When rock 'n' roll legend Jerry Garcia passed in 1995, he left behind a biblical constellation of musical offspring. Of course, he's best-known as frontman of the Grateful Dead, a position he held for the band's entire 30-year existence, starting in 1965. Rightfully, the band ended with his death. Meanwhile, Garcia's former bandmates went on to found a number of side projects that often perform Dead songs, but under different names, to avoid false advertising: most consistently, Bob Weir and Ratdog, Phil Lesh and Friends, and most recently, Furthur.
Garcia, though, had his own side project going from about 1975, called, simply, the Jerry Garcia Band. It was an on-and-off kind of thing, most active usually during the Dead's breaks and releasing just one studio album, Cats Under the Stars, during Garcia's lifetime. But confusingly, the Jerry Garcia Band did not end with Jerry Garcia's death. In a Tupac-like move, the band has released more Garcia-fronted albums posthumously than it did while he was alive, some five since 1997.
Now, it's even touring, sans Garcia, but with a little name clarification: It's the "Jerry Garcia Band Featuring Melvin Seals." In a band whose past members list numbers some two dozen, Seals is the one that boasts the longest tenure, having joined as organist in 1980 and sticking around till the end. Other, younger guns fill in to keep the band's flame alive, including a South Florida native, Pete Lavezzoli. Twentysomethings who were mischievous local teens in the '90s probably remember dancing to his Grateful Dead tribute act, Crazy Fingers, along Fort Lauderdale beach.