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Exciting Canada Day Come Together Fest News!

mark tonin

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OH SHIT!!! I was already planning to go down to Ohio for Grateful Fest with Dark Star Orchestra! The Zen Tricksters are one of the greatest and I believe the oldest Dead cover bands around. Their ORIGINAL music is also totally golden. Saw them several times between 98' and 01'. Shit, now what do I do?!?!

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Thanks to briguy for his work in getting The Zen Tricksters for the Canada Day weekend festival.

I'm pretty excited for the future of the Come Together Music Festivals. Mark W. and Izzy are both indicating that they were pleased with how the May Festival went, and both seem willing to try and make the next couple (Canada Day and Labour Day) even better.

Peace, Mark

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I could be up for punching some junk.

This is an interesting choice for an act. Back in 96, I really wanted to see these guys. I was BADLY in need of a Dead fix. It never happened, but I got a tape once and I liked it alot. You fuggers may see me there that weekend.

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Zen Tricksters music features extended collective improvisations as well as strong, melodic songwriting. “The Zen Tricksters stuff is brilliant—they are great players!” Phil Lesh

Artist Information


Jeff Mattson-lead guitar, vocals

Klyph Black-bass, vocals, dobro

Tom Circosta-rhythm guitar, piano, vocals

Joe Ciarvella-drums


The Zen Tricksters can do it all. They are a superbly talented Rock/Jam band who play in both electric and acoustic formats. The Tricksters have a huge working repertoire that ranges from their tuneful and well-crafted original pieces to traditional bluegrass and hillbilly jazz classics, to Grateful Dead, Dylan, Neil Young, and inventive interpretations of any and all songs that catch their fancy. The Zen Tricksters are not only renowned for the trademark jamming ability they have displayed for over two decades, but also for their inspired songwriting. This band will rock you, psychedelicize you, make you cry, and pick it with the best of them!

The Zen Tricksters have three studio CDs of all original material. Their most recent release, Shaking Off the Weirdness, (2003), features some newer titles such as High Horse and Sleepwalking, as well as staples of their live shows, Light of Life and The One, and boasts a colorful roster of special guests including former Trickster and current member of The Dead and Phil Lesh & Friends, Rob Barraco, Buddy Cage (New Riders of the Purple Sage), and Jason Crosby (former ZT, now with Susan Tedeschi and Oteil & the Peacemakers). The band’s other two CDs are The Holy Fool, recorded in 1996, and A Love Surreal, 1999.

When he heard A Love Surreal, Phil Lesh was so impressed with the band's ability to jam in the studio that he tapped two members to be part of his Phil & Friends collective. In an interview with Kenny T of radio station KGLT in June of 2000, Phil said, "The Tricksters are more than just a cover band. They have their own stuff and they are brilliant, their stuff is brilliant. They are great players!" The Zen Tricksters are the quintessential jamband. Based in New York, they play nearly 150 dates a year while touring throughout the United States and Canada. They have also toured in Nagoya, Yokohama, and Tokyo with Relix Japan and it is generally safe to say that the Tricksters are "currently on tour" somewhere in the United States or elsewhere.

Tricksters music has been used on MTV, WABC’s Alias, and WB’s Felicity. The Zen Tricksters are proud to be a Homegrown Music Net member band and although they play many local New York area gigs, they inevitably wind up back on the road. This is their life and it is what they love. Jeff is very proud of the fact that he has never made his living in any other way but music. “Road life,” he says “very much embodies the yin-yang of life. You trade the long hours of traveling and tedium day after day for the supreme pleasure and sheer love of making your own kind of live music night after night.” That is quite obvious at any Zen Trickster show--you can hear their love of their art in every performance they give. They are currently touring as a four-piece electric band and are proud to be a Homegrown Music Net member band.




3 Albums, all with tracks that have streaming and radio airplay. All original songs.

The Holy Fool (1996)

A Love Surreal (1999)

Shaking Off the Weirdness (2003)


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Friday Night @ CTMF

July 2



The trio Raisinhill has risen from local acclaim to widespread recognition across clubs and jamband festivals, propelled by the sheer musicianship of their playing and a self-titled CD. The group has garnered praise from some of the most-watched jamband media. Jambands.com dubbed them "New Groove of the Month," while Relix Magazine called them a band "On the Verge" and is soon to declare them one of the "Break Through Bands of the Summer." Always touring, always playing, with seemingly endless energy and drive, Raisinhill will bring their bristling instrumental originals to a host of big stages this summer including The Gathering of the Vibes and Scottypaluza in New York, The Endless Mountain Music Festival in Pennsylvania and the Evolve Festival in Nova Scotia. Wherever they travel, music fans are paying attention.

John Kasiewicz, the guitarist, Brian Anderson, the upright bassist and Jay Bond, the drummer, have found that elusive musical relationship. They are equally accomplished and equally inventive, and the group's involved, focused, jazzed-up, rocked-out pieces have propelled them faster than most local bands dare to dream. Already, Raisinhill has been given featured spots at famed clubs like the Knitting Factory in NYC, House Of Blues in Boston and an increasing number of major touring markets each year.

More song-based than jazz-based, Raisinhill still has accomplished jazz training. Guitarist John Kasiewicz studied under the atonal composer Ernie Stires (who also taught Phish's Trey Anastasio) while attending Goddard College in Vermont, and the flair and eccentricity in his playing proves it. His solos take chances, veering from traditional jazz progressions into high-end note-holds that pierce through a piece or fast flirtations that dash between intricate changes. As a member of J. Willis Pratt & We're Bionic, Kasiewicz opened for Phish at the Pepsi Arena in Albany, New York and has performed and recorded with Phish's explosive drummer Jon Fishman. Bassist Brian Anderson studied Jazz Bass Performance at the University of Miami, FL, and has taken his deep groove loves to new heights in Raisinhill, launching into heavy full-bodied breaks and occasionally laying a bow across the strings for dirty, Primus-like effect. Drummer Jay Bond attended Loyola University in New Orleans and majored in musical composition and drums where he studied with Johnny Vidocavich (drummer for Dr. John and Astral Project) and performed with Jason Marsalis, Michael Ray, Charlie Miller and Stanley Turrentine. Bond is the backbone of Raisinhill, relentless and serious, alternately slamming and sensitive, lending a rich dynamic to the sonic experience.

Sometimes, the members use their voices as instruments, as sounds that weave between the notes. Occasionally there are words attached. Much of the material rises from their intense tri-weekly practice sessions, where the three produce instrumental songs that weave and expand across solid, relentless rhythm and melodic guitar hooks. Raisinhill's music is experimental, drawing on elements from rock-heavy jams to island rhythms and jazz-fusion space, but it's grounded. It grooves. It changes enough to keep listeners leaned forward, entranced, and ends soon enough to leave them hungry.

listen here...



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excellent...ill be back in burlington around this time and me and some friends just decided to definitly attend the canadian day festival...looks like it will be a great time....and a few days before that I am gonna be at the Keller williams/dmb concert :D!!!!!!

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