“I call it ‘Deadtronica,’ though it is really not the best description,” says keyboardist/singer/songwriter Alex Mazur of Skeleton Keys, his latest in a long (and lengthening) career of Grateful Dead tribute bands and original bands in the jam mode. Mazur’s band the Deadbeats has been a staple of the regional club scene for what seems like 25 years. Gratefully Yours – a novel project in which fans submitted dream Dead set lists that the group would mull over and ultimately perform – brought Mazur to even-bigger stages and into the company of jam royalty players.
Skeleton Keys is a jam band with an experimental twist: It has no guitarists, and instead features two keyboardists on instruments both traditional and electro. While still rooted in the songcraft that is at the heart of the trad-jam tradition, Skeleton Keys gets “out there” in ways that may be exciting and new. Skeleton Keys mixes originals with a variety of covers, some Deadcentric but many from other canons entirely.
Skeleton Keys performs this Saturday, April 16 at the Bearsville Theater at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $8 in advance, $10 at the door. For this show, the second keyboardist (in addition to Mazur) is Todd Stoops from the band RAQ and formerly Kung Fu.