RIP, Crazy Fingers' Corey Dwyer: Joined the Righteous Jam in the Sky

Crazy Fingers officially got its start at Ultimate Farms on Halloween of 1990. Founded by the rhythm section of drummer Peter Lavezzoli and bassist Bubba Newton, it wouldn't be until 1993 that the band would find its strongest and longest lineup with the addition of guitarist Rich Friedman and multi-instrumentalist Corey Dwyer. Establishing themselves as the premier Grateful Dead tribute band in Florida, Crazy Fingers built a devout following with a pretty serious work ethic that could be likened only to their musical heroes.

Performing three to four times a week, Crazy Fingers also released two albums of original material, the sold-out Come On and Dance and Strange Life. Heavy on the hippie jam, these albums have helped make the band stand out in a saturated sea of Grateful Dead wannabes with their diverse inclusions of Latin and blues sounds. Another key factor in helping the band was Corey Dwyer.

See also: Best Tribute Act Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2012 - Crazy Fingers

A charismatic and natural presence onstage, Dwyer's musicianship allowed for a layered and more deliberate sound than you would expect from a jam band or a tribute band, for that matter. Born in New Mexico, Dwyer had been a resident of South Florida since 1987. He lent his keyboards to Underground Railroad as well as the Grass Is Dead, another Grateful Dead-inspired outfit. Dwyer also ran Dream Factory Studios.

Corey Dwyer was involved in an automobile accident on April 2 and lost his fight to regain consciousness this past Saturday, May 10. Now is not the time to hang one's heart on the laughing willow, for as it is often all too real, he was uninsured. Dwyer was a musician who brought joy to many in South Florida, and it is time to return the favor and help defray the large medical bills he left behind. So far, his bandmates have raised well over 20 grand. You can help reach the goal of $75,000 by clicking here and donating.

Next Sunday at the Backyard in Boynton Beach, there will also be a Corey Dwyer Memorial Benefit featuring the Heavy Pets, the Funky Nuggets, and a crazy super jam, featuring members of local jam bands. Money raised at the event will also help cover funeral expenses, and anything more will be donated to his daughter.

"Life may be sweeter for this, I don't know/See how it feels in the end." It feels like it might be all right, and the best way to celebrate his spirit is in song.

A Corey Dwyer Memorial Benefit, 2 p.m. to midnight on Sunday, May 25, at the Backyard, 511 NE Fourth St., Boynton Beach. The show is free with a suggested minimum donation of $10 at the door. Visit

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Abel Folgar