By JOHN T. WARD
The Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank plans to get back to the business of entertaining with the opening of a new theater dubbed the Vogel this month.
Kicking things off with a two-night stand starting October 22 is singer/guitarist Grace Potter, the Basie said in an announcing the first five acts for the freshly constructed space.
The sonic legacy of the San Francisco Bay area casts its still-potent spell over the famous stage of Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre Friday night, sound-tracked by as dead-on a recreation of the Grateful Dead as you’ll find anywhere between Raceway Park and the Pyramids.
Multi-instrumentalist Marc Muller leads his grateful jam-mates in a Halloweekend edition of Dead On Live, Friday night at the Count Basie — while “The Price Is Right LIVE” summons in November’s sweeps-month with interactive high-energy style.
All who doubt that the Dead walk the earth during the season of the Great Pumpkin should consult the arcane and eldritch works of Professor Marc Muller for the last word on the subject — as the multi-instrumental master (and Monmouth University faculty member) summons the thing known as Dead On Live for a special Halloweekend concert, this Friday at the Count Basie Theatre.
Set to rise at 8 pm, it’s a special double-header installment of the project in which Muller and his ace musician friends explore the history of the Grateful Dead with setlist-intensive scholarship and spirited jamming. Featured on the Mischief Night program will be a “Dead On Live with Strings” set in which members of the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra join the band for orchestrally augmented arrangements of Dead favorites, climaxing with the epic “Terrapin Station” in its note-for-note entirety.
Multi-instrumentalist maestro Marc Muller (above right) leads his Dead On Live ensemble back to the Basie Friday night. Keyboard wiz Matt Wade (below) plays a concert for the Boys and Girls Club Saturday in Fair Haven. (Muller photo by Brian Stratton)
Friday, November 1:
RED BANK: While the greater Red Bank green doesn’t lack for savvy channelers of the Grateful Dead (see our own Jim Willis and his Dead Bank brethren, appearing Saturday at the Walt St. Pub), there exists an even deeper dimension of obsession, and it’s the bailiwick of Marc Muller — master multi-instrumentalist, sought-after session ace, adjunct professor at Monmouth University, and scoutmaster of the Count Basie Theatre‘s Rock the Basie band-camp program.
A flexibly floating lineup composed of Muller and a rotating roster of talented friends, the entity known as Dead On Live is “deadicated” to the comprehensive transcription (and note-for-note reproduction) of the Grateful Dead’s body of officially released recordings. And on Friday, Muller returns to the Basie boards for a Halloween Double Drumming Dance Party that combines psychedelic 60s’ classics (“St. Stephen,” “The Other One,” “Alligator”) with the epic trilogy from Blues for Allah and dual-drummer hits and set standards (“Shakedown Street,” “Touch of Gray,” “The Music Never Stopped”). Take it here for tickets ($19.50 – $45) — and here for our archived feature on Muller and his Dead On Live project.