RatDog

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RatDog
Bobweirratdog.jpg
Background information
Also known as Bob Weir and RatDog
Origin San Francisco, CA, USA
Genres Rock
Years active 1995–2010, 2013-present
Labels Grateful Dead
Associated acts Grateful Dead, The Other Ones, The Dead, Furthur, Jemimah Puddleduck
Website www.ratdog.org
Members Bob Weir
Jay Lane
Jeff Chimenti
Robin Sylvester
Rob Wasserman
Steve Kimock
Past members Matthew Kelly
Vince Welnick
Johnnie Johnson
Dave Ellis
Mookie Siegel
Dave McNabb
Mark Karan
Kenny Brooks

RatDog (sometimes known as Bob Weir & RatDog or Ratdog), is an American rock band. The group began as a side project for Grateful Dead rhythm guitarist Bob Weir and bassist Rob Wasserman.[1][dead link] After the Grateful Dead disbanded in December 1995, following the death of Jerry Garcia on August 9, 1995, RatDog became Bob Weir's primary band.[2] They perform Grateful Dead tunes primarily with a mixture of covers (including Bob Dylan and Chuck Berry), along with some originals.[3] RatDog's repertoire currently consists of over 150 songs.

Throughout 2009 and 2010, original RatDog members Bob Weir, Rob Wasserman, and Jay Lane periodically performed under the moniker Scaring the Children.[4] From 2010 through 2013, the number of RatDog's performances were limited while Weir toured with Furthur. Ratdog played 2 shows in both January 2012 and August 2013. In September 2013 it was revealed by Primus bassist Les Claypool that RatDog would be "getting back together this next year", as Lane had chosen to leave Primus in order to rejoin RatDog.[5] Ratdog returned to extensive touring in 2014 with Steve Kimock on lead guitar and the unusual arrangement of two bassists in the mix. Robin Sylvester and original Ratdog bassist Rob Wasserman will share the stage. Jay Lane, original member, and Jeff Chimenti, long-time member, are back. The return tour in 2014 began on Valentine's Day in Philadelphia.

Formation and early days[edit]

During the late 1980s, Bob Weir teamed up with bassist Rob Wasserman and the duo toured for seven years under names such as Weir/Wasserman and Scaring the Children. In 1994, Weir and Wasserman participated in the Woodstock '94 festival. Jay Lane was added on drums and Matthew Kelly on guitar and harmonica in 1995. They played their first show as a full band on April 22, 1995, billed as Friends of Montezuma and then as RatDog Revue. They played their first show as RatDog on August 8, 1995.

Membership[edit]

The original line-up consisted of Bob Weir on rhythm guitar, Rob Wasserman on string bass, Matthew Kelly on lead guitar and Jay Lane on drums. Grateful Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick joined the band in September 1995 and played in several shows but left a couple months later. Dave Ellis became the band's first saxophonist in 1996 and remained until 1999 to be replaced by Kenny Brooks. Between 1996 and 1997 Johnnie Johnson and Mookie Siegel had stints as keyboardists. Jeff Chimenti became the keyboardist in May 1997 and is still in the band today. Matthew Kelly was replaced in 1998 briefly by Dave McNabb and then by current lead guitarist Mark Karan. Rob Wasserman left the band in 2003 and was replaced by Robin Sylvester.[6]

The current lineup consists of Bob Weir, Jeff Chimenti, Steve Kimock, Jay Lane, Robin Sylvester, and Rob Wasserman.

Health problems[edit]

In mid-June 2007, RatDog's lead guitarist Mark Karan announced he was taking some time off for a healing period. Karan was later diagnosed with throat cancer. Because he was undergoing treatment, Karan was absent from the remainder of RatDog's 2007 shows. Steve Kimock, the guitarist from the band Zero, who also has had a history of playing with Dead spin-off bands The Other Ones (1998 and 2000), Phil Lesh and Friends (1999), and the Rhythm Devils (2006), stood in for Karan. Karan returned to the RatDog lineup at the start of the 2008 spring tour.[7][8]

Robin Sylvester missed Ratdog's 2010 shows in Jamaica and the Ratdog reunion in early 2012 at Bob Weir's TRI Studios due to unspecified health concerns. In February, 2012, it was reported that Robin was awaiting a kidney transplant. Donations to help defray Robin's medical costs can be made to The Sweet Relief Musician's Fund

Notable guests[edit]

Since its formation, many guest musicians have performed with RatDog, including Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Donna Jean Godchaux and Bruce Hornsby. Other well known guests include Joan Baez, Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, Al Schnier, Ekoostik Hookah, Trey Anastasio, Les Claypool, DJ Logic, John Popper, Dickey Betts, Sammy Hagar, Susan James and Keller Williams.[9]

Discography[edit]

Band members[edit]

Timeline[edit]

Lineups[edit]

Bob Weir and Jay Lane performing with RatDog in April 2009.
Dates Lineup
04/22/1995 – 08/25/1995
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Rob Wasserman – bass
  • Matthew Kelly – guitar, harmonica, vocals
09/01/1995 – 12/12/1995
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Rob Wasserman – bass
  • Matthew Kelly – guitar, harmonica, vocals
  • Vince Welnick – keyboards, vocals
02/20/1996 – 10/20/1996
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Rob Wasserman – bass
  • Matthew Kelly – guitar, harmonica, vocals
  • Johnnie Johnson – keyboards
11/09/1996 – 12/08/1996
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Rob Wasserman – bass
  • Matthew Kelly – guitar, harmonica, vocals
  • Johnnie Johnson – keyboards
  • Dave Ellis – saxophone
12/10/1996 – 04/15/1997
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Rob Wasserman – bass
  • Matthew Kelly – guitar, harmonica, vocals
  • Johnnie Johnson – keyboards
  • Dave Ellis – saxophone
  • Mookie Siegel – keyboards
05/28/1997
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Rob Wasserman – bass
  • Matthew Kelly – guitar, harmonica, vocals
  • Johnnie Johnson – keyboards
  • Dave Ellis – saxophone
  • Jeff Chimenti – keyboards
06/07/1997 – 04/05/1998
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Rob Wasserman – bass
  • Matthew Kelly – guitar, harmonica, vocals
  • Dave Ellis – saxophone
  • Jeff Chimenti – keyboards
09/06/1998
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Rob Wasserman – bass
  • Matthew Kelly – guitar, harmonica, vocals
  • Dave Ellis – saxophone
  • Jeff Chimenti – keyboards
  • Dave McNabb – guitar
09/09/1998 – 09/20/1998
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Rob Wasserman – bass
  • Dave Ellis – saxophone
  • Jeff Chimenti – keyboards
  • Dave McNabb – guitar
10/29/1998 – 12/02/1999
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Rob Wasserman – bass
  • Dave Ellis – saxophone
  • Jeff Chimenti – keyboards
  • Mark Karan – guitar, vocals
12/30/1999 – 03/26/2000
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Rob Wasserman – bass
  • Jeff Chimenti – keyboards
  • Mark Karan – guitar, vocals
05/05/2000 – 10/19/2002
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Rob Wasserman – bass
  • Jeff Chimenti – keyboards
  • Kenny Brooks – saxophone
  • Mark Karan – guitar, vocals
02/05/2003 – 02/09/2003
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Jeff Chimenti – keyboards
  • Kenny Brooks – saxophone
  • Mark Karan – guitar, vocals
03/04/2003 – 06/17/2007
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Robin Sylvester – bass
  • Jeff Chimenti – keyboards
  • Kenny Brooks – saxophone
  • Mark Karan – guitar, vocals
07/05/2007 – 04/12/2008
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Robin Sylvester – bass
  • Jeff Chimenti – keyboards
  • Kenny Brooks – saxophone
  • Steve Kimock – guitar
05/17/2008 – 01/26/2012
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Robin Sylvester – bass
  • Jeff Chimenti – keyboards
  • Kenny Brooks – saxophone
  • Mark Karan – guitar, vocals
08/16/2013 – present
  • Bob Weir – guitar, vocals
  • Jay Lane – drums
  • Robin Sylvester – bass guitar
  • Jeff Chimenti – keyboards
  • Steve Kimock – guitar
  • Rob Wasserman – upright bass

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bob Weir Biography, Rolling Stone
  2. ^ Ruhlmann, William. RatDog Biography at Allmusic
  3. ^ Selvin, Joel. "Dead Man Talking", San Francisco Chronicle, March 21, 2004
  4. ^ "Bob Weir & RatDog :: news". Rat-dog.com. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  5. ^ "Primus Reuniting with Drummer Tim Alexander". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Band". RatDog. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  7. ^ Condran, Ed. "Hot Rats", Atlantic City Weekly, July 9, 2009
  8. ^ Heselgrave, Douglas. "Catching Up with Mark Karan", The Music Box, April 2008
  9. ^ "Guest Musicians". RatDog. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 

External links[edit]