Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann will tour his new band 7 Walkers this spring. The group is a collaboration with Papa Mali and features Tea Leaf Green bassist Reed Mathis and multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard of Willie Nelson and Friends. 7 Walkers recently spent time at an Austin, TX studio, recording an album to be released later this year. In addition to a brand-new batch of Robert Hunter (Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan lyricist) originals that were co-written with the band, the new album offers up a mix of Grateful Dead standards, Papa Mali originals and some New Orleans and Southern songbook interpretations.

“We first met at the Oregon Country Fair last year,” Kreutzmann explains in a statement. “He was the headliner on the main stage, and I sat there and watched him and went, ‘This guy’s for real man, I like this guy.’ Then we met, after that he came over to my trailer that I was staying in and you couldn’t separate us, we talked for hours. It was just one of those natural things, you know? You can’t plan it; You can’t make it happen. And then we started playing together.”

Meters bassist George Porter Jr. will play select dates with 7 Walkers this spring while Mathis is on the road with Tea Leaf Green. In addition, Kreutzmann has made recordings from his 2009 shows with BK3 available through

The drummer’s 7 Walkers dates include:

April 6 Big Room Chico CA—Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
April 7 Eureka CA—Red Fox
April 8 Crystal Bay NV—Crystal Bay Club Crown Room
April 9 San Francisco CA—Great American Music Hall
April 10 Santa Cruz CA—Moe’s Alley
April 16 Live Oak FL—Spirit of Suwanee Music Park
April 17 Driftwood TX—The Salt Lick
April 30 New Orleans, LA—Mahalia Jackson Theatre
June 3 Ozark AR—Wakarusa Festival
June 11 Santa Rosa CA—Sonoma County Fairgrounds