Cowboys Dead plays the music of Marty Robbins, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Jimmy Reed, Don Nix, Merle Haggard, New Riders, Rolling Stones, Peter Rowan and more...in the spirit of the Grateful Dead. With a passion for the sound of Dead in the early 70s, Cowboys Dead reaches deep into the the Dead's repertoire, bringing to today's audiences great Pig Pen era tunes such as Smokestack Lightning, Mr. Charlie, Alligator and It Hurts Me Too.
Cowboys Dead founder and lead guitarist, Dave Dardine, came up with the name from a bootleg Grateful Dead LP with the same name. The Cowboy's Dead LP was recorded live at Harpur, May 2, 1970. The set list from that show became a loose road map for the band, on a road with no signs or dividing lines and very few rules to guide.
"Cowboys Dead" is also a tip of the hat to the late, great "Cowboy" Neal Cassady, the larger-than-life man who infamously was at the wheel and whose ineffable spirit lives on in the writings of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsburg and Ken Kesey, and certainly in the music of the Grateful Dead.
The core band consists of Dave Dardine on lead guitar and vocals, Ken Duran on rhythm guitar and vocals, Doug Salmon on bass guitar, Ed Anderson on vocals and harp, and Dave White on drums.