After years of imitating Jerry Garcia – most notably with Dark Star Orchestra and Furthur – John Kadlecik strikes out on his own with On the Road.
And the man who some fans derisively call “Fake Jerry” obviously has a sense of self-deprecating humor, as he opens his first proper solo album with an instrumental titled “How Am I Not Myself,” on which he plays a lot like a certain former Grateful Dead frontman.
Kadlecik does much Garcia mimicry across On the Road. But despite covers of “Lazy River Road” and “So Many Roads,” the latter sounding like Garcia’s ghost on wax, this LP is more Jerry Garcia Band, Garcia and Merl Saunders and Legion of Mary than Grateful Dead.
For better and worse, he just can’t help sounding a whole lot like Garcia.
Still, with a core band that includes Bob Weir and RatDog’s rhythm section of Robin Sylvester (bass) and Jay Lane (drums), keyboardist Benjie Porecki and backing vocalists Mary Lankford and Jessica Lake, and including new numbers and reworked versions of tracks by Kadlecik’s pre-DSO band Hairball Willie, On the Road is a refreshing move toward originality for John K.