Oteil Burbridge is currently living out his dream playing bass for Dead & Company. Now an official member of the Rhythm Devils, Burbridge has been getting closer and closer to the microphone since last summer when he took his first verse at Citi Field in New York City. Last week, he took lead vocals on “China Doll” at the Shoreline opener in Mountain View, CA. Over the weekend, he again won hearts with his performance of “China Doll” at Boulder’s Folsom Field closer.
Watch pro-shot footage from Folsom Field’s “China Doll” below, as uploaded by Michael Shenanigan:
The “Let Oteil Sing” movement started fairly early on in the band’s live performances, starting as a play on the successful “Let Trey Sing” concept from the Grateful Dead’s 50th Anniversary shows. While longtime fans of Oteil Burbridge are familiar with his unique vocal contributions to the Allman Brothers Band, Aquarium Rescue Unit, and beyond, a thoughtful man by the name of Chris DiNardo created the shirt “Let Oteil Sing” to spread the word to the Grateful Dead community.
DiNardo had attended workshops with Burbridge at Roots Rock Revival previous summers and decided to take matters into his own hands. Once more, all proceeds will be donated to the charity of Oteil’s choice: Gorilla Doctors.
Gorilla Doctors is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to conserving wild mountain and eastern lowland (or Grauer’s) gorillas through life-saving veterinary medicine and a One Health approach. Its international team of veterinarians is the only group providing these critically endangered animals with direct, hands-on care in the wild, and Oteil’s wife, Jessica Burbridge, is the Director of Marketing. She, too, is a total bad-ass. Read more about their incredible work on the Gorilla Doctors website.
With Oteil now officially singing in Dead & Company, we can rejoice that the work has been done. However, the movement is ongoing and there’s still ways to support…
The shirts are officially available for purchase on the ‘Let Oteil Sing’ website. For $20 you can have your own and support Gorilla Doctors. Check it out! Even Mike Gordon has one…