This Space Is Getting Hot: Kevin Russell Won't Rule Out Potential Grateful Dead Cover

Despite the continuous presence of Deadheads in their audience since the mid-90's, and a Missoula visit from Rock Scully himself*, The Gourds have yet to make good on a single fan-request to play a Grateful Dead cover. Strictly speaking, they have worked in two verses**, but those off-the-cuff teasers may have only served to raise false hope among the faithful.

As evidence of this, one fan recently suggested that The Gourds called up "Promised Land" at the Oregon Country Fair to honor the Grateful Dead, who opened their legendary 8-27-72 show at the fair with the same song. In Cucurbitaceae message #82,313, Kevin Russell quickly put that fantasy to rest, but also seemed to open up other possibilities:

"Promised Land is Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley and Tail Gators. I barely know the Dead. Not saying anything negative here. This is just the fact though. If we did a Dead song we would feel fake. Cuz we don't really listen to them or think about them. I have heard more [of them] this year than ever before in my life. So, who knows? Somebody make me a comp or something" (July 16, 2009).

Editor's Note: Grateful Dead compliation cd's can be handed directly to Kevin Russell the next time you see him on tour.

*Rock Scully attended the Wilma Theatre show on 4-25-08, and spoke briefly about The Gourds with road manager Jeff Cook. In Cucurbitaceae message #73,515, sbord426 reports: "Rock was indeed at the show. He was in Missoula to teach a class I'm in at the University. He had a great time from what he told me and was very impressed with the size of crowd the Gourds draw" (April 29, 2008).
**[1]. San Francisco, CA, 2-09-08: All in the Pack > Touch of Grey (Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter) > Cissy Strut (Art Neville/Ziggy Modeliste/Leo Nocentelli/George Porter Jr.) > All in the Pack [2]. Bend, OR, 8-02-08: Truckin' (Jerry Garcia/Bob Weir/Phil Lesh/Robert Hunter) > Caledonia

Special thanks to Tomski, Ducktaper, sbord426, and Credo Vines for contributing to this story.


  1. Keith has graciously offered to sing some shit call "ripples" or summat.

  2. before I forget again: I spoke with kev by phone a couple of days after their 8-08-09 show and he told me a story about how they were listening to a radio station up in the mountains as they left breckenridge & got into the groove of a song that "didn't sound like the grateful dead to us". afterwards, that song was revealed to be "alabama getaway", and there was even some talk about covering it...but it never turned into anything. oh, so close.

  3. kev...I'd be honored to hook you up with my personal desert island disc of dead faves! robert hunter is amongst the grand shiz-diddle daddies of american songsters...just ask bob dylan.

  4. 32 teeth in a!