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Wake the Dead 

When: Fri., March 20, 9 p.m. 2009
Price: $15, students $13

It's an idea so right that you'd assume more bands would have thought of it, but the East Bay's Wake the Dead is still the originator and prime purveyor of taking Grateful Dead songs and playing them in traditional British Isles Celtic folk style and instrumentation (fiddles, harp, bagpipes among them), then mixing in some jigs and reels in medleys that spin as neatly as the best Dead segues. With three CDs of its own to choose from, including the recent Blue Light Cheap Hotel, plus some fun, albeit brief, instrumental jams, Wake the Dead plays for listeners and dancers on Friday, Jan. 11 at Ashkenaz(1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley). Led by mandolinist-guitarist-fiddler Danny Carnahan (who also possesses a fine Irish folk tenor), along with string wizard Paul Kotapish, the group makes it sound so natural that one might think the Grateful Dead had gotten its start by listening to Wake the Dead records. 9 p.m., $15. Ashkenaz.com or 510-525-5054.


— Larry Kelp

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