Club d’Elf will present “Double d’Elf Prequinox,” a two-night run at the familiar confines of Soundcheck Studios in Pembroke, Massachusetts, on March 8 and 9. The announcement of the pre-spring bacchanal comes with news the band will include a pair of Grateful Dead covers on their next studio album.
The Boston-based music collective led by founder/bassist/composer Mike Rivard recently started work on the follow-up to 2022’s You Never Know. Club d’Elf has a long history of honoring the music that inspired the band with the Dead covers, the titles of which have yet to be revealed, the latest addition to that legacy.
“I grew up listening to The Dead and was drawn to their more experimental stuff, like Anthem of the Sun,” recalled Rivard. “I had a cassette of a show they did in ’72 at Ken Kesey’s brother’s farm, and the ‘Dark Star’ they played was one of the most expansive, creative things I had heard, right up there with electric Miles and Weather Report and the other stuff I was into. One of the great adventures I had was when I was 15 I hitchhiked from my little town in Minnesota out to Colorado to see them play at Red Rocks. It was all part of an overall gestalt of experimenting with psychedelics, reading Kerouac & ‘The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,’ Carlos Castaneda — and through it all their music was a huge part of the soundtrack.”
The improvisationally-focused ensemble’s lineup for Friday, March 8 will feature Rivard, longtime d’Elf drummer Dean “The Dux” Johnston (Neighbor), guitarist Rob Compa (Dopapod), saxophonist Dana Colley (Morphine), keyboardist Paul Schultheis and turntablist Mister Rourke. Funky organ trio Otis Grove opens on the 8th.