Bob Weir, Ratdog to play the Wolf | AspenTimes.com
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Bob Weir, Ratdog to play the Wolf

Stewart Oksenhorn

It’s a rare thing for Bob Weir, singer-guitarist of Ratdog and former member of the Grateful Dead, to make a club appearance. But Weir will be doing just that when Ratdog comes to Aspen to perform at the Howling Wolf’s Aspen Harmony Festival on Aug. 7-8 at Buttermilk Mountain.In addition to the mainstage appearance by Ratdog on Sunday, Aug. 8, Weir and his mates – saxophonist Dave Ellis, drummer Jay Lane, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, guitarist Mark Karan and Weir’s longtime musical associate Rob Wasserman on bass – will perform at the Howling Wolf on Saturday night, Aug. 7.Such treats do not come cheap. Admission to Ratdog’s Howling Wolf performance will be given only to those who buy the VIP Pass for Saturday’s Aspen Harmony Festival. The $250 pass will give holders admission to Saturday’s Harmony Festival as well as Saturday night’s festivities at the Wolf. Passholders will be treated to an open bar and food at both the Harmony Festival and that night at the Wolf. Some proceeds from the sale of the VIP tickets will go to the Wolf’s Den Foundation, which supports a variety of educational and children’s causes in the Roaring Fork Valley.Weir and Wasserman began Ratdog as a duo while the Grateful Dead was still in existence. When Grateful Dead singer-guitarist Jerry Garcia passed away in 1995 and the Dead disbanded, Weir expanded Ratdog into his primary project. The band, which made its valley debut at the Jazz Aspen Labor Day Festival two years ago, plays a repertoire of old blues and r & b standards, material Weir has written for various past side projects, and selections from the Grateful Dead repertoire.Last summer, Weir served as front man for the Other Ones, which headlined the Furthur Festival tour. In addition to former Grateful Dead members Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bruce Hornsby, the Other Ones featured Ratdog members Ellis and Karan.The Aspen Harmony Festival, which began life two years ago as the Concert for Harmony, will also feature Widespread Panic, which headlines both days of the festival, the Tony Furtado Band, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, and local band Jes’ Grew. Several more acts have yet to be announced. Tickets for the Harmony Festival, including the Saturday VIP passes, are available at the Howling Wolf.


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