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March 21, 2022 - PRINT AND ONLINE
There’s a lot of gray area when it comes to the formation of DeadEye as well as HeartByrne. Started by Joseph Faulhaber, who also performed with the Bozarth Bros in his band the Trim at the Talking Heads “hoot” night in 2010, the two bands are longtime friends and have mostly played together in some iteration or another. But it was a fateful Stubb’s Bar-B-Q show of Chicago-based Grateful Dead tribute band Dark Star Orchestra with Shadd Scott that sent Faulhaber back down memory lane to his first Dead concert at the tender age of 17 and gave him the realization that no one was doing something similar in Austin.
So with simply a word-of-mouth approach, the two musicians played a packed show at the Whip In, where everyone had “a hell of a time.” That was enough to get DeadEye off the ground. Now, with permanent bandmates Trevor Nealon, Lee Braverman and Keither Perkins, the band frequently performs at Antone’s, Parish, The Far Out and the Belmont, and they throw a yearly bash for Jerry Garcia’s birthday – in addition to their weekly Dead Club rehearsals, where they are constantly exploring the thousands of Grateful Dead live tapes and developing their skills as purveyors of what they consider to be sacred music.
The Grateful Dead are known as being the ultimate jam band. According to Faulhaber, the band never played the two songs the same live, and his band strives to achieve that same mentality, by having shows flow organically and feeding off the crowd’s energy. They play the songs, but they never regurgitate them, and with a large catalog of around 250 songs, it’s very easy to go to multiple DeadEye shows and have very different experiences.
“The Grateful Dead was so focused on being a live band, and that’s a big part of their longevity. As artists they’re able to get on stage and express themselves in a different way every night, so playing the same songs as the Grateful Dead gives us room to be exploratory and take chances and try different ideas but still sound like Grateful Dead music,” Faulhaber explains.
No big tour is currently in the works for DeadEye, but the band plans to continue performing around Austin and be “there for the people the music is so important to.”