Home for the holidays, this Franklin High School graduate and some skilled friends assemble for a bit of freewheeling fun. Klooster, now a Pasadena resident, records and tours as a keyboard player and vocalist in San Jose’s Smash Mouth. Paul Delisle, bassist in that band, joins him with Dax Comprise (drums), Stanley Raquel (guitar), Esteban Aguilar (keyboards, vocals), Jeff Teczon (saxophone) and Ernie Mancuso, main man in the Shambulls. Klooster and Raquel team up in Hardly Deadly, a Grateful Dead tribute, with Dan Murphy (vocals), Joe Bulum (keyboards), Scott Porco (bass), Justin Anderson (drums), Chad Dorado (guitar) and Greg Skelton (drums). 8:30 p.m. Whiskey Barrel Tavern, 151 W. Alder St., Stockton. Free. (209) 938-9192.

    • HARDLY DEADLY
    • Sauro: Deadheads take inspiration from Stockton music scene

  • Hardly Deadly will perform Tuesday at Valley Brewing Company in Stockton.  COURTESY PHOTO
     Zoom
    Hardly Deadly will perform Tuesday at Valley Brewing Company in Stockton. COURTESY PHOTO
  • Hardly Deadly

     

    When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

    Where: Valley Brewing Company, 157 W. Adams St., Stockton

    Admission: Free

    Information: (209) 464-2739...

    » Read more
    • By Tony Sauro
      Record Staff Writer

      Posted Mar. 12, 2015 at 6:30 PM 

      There is an authentic music community in Stockton.
      That’s part of what’s motivating the six guys in Hardly Deadly, a Stockton group inspired by the communal ethic — and seemingly timeless musical attributes — of the Grateful Dead.
      “Oh, yeah,” said Stanley Raquel, who plays guitar in the band that was formed by he and his musical friends in 2013. “We’re definitely all considered Deadheads. We have the live recordings and we went to tons of shows.”
      “It’s hard to put your finger on it,” said Dan Murphy, who sings, plays guitar and formed the band with keyboardist Joe Bulum and bassist Scott Porco. “It’s a genre of its own. It’s rock ’n’ roll and blues. But it’s something completely different. The Dead is a band beyond description.”
      Murphy and Hardly Deadly provide their interpretation Tuesday at Stockton’s Valley Brewing Company. It’s a St. Patrick’s Day event. Only Murphy and Bulum have Irish roots.
      The Stockton guys started following the Grateful Dead as teenagers, attending shows together, trading records and marveling at the Marin County musical consortium’s skill and Deadhead — mostly hippie — sense of togetherness.
      “Yeah,” said Raquel, 44, with a laugh. “We’re looking for hippies.”
      They’ve already found their way to playing eight hours of Grateful Dead songs (40 of them). Progenitors of “jam-rock,” the Palo Alto-born Dead — at its most visible between 1965 and 1995 — was known for extended, often improvisational, riffing that stretched to 40 or 45 minutes.
      The Hardly Deadly — a mildly self-deprecating name suggested by Raquel — reaches 45 minutes on its longest song.
      “We mostly do some of the more concise ones from the ’70s,” said Raquel, a Lodi High School graduate and graphic designer who lives in Stockton. “A lot of them have (musical) bridges, melodies and solos. We try to do them justice.”
      Stereotypically associated with marijuana highs and flocks of swirling young women in long dresses, the band’s musical ethic was lofty.
      “It’s complicated,” said Murphy, 40, a Lincoln High grad and Stockton handyman who also plays in Greenhouse. “The Dead had a lot of structure. A lot of key changes. I already know this stuff by heart. As musicians, we approach it with a great deal of respect. You don’t wanna half-a-- it. You wanna get it right. We all want the same thing.”
      The Grateful Dead became a cultural icon during the late 20th century, enthralling millions of followers who considered being a Deadhead a career calling.
      Founding guitarist Jerry Garcia (1942-95) was revered as a multi-dimensional musician and folk philosopher. The group passed through a multitude of eras, incarnations, deaths and personnel changes. Bob Weir, 67; Phil Lesh, 74; Bill Kreutzmann, 68; and Mickey Hart, 71, remain active and perpetuate the adulation of Dead loyalists.
      The group’s archival recordings and memorabilia constitute a jam-rock Smithsonian.
      Stockton’s salute began during un-Dead rehearsals in Porco’s garage.
      “I’d been playing in Greenhouse for a couple of years and never really wanted to expand,” Murphy said. “But we’re all Deadheads. We all have the unity of doing it for our own enjoyment. It just so happens other people like it, too.”
      They’re not trying to one-up established Grateful Dead tributes such as Chicago’s Dark Star Orchestra, which replicates the band’s shows (identical set lists) and personas.
      The “consistent” weekly garage sessions led to a tune-up show at Tracy’s Mountain House bar.
      “It was fun,” Raquel said. “They were dancing and stuff.”
      Encouraged, they performed at Whirlow’s and the Whiskey Barrel Tavern in Stockton, working up to a “Cannibus Cup” show at the Mateel Center in Redway (Humboldt County).
      Tuesday’s show is Hardly Deadly’s first of 2015. They have 16 more booked, including a Dead-dedicated Bay Area festival Murphy said they can’t announce yet.
      With the Grateful Dead in common, musicians from a long list of Stockton bands — California Medication, Motherfunkers, Mundaze, Gonzo, Icarus Jones, among them — are communing.
      They’ve never been jealous or petty (not Tom).
      “We’re all close friends,” Raquel said. “We’re all Deadheads. That’s where it all works out. None of us are competitive. We’re all from the same family tree.”
      — Contact Tony Sauro at (209) 546-8267 or tsauro@recordnet.com. Follow him on Twitter @tsaurorecord.
      • 5 more local bands you need to hear

    As a Central Valley battle of the bands continues tonight at Stockton’s Whiskey Barrel Tavern, here are some other local groups to see and hear.

    Hardly Deadly
    A group of local musicians who remain Grateful Dead followers, playing the 50-year-old San Francisco band’s tunes loyally. They’ve established a solid following in the Central Valley.

    Grateful Dead tribute band, Hardly Deadly, famous for incorporating their own elements of blues, jazz, country and fold music, will be performing at the festival this September. The group was formed in Stockton, California in 2013 by singer / guitarist Dan Murphy, bassist Wristband Scott, and keyboardist Joe Bulum. In 2014, the trio added guitarist Stanley Raquel, and drummer Gregory Skelton. In September 2014, Justin Anderson was added to the team as the second drummer.

    Must be getting early? Are all the clocks running late? Because I’m hearing a grooving sound that is similar to the Grateful Dead, but it kinda sounds Hardly Deadly! Hardly Deadly closed out the night with some of the greatest classic Grateful Dead songs the world has ever known. They got everyone that remained in the park to come up to the stage, dance and be merry while they closed out the evening and event with their own unique and awesome dead head sound. You can tell these guys genuinely enjoy music and just jamming out till you can’t jam out no more! These guys were a great finishing act for an amazing evening in the park in Berkeley Ca.

    Hardly Deadly Mail

    Hop on the bus!

    Tour Dates

    • Jul 29
      Humboldt Cup, 
       
    • Jul 30
      Mecca Cup, 
       
    • Aug 11
      The Jam Arcata,  Arcata
       
    • Aug 12
      Stone Junction,  Garberville
       

    AUDIO sample

    Links

    YouTube -- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwcbXCeLaoxl2fufKtJXhj3dlDHDKn9CI Google+ -- https://plus.google.com/u/1/b/103832805878697404770/103832805878697404770/about/p/pub?hl=en Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hardly-Deadly/603476809743166