The China Cat Riders are Eastern Ontario's premiere Grateful Dead Tribute act.
Formed from the nucleus of a Hurricane Bob reunion at the 2017 ZAMFIR Music Festival, The China Cat Riders feature a cast of veterans from the Kingston Music scene. The band features an authentic Grateful Dead lineup, consisting of two guitar players, a bass player, two drummers, and a keyboard player. We play Grateful Dead music from the 60s to the 90s, with a strong focus on material from the Keith era. The musicians take their individual roles seriously, emulating but not copying, taking the music out for a ride to see where it goes. The result is a band that sounds RIGHT.
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 60 - 240 minutes
Languages: English, French
What to Expect
When you hire The China Cat Riders, you get an experienced group of musicians and people who are experienced in all aspects of music and small- to mid-sized venue concert production.
Our shows are fairly typical of the Grateful Dead in terms of song selection, pacing, and so on. We will accommodate different audience types (on the bus? first timers?) by selecting appropriate music from the repertoire of the Grateful Dead. You want Aiko-Aiko? We play that. You want Darkstar? We play that, too.
We are able to work with bar-sized venues, arena-sized venues, and everything in between. We carry a full stage package, and can work out production (subcontracting as necessary) for any sized venue. If you're not used to working with bands, just tell us where to set up, when to start, show us the power outlets, and we'll do everything else. We're super-easy to work with.
The China Cat Riders was formed in early 2017, entirely by accident.
Sam Stevens, a founding member of popular Kingston jam band "Hurricane Bob" that played throughout the 1990s, was scheduled to return to Kingston from the west coast, to perform at the ZAMFIR music festival. Adam Hodge, Sam's partner in Hurricane Bob, put together the missing pieces to form a full band. After a few months of rehearsals, Sam flew into town, and we played the festival.
After the festival, we were sad to see Sam fly back out west, but we were excited when we realized that we had a great-sounding band. A band that should live and breathe, and play the music of the Grateful Dead on a regular basis. After a bit more juggling of personnel, we came up with THE CHINA CAT RIDERS:
Adam Hodge, "Phil"
Bass player extraordinaire, Adam played with the Grateful Dead cover band, "Hurricane Bob" in the 1990s. A veteran of touring act Night Sun and many other groups, Adam is the chief cat herder and also works with a Tribute to Leonard Cohen and Holy Wow.
Kevin Bowers, "Jerry"
A life-long Dead Head and avid concert-goer, Kevin recently discovered that "Jerry is in my fingers". Playing with groups such as Me Man Jack, Holy Wow, and Sedan Delivery, Kevin is well-known in the area for his outgoing personality and fantastic guitar playing. If you hire The China Riders, Kevin will click on his mu-Tron and take you to places where you can see dancing bears.
Dan Curtis, "Bobby"
A stellar musician and massive Dead Head, Dan has played in dozens of bands in his career, including Luther Wright & The Wrongs, The Emily Fennel Band, Hemloxoup, and The Dan Curtis Band. The complex rhythm guitar parts played by Bob Weir in the Grateful Dead have no equal, and drew Dan to the The China Cat Riders like a moth to a flame. Except for the getting burnt part.
Pete Bowers, "Bill"
Another life-long Dead Head, Pete is Kevin's big brother, and largely responsible for his initial exposure to the music of the Grateful Dead. Peter is another veteran of the local music scene, performing with acts such as Me Man Jack and Rocket Surgery. Pete plays a powerful, driving rhythm on his drum kit, keeping the band centered and the audience dancing. Or spinning.
Daniel Woods, "Mickey"
Daniel is Pete's partner in The China Cat Riders -- playing the second member of the Rhythm Devils. A veteran of many bands, including touring act The Mahones, Daniel came out of retirement last year to join The China Cat Riders. One of the greatest things about Grateful Dead music is the complex interplay between the drummers and Daniel really brings game!
Wes Garland, "Breith"
Wes is new to the music of the Grateful Dead, but is fully on the bus and devouring live concert footage with a voracious appetite. Wes brings both piano and Hammond organ to The China Cat Riders, studying the styles of Brent Mydland and Keith Godchaux, as well as the more eclectic playing of Tom Constanten and especially Pigpen for the earlier material. An experienced, multi-genre musician and veteran of Alternative Folk act Poem de Terre, Wes is currently active with Dr. Bombay, The Limestone Jazz Collective, and The Cranberry Dixie & Swing Band.
Additional Booking Notes
We carry a full stage package, but are happy to work with whatever the house engineer has in order to make the show go smoothly. We are also able to supply and/or contract our production for larger shows.
Our input list is as follows:
- two electric guitar amplifiers (mic)
- one bass guitar amplifier (DI)
- two four-piece drum kits; each has mics on snare, 2 x toms, kick, LR overheads
- one stage piano (stereo XLR outs)
- one Leslie speaker (2 mics if mono FOH, 3 if stereo)
- four vocal mics
Influences & Inspiration
The Grateful Dead