After last year’s inspired, successful debut gathering, the Park City Song Summit is ready to level up, rolling out a multi-faceted slate of exciting events for 2023. The second iteration will be headlined by Bob Weir & Wolf Bros, as well as Eric Krasno, a Stevie Wonder tribute featuring Danielle Ponder, plus dozens of other eclectic artisans.

Bob Weir, a founding member of the Grateful Dead, just wrapped up touring with Dead & Company with a monumental summer sendoff in July. As a member of the GD, Weir was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, and 13 years later bequeathed a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award. Weir’s unicorn rhythm guitar stylings and grizzled troubadour vocals make him still a premier draw across several generations, evidenced by his continued relevance in a post-Grateful Dead cultural landscape.

Current project Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros initially began as a trio, the dusty folk-blues interpretations of the Dead catalog and far beyond representing a new endeavor and fresh start with stalwart cohorts Don Was (bass) and Jay Lane (bass). The band, intermittently augmented by a tight string and horn section, will perform as the closing set of Park City Song Summit on Friday, September 8th.

Bob Weir & Wolf Bros ft. The Wolfpack – “Terrapin Station” – Radio City Music Hall – 4/3/22

This performance marks the long-awaited return of the psychedelic cowboy to the state of Utah. Though Weir has performed here a few times solo, the Grateful Dead visited Utah just a handful of times over their legendary 30-year career on the golden road to unlimited devotion. The long, strange trip made bookend stops in nearby Salt Lake City, as early as 1969 (the tape features a lengthy, two-part story from Weir about a yellow dog, with plenty of adlibs from the rest of the guys), and as late as February 1995,  a three-night stand merely a few months before the passing of fearless leader Jerry Garcia put an end to the original iteration of the band beyond description.

Area Deadheads often point to a magical 1983 show, which took place in Park City proper, as a particularly unique experience and top-flight GD adventure for the era. After Phil Lesh and his new girlfriend Jill drove from Boise, ID, they spied a UFO in the sky overnight. The following day, the group performed a rare mid-afternoon concert on an uncovered stage set up directly next to the resort’s ski lift. Legend has it that well-heeled locals were able to view the daytime show from the balconies of the chic ski condos situated adjacent to the somewhat ramshackle staging.

“As a lifelong musician and music fan, personally I’m thrilled for the return of Bobby Weir to Utah; and of course, the Eric Krasno jam is going to be epic,” said festival founder Ben Anderson, who captains the ship and acts as the public face of PCSS.

In addition to Weir’s long-awaited return to the area, fans will be blessed with two performances from celebrated guitarist/singer/songwriter Eric Krasno (Soulive, formerly of Lettuce). In addition to playing musical director and frontman for a classic Saturday night funk-rock superjam—the type of hang that Kraz is renowned for—the erstwhile axeman will be debuting something brand new for those lucky enough to be in attendance on Thursday’s opening night of festivities.

“I’m very excited to join the amazing lineup at PCSS,” Krasno shared by phone, with some extra stoke in his voice. “It really combines so many of my favorite things. Songwriting, production, podcasts, wellness, and of course the many performances and collaborations taking place throughout the weekend. We will perform as King Canyon for the very first time on Thursday night! Then Saturday I’m putting together a ‘Kraz & Friends’ set that will include some of my absolute favorite musicians.”

King Canyon – “Mulholland” (ft. Derek Trucks)

Friday night, fans can get amped for a one-of-a-kind homage to the iconic Stevie Wonder. This tribute show will celebrate one of the true luminaries of our time and his sensational, generation-spanning songbook. The concert will run several hours and feature a cavalcade of Stevie devotees including Celisse, Joy Oladokun, Solomon Dorsey, Paul Janeway (St. Paul & The Broken Bones), Danielle Ponder, Brittney Spencer, Devon Gilfillian, Josh Blaylock, Ruby Amanfu (Sam & Ruby), Sam Ashworth (H.E.R.), and Brad Walker & The Hornstars.

“Music is a gift. It’s a joy to give and a joy to receive and in the case of Park City Song Summit, I get to do both,” said Anderson, who in addition to running the show, will perform with his long-running Dead-influenced jam band Aiko.

“I’ve gotten to know Ben Anderson over the last few months and his energy and excitement are infectious. I’m honored to be working with him and his team,”  said Krasno.

The lineup’s undercard is particularly strong once again. The assembled artists hail from all over the continent; they represent a smorgasbord of songwriters that finds country-tinged players like Jeffrey Steele and Earl Bud Lee scheduled alongside hip-hop pioneers Grandmaster Flash and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels; red-hot Cuban wunderkind Cimafunk, local firebrand Talia Keys, and a pair of returning faves in R&B guitar shredder Celisse and New Orleans legend Anders Osborne, among a wide variety of other artists.

Cimafunk – “Rómpelo” – Nylon, Switzerland – 7/24/22

Building on the blueprint of the inaugural year, the second annual Summit will embody 2022 successes and expand. The heart of the whole shebang is the event’s focus on mental health, wellness, and recovery. In 2023, Summit-goers can look forward to daily wellness activities like yoga, guided hikes with therapists, meditation sessions, and other similar activities, as well as ample hangs for those attendees in recovery.

Additionally, Song Summit beneficiaries include the event’s 501c3, More Than Music Foundation, The Phoenix, Huntsman Mental Health Institute, Stand Together Music, and Amber Health.

The afternoons are focused on the humans behind the music; introspective conversations and panels unfold during intimate Labs, where a moderator and creative dialogue beneath the surface and into matters of the heart and mind. The evening live performances and songwriter rounds will resonate even deeper after fans spend hours getting to know creatives during afternoon Lab conversations.

These sessions prove to be illuminating, bringing fans inside the minds and personalities of the artists they revere. This year’s Lab and performances include topics involving the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, women and the blues, the greatness of Stevie Wonder, a new Nashville Unplugged songwriters stage, the tangled roots of Latinx and Black music, the “Havana Funk Experience” featuring jazz/funk music students from New Orleans and Havana, Cuba, wellness discussions with Dopey Podcast, and more.

Labs work in concert with wellness options on offering free exchanges of ideas between artists, revealing new perspectives around the creative journey, rock n’ roll lifestyle, spiritual evolution, and beyond. Fans revel in a rare opportunity to connect with their favorites and new finds on a vulnerable, personal level. The goal is to eliminate stigmas and stereotypes around addiction, recovery, celebrity, and other adversities and inspirations.

Moving over to Canyons Village as its home venue, the region’s preeminent hybrid music festival/wellness conference is ready to write a new chapter in its pioneering story of healing and happiness through live music, community, and connection.

“The Canyons Village reflects the intention of our programming and provides ample physical room for our minds and hearts to roam in a variety of settings,” Anderson said. “The addition of the amphitheater stage allows us to offer the Park City Song Summit experience to a bigger audience.” Labs and performances will take place in and around the Canyons Village while a few of the intimate late-night venues from last year will remain in use along Park City’s Main Street historic district.

For tickets, event scheduling, lodging, and more information head here.

Check out our coverage of Park City Song Summit 2022 here.

words: B.Getz