DAO Artist: Winterland


Winterland - 4:00 PM

Winterland consists of five Iowa City musicians: drummer/vocalist Joshua Weiner, a biology professor at the University of Iowa; vocalist and guitarist Marc Janssen; and three members of The Mayflies, guitarist/vocalist Stacy Webster, bassist David Lumberg and drummer James Robinson.

Weiner, 43, said the band began in 2012 when he posted an ad on Craigslist asking why there isn't a Grateful Dead tribute band in Iowa City. Weiner said he's played drums since he was 3-years-old, and after a stint playing synthesizer with an electronic-ambient duo, he was looking to return to his kit.

He found Webster, 46, who said he has been a fan of the Dead since he discovered them in college. Webster said he was "blown away" at the fusion between his favorite genres of country, rock and experimental music.

"There's just never been a better band in the universe, in my opinion," he said. "This opportunity to play this music with these guys and try to really capture that, it's like a dream come true for me."

Winterland played its first show on Halloween 2013 at the Iowa City Yacht Club and has steadily performed around the state since.

Despite Webster's appearance, which is eerily similar to Jerry Garcia, Weiner said don't expect a costumed cover band playing note for note.
"It's not the notes," he said. "It's the approach."

Weiner said Winterland is closer to the jazz and jam band genre than a cover band.
"All jazz bands play standards, where they're all quote-unquote 'covers,' right?" he said. "But you kind of change things around, and make it your own and you jam on it, and that's kind of what this allows you to do."

Webster said that because he always has worked hard to "shake Garcia's influence" while playing his own music, it was easy to fall into his place.
"For me, all I have to do is let go of my inhibitions and try to channel that general aesthetic," he said.

Janssen, 39, said he is primarily an old-time bluegrass fiddle and mandolin player, but he joined because he "just (likes) to play music."
He said Winterland plays the Dead's material from 1969 to 1978, "where most of their iconic material was written."