Steve Mitchell performs at the Vault Café on Feb. 28. (Photo courtesy Matthew McSheehy)

Mid-Island musician reimagines the Grateful Dead as a one-man band

Steve Mitchell presents ‘Seagrass: An Evening of Songs by The Grateful Dead’

Mid-Island musician Steve Mitchell is taking on the repertoire of the Grateful Dead armed with a guitar and a foot-operated drum and tambourine.

“It’s like patting your head and rubbing your belly,” said the White Rock-raised musician and past member of the Juno-winning Paper Boys.

Mitchell is back in B.C. after spending 15 years writing 1,400 songs as a songwriter in Nashville. He said when he returned to his home province, he wanted to try something new. That led him to reimagine the Grateful Dead, a long-running American jam band, as a one-man band.

“I’ve really been stripping the songs down to what they really are at their very essence…” Mitchell said. “I already knew probably close to 15 or 16 Dead songs and I just went ahead and taught myself maybe about 30 more.”

On Feb. 28 Mitchell presents Seagrass: An Evening of Songs by The Grateful Dead at the Vault Café. He said he chose to pay tribute to the group because they have meant a lot to him and he knew he would have an audience.

“They are one of my very biggest influences and those songs are kind of like my sanctuary and my friends…” he said. “And I’ve lived on the Island before so I knew that it wouldn’t be too hard to find Deadheads.”

Mitchell has been working on Seagrass for the past four months. He calls it “a labour of love.”

“As much as I love writing songs, these are the reason why I do write songs is because of picking up that Grateful Dead album when I was 13 years old when I was babysitting and throwing it on the turntable and realizing that this was my music,” he said.

WHAT’S ON … Seagrass: An Evening of Songs by The Grateful Dead comes to the Vault Café, 499 Wallace St., on Friday, Feb. 28 at 10 p.m. Tickets $10 at the door.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo bylaw officers on the lookout for COVID-19 control infractions

Bylaw and health officers watch for health order infractions, citizens can call in complaints

Nanaimo arenacross racer wins double championship

Sebastian Sulyok takes first overall on Futures West 85cc series

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

Nanaimo barbershop quartet records musical tribute to Dr. Bonnie Henry

Ode to provincial health officer is to the tune of a singing valentine

Nanaimo school district uses contingency fund for emergency school repairs

Nanaimo district staff expect about $2.7 million as its annual facilities grant from the province

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

Nanaimo will be the community hardest-hit by ferry layoffs, union says

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union looking at its legal options

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Most Read