Q&A: Joe Russo talks to Knockdown Alley
Joe Russo spoke to Knockdown Alley ahead of the Joe Russo’s Almost Dead show on Friday, December 11 at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas! Read on for the inside scoop on how he started playing Grateful Dead covers, the lessons he’s learned from big names in the jam band scene, and his super-power of choice, and kick off your weekend with the vibrant, powerful jams of JRAD on Friday!
What was the first Grateful Dead song you ever learned and what were the circumstances? Do you still perform it?
I think it was probably Scarlet Begonias with my High School band. I think I actually tried to quit because they wanted to play Grateful Dead covers…I definitely still perform it! “Once in a while you get shown the light,” indeed.
You’ve played both of the US Brooklyn Bowl locations; what is the biggest difference you’ve noticed between the two spaces?
We’re looking down on Wayne’s basement. Only that’s not Wayne’s basement. Isn’t that weird?
You’ve played with nearly every big name in the jam band scene. I’m sure it is impossible to choose a favorite, but is there a certain artist that you would say has taught you the most?
It’s really hard to choose. I will say I’ve just been so fortunate to have shared the stage with so many incredible people. When you’re surrounded by such immense talent, you always walk away with something. The lessons I’ve learned are immeasurable and I’m beyond thankful for it.
If you could go back and experience any Grateful Dead performance ever, which would it be and why?
Definitely Fillmore West 4/12/70. Being a huge 70’s Miles fan, it would be pretty incredible to see that lineup. Such a perfect blend of my influences.
Which super-power would you rather have: invisibility or flight?
Describe your style of drumming in five words or less?
I try to be musical.
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