Circles Around The Sun, the band assembled by guitarist Neal Casal to create the set break music at the Grateful Dead‘s Fare Thee Well concerts in 2015, have announced six shows in January 2018, including three performances on the West Coast and three performances on the East Coast. The West Coast shows—January 5 at The Troubadour in Los Angeles and January 11-12 at The Chapel in San Francisco—bookend five days in the studio where the band will record a long-awaited follow up to their critically acclaimed debut album, Interludes For The Dead. Meanwhile, the East Coast dates feature a return to Brooklyn Bowl for the 18th annual Freak’s Ball on January 19, as well as their first-ever performances at 9:30 Club in Washington, DC on January 18 and The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY on January 20.
According to a press release, the genesis for Circles Around The Sun came when guitarist Neal Casal was asked by video director Justin Kreutzmann (son of drummer Bill Kreutzmann, and established videographer) to compose and record more than five hours of original music to be played along with the visuals he was preparing for the Fare Thee Well intermissions. With nothing prepared beforehand or added afterward, the songs were composed through spontaneous studio improvisations and recorded during a two-day jam session. The music ended up taking direct inspiration from the Grateful Dead and adding Casal’s own compositional flair, creating sonic sounds exciting for all. Fans lucky enough to score a “miracle” ticket to the Fare Thee Well concerts that summer were treated to those potent psychedelic jams during the shows’ intermissions.
Each night as the personal, behind-the-scenes footage of the Grateful Dead rolled on the big screens around the stadium, excitement would break out amongst concertgoers soon followed by chatter across social media about the accompanying music. The mysterious group behind the freewheeling tunes was soon determined to be Circles Around the Sun, a band convened by Casal specifically for the project featuring keyboardist Adam MacDougall (Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Phil Lesh & Friends), bassist Dan Horne (Beachwood Sparks, Jonathan Wilson) and drummer Mark Levy. The results were so captivating and the audience response so overwhelmingly positive, Rhino Records decided to give the music a proper release on what would become the critically acclaimed album, Interludes for the Dead.
Following their debut live performance at the 2015 LOCK’N Festival, Circles Around The Sun have only played but a dozen times. The band’s forthcoming January 2018 shows are rare appearances, and worth checking out at any chance. With new music from Circles Around The Sun on the horizon, it’s feeling like a damn good Monday.
Upcoming Circles Around The Sun Tour Dates
January 5 – Los Angeles, CA – The Troubadour
January 11 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
January 12 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
January 18 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
January 19 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl (NYC Freaks Ball)
January 20 – Port Chester, NY – Capitol Theater
Dig into this psychedelic exploration of “Gilbert’s Groove”:
Listen to Circles Around The Sun’s Interludes for the Dead below: