checked out the session for the first time last week. On that night there was a special appearance from “Grateful Fred”, Ian Wade from local blues band Blues for Breakfast and Mihali Savoulidis from Twiddle. The five played favorites like “Sugar Magnolia”,”Golden Road”and “St. Stephen.”
I had a chance to talk to Nugent, Savoulidis and Wade who were all stoked that another opportunity to listen and jam to Greatful Dead had come to Burlington.
“I love the Dead Sets,” Savoulidis said. “It puts me out of my comfort zone musically since I’m always practicing with Twiddle but I love playing Dead Music.”
Nugent has his guitar stringed, tuned and plays just like Jerry Garcia. It sounds almost pitch perfect both note for note, tone for tone. Cats Under the Stars is almost so talented a cover band, it’s easy to forget who you’re really listening to.
Budney and Nugent said they have been working on getting the Dead Set going for some time because they wanted to get it just right. Some of their concerns included getting enough musicians in the area who would be willing to participate or having to deal with a lull when people would not be able to come out to the show, consistency being the key to a weekly event.
The best thing about the Dead Sets is that one special guest featured each week. It always changes up so you don’t know who will be there, who won’t be there and who’s going to be filling in. I got to see the bassist for Blues for Breakfast as well as Grateful Fred and Savoulidis.
You never know what to expect out the Tuesday nights at Club Metronome, and that’s part of what makes this kind of music scene so crucial to Burlington culture: people coming together to play, listen to and appreciate this unreal music that has spanned generations.
Tonight is Savoulidis’ last night and local guitarist Bob Wagner will also be joining Cats Under the Stars. I’d urge you all to check it out and get in early, around 9:00 or 9:30 p.m. The place fills up pretty fast.
Dead Set Tuesdays costs $5 for patrons 18+ and is free for those over 21.
Set List for Feb. 19:
Playin’ in the Band
Brown Eyed Woman
Dancin’ in The Streets
Eyes of the World
Feels like s Starnger
Samson and Delilah
Hard to Handle
Me and My Uncle