Sean Schonfeld always liked The Grateful Dead’s music.
“Even though (band frontman) Jerry Garcia has been dead for about 15 years or more, the music still resonates with me… and a lot of people,” he said.
But it wasn’t easy for the Surrey-based musician to find other players who were just as interested in taking their affection for The Dead’s tunes on the road and on stage.
“It takes time to find people who are like-minded,” the singer and guitarist said.
So Schonfeld placed an ad on Craigslist and not only found his band, but also the perfect name for the group.
“I’ve been with the same bass player — James Sanders — for about eight years,” he said. “He and I both placed ads on Craigslist for a guitarist for the band, and James Tuer answered both ads, so it just seemed right.”
Later, the boys added drummer Peter Dives to the fold. He, like Tuer, was living on Bowen Island.
“So after we found those guys, we would get together to go over songs and practice,” he said. “James and I would park our car in a lot at Horseshoe Bay and walk on the ferry to Bowen Island to play Grateful Dead songs. That’s why the band is called Walk On Dead.”
But the band, who plays the Cliffside Pub on Dec. 14, doesn’t just dabble in Dead tunes… and certainly isn’t a tribute band.
“We do play the occasional original song,” Schonfeld said. “But we also like to play music that’s in the same similar jammy, Americana genre of The Grateful Dead, like Cracker, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and the like.”
Although the band only played its first gig in the summer of 2012, Walk On Dead has made the rounds of every Bowen Island music fest, as well as tours to places like White Rock and Roberts Creek.
“The show in Squamish will be our last of a mini-tour, and the last show we do before March,” Schonfeld said. “We like to take the holidays off. But afterwards we are headed back to Roberts Creek, Nelson and Revelstoke. We like to look for pockets of ‘Dead Heads’ (fans of The Grateful Dead’s music).”
Squamish fit the bill for the band, and Schonfeld promises “jams, psychedelic sounds and as many lights as we can bring.”
Walk On Dead plays the Cliffside Pub on Dec. 14 at 10 p.m., with doors opening at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8 at the door and “tie-dyes are optional,” according to Schonfeld.
For more on the band, go to www.facebook.com/walkondead.