Jake’s Leg, St. Louis’ premier Grateful Dead tribute has been in existence for over 25 years!
It was started by guitarist and vocalist, Randy Furrer and Tim Fahy. Lead guitarist, Dave Casper, joined soon after. The “newer members” (considered new in Jake’s Leg terms”) are Joe Trunko on bass and vocals (joined in 1990), Bill Noltkamper on keyboards and vocals (joined in 1991), and Lee Kram on drums (joined in 2001).
Over the years, Jake’s Leg has played to thousands of people, cutting across age and lifestyle demographics. College kids have heard of them through word of mouth and live tapes that show up on Grateful Dead tape lists around the country. In addition, the bands name periodically pops up on the internet.
To say they copy the Dead would be a mistake. They tend to interpret the songs and try to put their own stamp on the music, spiritually and musically. For instance, Dave Casper’s lead solos pay homage to Jerry Garcia, but also Pat Metheny, Carlos Santana and Miles Davis. This hybrid of styles ends up working into the music, yet bears Casper’s style.
Similar to the Dead’s approach, Jake’s Leg feeds off the energy of its audience, which is an integral part of the whole experience. This ongoing dialogue between the players in the band and their audience has been working for over 25 years, and shows no sign of slowing down as more and more people, both deadheads and non-deadheads enjoy their music.