The haze of energy and cloud of smoke hasn’t settled for Grateful Dead lovers who either traveled to or streamed online the five-part 50th Anniversary / Fare Thee Well tour which concluded on July 5th. For those still high on the musical journey they experienced last week, they can get yet another fix this Thursday at Uncle Bo’s, when The Schwag stop by Topeka for their seveneightfive debut.
The Schwag is a group of musicians dedicated to carrying on the vibe and music of the legendary Grateful Dead. Founded in 1991, the band has performed over 3000 concerts all over the US, with an average of 150 shows a year and a working songlist of over 200 from the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band catalog. Their on-point performances are more than just a group of musicians paying homage to the Dead experience; for four years, band leader Jimmy Tebeau toured the country as the bass player for JGB (Jerry Garcia Band).
The Schwag has opened for many notable acts including String Cheese Incident, Marshall Tucker Band, Leftover Salmon, Sammy Hagar, Little Feat, and Railroad Earth. Some in the scene remember that for many years The Schwag hosted its own Schwagstock music festivals, drawing crowds averaging 5000 people per event several times each summer at Camp Zoe, a 330-acre property in Missouri owned by frontman Tebeau. Bands opening for The Schawg at these festivals included George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Keller Williams, Big Brother + the Holding Company, and New Riders of the Purple Sage. Some of the guest musicians to play with The Schwag over the years include Chuck Berry, Bill Nershi from String Cheese Incident, Drew Emmitt and Vince Herman from Leftover Salmon, Butch Truck from The Allman Brothers Band, Fred Tacket from Little Feat, Mike Gordon from Phish, and Vince Welnick from The Grateful Dead.
The Crack House Statute
put the band on hiatus from May 2013 to May 2014, when lead singer Tebeau served time in federal prison in Yankton, S.D. for a music/drug related crime. The controversial charges found that Tebeau was responsible for and accused of maintaining a drug-involved premise. The Crack House Statute was originally intended to punish landlords who lease houses to crack dealers. However, provisions to the statute have made it easier to prosecute rogue event promoters – the exact opposite of Tebeau, according to friends and supporters of the late-40s, dreadlocked, bushy bearded, Dead-loving, non-confrontational musician. Tebeau entered a plea bargain, which explicitly stated that the government could not prove Tebeau himself ever bought or sold drugs.
“Prosecutors say the circumstances of the case are unique, but civil-liberties advocates warn that targeting a musician and venue owner sets an ominous precedent for festivals and concert sites nationwide. Tebeau is believed to be the first artist or festival organizer ever imprisoned for widespread drug use at a music festival.” – His Gone, “Riverfront Times,” Keegan Hamilton, published June 13, 2013
But in true Dead fashion, the music continued and The Schwag band is now stronger than ever, on a perpetual tour performing a different show every night of a high-energy, organic interpretation of the Grateful Dead.
, located in the Ramada Downtown, is known for showcasing international award-winning blues artists. This show is out of their wheelhouse, but fitting nonetheless. The venue holds less than 100, and manager Suki Wilson anticipates Thursday’s
show to be a packed house. The first few rows of tables will be removed to allow for dancing and other extras are being added to accommodate the crowd. Doors open at 6p, the event is 21+ and tickets are $10 at the door. No advance ticketing is available.
Limited edition “Grateful Kansan” shirts are available at tonight’s show.
Artwork created by James Robinson.
To order your shirt, pick your size below and click Buy Now.
To order and pay COD, text Kerrice at 249.3126.
If we are out of your size, please send a request to seveneightfive.com – put Grateful Kansas in the subject line.
If there is enough interest (20 or more) we’ll keep truckin’ on and do a second run.