Q&A with Jake Wolf of Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Revue 

Independence Day week gets going with a bang at Keystone Resort for the Stars and Guitars festival on Saturday, June 29. 

Headlining the main stage is a local favorite, the Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Revue. 

Krystal 93 news director Phil Lindeman catches up with bandleader and drummer, Jake Wolf, for a preview of who he’s bringing, what they’re playing, and why you’ll never catch this act dead with a set list. 

Krystal 93: Jake, good talking with you. It’s been a long time. How have you been? 

Jake Wolf: I’m doing great. Today is actually the best day that I’ve had all day. 

K93: Same here. I think we’re on the same page. I like it. 

JW: I try to repeat that daily. 

K93: Good mantra to have. 

JW: Yes it. 

K93: Folks around here are familiar with your group. You’ve ben playing Keystone a few years now. Remind us how long you’ve been playing around the mountains? 

JW: We have been together since 2005. The Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Revue is it’s a revue of the Rocky Mountain area’s finest musicians that play the music of the Grateful Dead. 

K93: And who you bringing with you to Keystone? 

JW: We’re really excited about it. I’ve got a really great lineup for this year featuring most of the Dead Phish Orchestra: Paul Murin and on guitar, Brian Adams on bass, and we’ve got Ted Tilton on the keys. They’re trying to slip in a Phish song on me. I don’t know if it’s going happen. It’ll be one of those audible situations. 

Chris Sheldon, the drummer from Dead Phish, he’s always on my mind. Because he’s a great friend of mine.  

K93: But you’ll be man in the drums at Keystone. 

JW: I will be manning the drums, yours truly, Jake Wolf, right here. 

K93: I caught you guys playing a set at GoPro Mountain Games in Vail this summer. Different lineup? 

JW: Yeah, that was a different lineup. That was actually Rob Eaton from Dark Star Orchestra. Actually, we had both Rob Eatons, senior and junior. Rob Junior is just an amazing guitarist. I like to switch it up. Keep things fresh.  

K93: What you’re doing with the Revue adds a new wrinkle to the whole jam band thing. What do you like the most about pairing up with these different musicians from different acts, playing venues all over the area? 

JW: I think my favorite part of doing these revues is having people in that haven’t played with each other. And going with no setlists. It keeps everybody on their toes. The spontaneity is really organic and genuine, just like when the Grateful Dead did the same thing. 

K93: You don’t give anyone a set list? So you’re all going into it blind? 

JW: Yes. As a Grateful Dead emulator, if it wasn’t for flashbacks and photographs, I don’t know if I’d have any memories at all. So I record all of them (live concerts). A lot of them are on YouTube. We have a Facebook account, Rocky Mountain Grateful Dead Revue. We’re on Instagram simply RMGDR and there’s some links up there. A lot of our loyal fans are the ones that capture our stuff and put it out for us. So we’re very appreciative of our crew, of the family that comes around and checks out our shows. I didn’t realize until right now that next year we’re going to be going on 20 years. That’s a heck of a milestone. 

K93: Congratulations. That’s as old as my car. 

JW: Thank you. 

K93: Do you feel like you’ve gotten better overtime? You know, have you gotten a better handle on these songs, especially when you’re going into every show blind, no setlist? 

JW: You know, with the Grateful Dead music, it’s always the evolution of the song. Ask a Dead Head: What’s your favorite Grateful Dead show? What’s your favorite year? What’s your favorite song? And from which year are you talking about? And it’s always changing. It makes it so that the fan has some kind of ownership over the music itself, because you know, as a musician, my job, I feel, is to evoke emotion through the music. And when I get to play the music the way that I feel it at that moment, that’s the best moment the music has been, since I’ve been playing it 

So I think that the answer to your question is: Every song gets better every time we play it.