Dewey Paul Band

Colorado Americana Music

Colorado Americana music by Dewey Paul Moffitt. JJ Cale Tribute CD. Bohemian Ghosts memoir author. Several albums worth of originals plus covers that range from Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and JJ Cale to Grateful Dead and beyond. True tales of a modern day psychedelic adventurer in the vein of Kerouac, Wolfe, Bukowski, and Robbins. A memoir that chronicles the authors many adventures in the psychedelic Grateful Dead and Jam Band scene (Allmans, Phish, Panic, Blues Traveler, Pfunk). From his parking lot days to working backstage, the book examines how that wild counter-culture world impacted his early adult years and allowed him to discover his passion for the concert industry. 

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A LIFE OF MUSIC INSPIRED BY THE DEAD

Although Dewey Paul Moffitt started taking guitar lessons at the age of 9, his musical education did not begin until much later in his life.

“And I’m still being educated,” he said. “It’s a lifelong education.”

After acquiring that guitar, Moffitt’s next musical move was a while in coming, but was no less significant. As a teenager, he decamped from the family home in Florida to join the legion of fans following the Grateful Dead across the country.

He eventually became a Dead employee in California and has since worked for years as a concert promoter and producer and in other backstage roles that rock ‘n’ roll cannot do without.

Now calling the Rocky Mountains of Colorado his home, Moffitt still keeps his hand in the promoting game — he hosts an annual festival and books bands for clubs and concerts — but he’s also long since moved to center stage, playing a rootsy imprint of Americana that happily reminds the listener of the path paved by the likes of the Dead and Bob Dylan.

The Dewey Paul Band will make its Athens debut with a free show today at Live Wire Athens. In addition to the quartet’s show, Moffitt will sign copies of his 2014 book “Bohemian Ghosts: A Memoir,” a no-holds-barred glimpse into the life of a young man who comes of age during one of history’s most creative time periods.

“(The book) describes how I got into the music business,” he said. “It starts out with a lot of on-the-road adventures, going to Grateful Dead shows and eventually working for the promoter Bill Graham and working behind the scenes with all those great bands and how that led to me eventually finding my passion in the concert industry.”

Moffitt has had a hand in nearly a dozen recording projects, and his latest release, “Alachua Summit,” has a particular resonance as the album is a reimagining of his very first recordings, made when he worked as a promoter in the Gainesville, Florida, area.

“I put out my first music in 1995, so this is the 20th anniversary of me starting on that whole thing,” he said. “The results of those actual recordings are what’s on the new CD. I pulled out all the old tracks and updated them with the musicians I’m playing with today. They’re freshened up. I always felt those first recordings, those songs were really solid and they served as the anchor for where I started. Now with this particular band lineup I’m really proud of the music we’re doing today and I wanted to revisit that material.

“I’m really proud of what we’ve done with it. It may have taken 20 years to get to where I wanted it to be, but I’m really happy with where it is today.”

Not surprisingly, Moffitt takes many of his musical cues from the giants, specifically Dylan, the Dead and the Belfast Cowboy, Van Morrison. He even fronts a tribute band known as Garcia Van Dylan.

“Where the Dead is concerned, that’s all about improvisation in the music,” he said. “We like to improvise as much as possible. With the Dylan influence, when we cover other material, especially his, the way he does his stuff sort of gives us permission to do songs in our own way.

“And the Dead is like that, too, for that matter. The Dead have always done their own songs in so many different ways that music doesn’t have to be tied down and put in a box with a pretty bow on it. You can changes songs and let them evolve and breathe and experiment with them.”

And grizzled Tulsa legend J.J. Cale (who died in 2013) also holds a special place in Moffitt’s heart, so much so that he recorded an album of Cale songs, 2011’s “Cale: A Tribute to J.J. Cale.”

“He had that roots Americana (sound), that blues, that real simple stuff everyone can relate to,” Moffitt said. “It’s everyman’s music, in my opinion. And personally he had a big influence on me. I had the honor to work with him and he called me up one day and said he really enjoyed my music. I never expected any kind of accolades from him, so that was something I felt completely humbled and honored by.

“I decided I wanted to record a couple of J.J. Cale covers, and one led to two, which led to 16. It was like I couldn’t stop with just a couple, and by the time I got around to 16 I figured I had a whole tribute CD. I was able to put that out while he was still with us.”

Also appearing on the bill will be Baxendale, Mize & Mills, featuring local luthier Scott Baxendale, Ben Mize and John Mills. Moffitt and Baxendale are old friends from Colorado, where Baxendale ran a guitar shop in Denver.

“We were roommates in Denver,” Moffitt said. “He’s worked with a lot of great people, so we’re excited to have Scott on the show, too. He’s got quite a bit of Colorado influence in his music, by way of Texas, too. We just keep spreading this around.”
— Chris Starrs, Athens Banner-Herald, Sep. 23, 2015

The Dewey Paul Band is tremendous!
— The Telluride Watch

Painting by David Sockrider of Dewey Paul Band, New Years Eve 2013-14 

Moffitt is a musician and a music lover who has had life experiences any rock and roll lover would envy. He is one part Kerouac, one part Merry Prankster, and one part Tom Wolfe.
— Michael Buffalo Smith, Kudzoo Magazine, June 2015

Dewey Paul Moffitt puts on a great show folks... Don’t miss it!!!!
— Bubba Newton, Bassist (Crazy Fingers)

JJ Cale doesn’t need an introduction, though he has long been one of rock’s under-appreciated players. From Lynyrd Skynyrd’s well-loved cover of “Call Me the Breeze,” to Clapton’s iconic take on “Cocaine” and Widespread Panic’s version of “Traveling Light,” any serious fan of classic rock knows that Cale is the man behind some of the greatest shuffle-driven ditties to come down the pike.

So it’s entirely apt that someone finally tips their hat to the troubadour with a heartfelt effort to cover some of his best material. Colorado musician Dewey Paul serves up a very pleasing platter on Cale -A Tribute to JJ Cale. From the excellent, soulful acoustic opener, “Fancy Dancer,” Paul runs through the troubadour’s best, including the always amusing “Mama Don’t,” a fittingly soothing “Magnolia,” a slinky “Ride Me and High,” and a “Thirteen Days” that hits the spot.

Paul deftly absorbs the spirit and feel of Cale’s work delivering 16 credible and fun cuts.

Cale – A Tribute to JJ Cale is out now.
— -Nick Huntchinson, HonestTune.com, 2012

Dewey Paul Band (acoustic), live painting by David Sockrider, March 28, 2015

I love the CD, it’s really great work.
— John Oates (Hall & Oates) speaking about "On The Devil's Highway," 2010

Dewey is a true professional and has lots of material that’s very inspiring to work with.
— Jose' Rossy, percussionist (Talking Heads, Robert Palmer, Patti LaBelle, Sonia Dada)

Dewey Paul combines the influences of Dead, Dylan

KEYSTONE “ Dewey Paul Moffitt found Summit County 18 years ago, on a break from touring with the Grateful Dead. He finally was able to move to the mountains permanently back in December, and is releasing the Dewey Paul Band’s first album with a show at the Goat. Moffitt worked the Dead shows backstage setting up, and also worked as a concert promoter in Florida while performing music with the Dewey Decibel System before he arrived here.

He calls his music singer-songwriter, and also, Colorado-influenced.

Living in Denver the past nine years has made a discernible difference.

”It definitely affected my songwriting. It’s more personal, more intimate, the songwriting and all the arrangements,” he said of living in Colorado.

Moffitt recorded the album at his home studio in Silverthorne.

Moffitt produces an annual Bob Dylan tribute concert which benefits music programs in the Denver schools. The band has also taken its show on tour, including a show in Silverthorne.

”Just being an artist, all the people that have inspired me over the years inspires me to give back to the community I work in,” he said.

”On the Devil’s Highway” will be available at the Goat or at Affordable Music in Dillon.
— Leslie Brefeld, Summit Daily News, 8/11/2008

Dylans in Denver: Jakob Friday, Bob Birthday Tribute Saturday

Before there was Ryan Tedder, Justin Timberlake, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, or countless other rock singer-songwriters — there was Bob Dylan. Regarded as one of the greatest of our time, Dylan turns 73 on Saturday — which calls for a celebration of homage, respect and tribute.

The 9th Annual Bob Dylan Tribute Festival is Saturday and features both acoustic and electric sets at the famed D Note in Olde Town Arvada. If you’ve never made it to this quaint little area northwest of Denver, do yourself a favor and swing by.

The event poster alludes to Postcards of the Hanging — a compilation album by The Grateful Dead of entirely Dylan covers, which was released in 2002. Members of the Juba Juba Band — a local Grateful Dead tribute band — will be performing Saturday, along with drummer Chris Murphy of Rebel Tongue and Dewey Paul Moffitt of the Dewey Paul Band. More special music guests are to be announced. The fun begins at 8 p.m and entry is free.

One more thing to note: Bob’s son Jakob will be performing with his band The Wallflowers for a free show Friday at Skyline Park in downtown Denver, kicking off the Denver Day of Rock, which will also feature performances on Saturday from Plain White T’s and The Hold Steady.
— Luke Simmons, 303 Magazine, 5/23/2014

Don’t call Dylan 66 a cover band.

”We don’t like to think of ourselves as a cover group,” guitarist and vocalist Dewey Moffitt said. “We try to keep our own unique style while we play Dylan’s songs.”

Dylan 66, a compilation of artists that re-create Dylan’s songs, started as a charity concert in 2006. The original idea for the event celebrated singer/songwriter Bob Dylan’s 65th birthday. The concert, which included 35 Denver-area musicians, also raised money for Denver Public Schools’ music programs.

”After the first concert, we had a great response,” Moffitt said. “All of our feedback was really positive. People liked what we did with Bob’s music.”

This year’s fundraiser, held in May, showcased 50 Colorado musicians that played to more than 300 people in Denver’s Oriental Theater. The show, which lasted almost five hours, played both acoustic and electrical Dylan classics.

”It just snowballed,” Moffitt said. “People kept wanting to play in the benefit, and we just went with it.”

Dylan 66 will tour for the first time this summer. Seven of the 50 performers that participated in the benefit kicked off a two-week tour Thursday in Silverthorne.

”We created so much together, we decided to take it on the road,” Moffitt said.

Featuring musicians from Colorado bands The Dewey Paul Band, Double Parked and Leftover Salmon, most of the musicians with Dylan 66 are familiar with the ski town tour. Though Dylan 66’s members have diverse musical backgrounds ranging from Deadheads to folk music, all are big Dylan fans.

”Dylan was a no-brainer,” Moffitt said. “Musicians everywhere from all different genres are influenced by Bob.”

As for Dylan’s upcoming shows at Redrocks and Telluride at the end of July, Moffitt can’t wait.

”I have tickets to all of them,” Moffitt said.

After Dylan 66’s tour wraps up July 7, Moffitt says the band plans on expanding to play outside of Colorado. Eventually, Dylan 66 wants to take their show to Europe.

All of the profits from tonight’s show at Mahogany will go back into producing next year’s benefit, which is scheduled for the spring of 2008.

”Dylan speaks to everyone,” Moffitt said. “His songs are open to so much interpretation, we can play the old songs in so many new ways.”
— Erin Gleason, Steamboat Today, 6/29/2007

Not to be missed!

Dewey has written a book that touches on all the wild and heady times of following the Grateful Dead and beyond. Romance, music, and friends cavort throughout this beautiful and exhilarating tale. I loved it and I have read them all. Not to be missed!

— Hamlin J. Endicott, Owner GRATEFUL DEAD BOOKS LLC

Couldn't put it down!

Amazing! Read it cover to cover in 12 hours!!!

— Kendra Alicia Burnett, Amazon review

A must-have for the rock fan or Deadhead completist in your life!

What a wild ride! Follow the author from adolescent adventures smoking a joint in the parking lot with WASP to LSD-soaked cross-country rambles to follow the Dead. A romantic tale, both in terms of dating and because the author leads with his heart, adhering to a “follow your bliss” credo come hell or high water. And come they do! Misadventure as often as adventure, this epic coming-of-age story is sure to be a treat for any one who is a fan of rock n roll or free spirits.

— Charles, Amazon review

A different spin on Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" 

I am biased since I knew the author way back when, but I really enjoyed this collection of anecdotes that trace his life so far. It’s a different spin on Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”. The reader gets an honest, inside look at some of the music world that we only get to see in movies.

— Harry C., Amazon review

Pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this! 

This was really fun to read! The trials and tribulations of life on the road are met with persistent optimism and a tireless search for bliss in the real world. What a wild ride! Entertaining, fast moving, well written, and not without imparting some wisdom!

— William, Amazon review

Love your Book...Read 1/2 of it in one sitting—Excellent Writing

— David, Facebook review

The current jam-band fan will find something to love here…

If you ever hit the road yourself, or wanted to, this author shares all the nitty-gritty with the world. The Dead precipitated many a departure from home, and all went on a journey unlike any other. The seeker, the former tour-head, the current jam-band fan will all find something to love here, and perhaps, conjure up memories of one’s own, long-forgotten.

— Denco, Amazon review

Along for a long strange trip!

A very enjoyable memoir- I was surprised at how engaged I became in the protagonists’ trials, tribulations and eventual redemption. A lot of brushes with fame without being gossipy or indiscreet. A good read that leaves you wanting to hear more stories from this author. Recommend to anyone who was part of that subculture in that era. It all rings true here.

— Leanna Randall, Amazon review

Writing is compelling and it's a pretty quick read...

Full disclosure: I’ve known the author for quite some time. However, there is a huge amount about him which I didn’t know. It was fascinating to read about his adventures, and contemplate that we probably crossed paths long before we knew each other. The writing is compelling and it’s a pretty quick read. Glad to count Dewey as among my friends!

Once again, I look forward to our yearly jam in Denver and Boulder for the Last Waltz Revisited. We’ll be rocking the Fillmore!

— Thomas Johnson, Amazon review

Great read!

Great adventure through a world I know well. You really end up rooting for Dewey in the way he leads with his heart through the many varied exploits of his life. Well written.

— Colorado Head, Amazon review

Fun and Entertaining

Entertaining read. I don’t read much but I found this book to be easy to read while being entertaining and fun. Going along with Dewey’s ups and downs in his life’s adventures made me feel like I was right there with him on the road.

— David B. Sockrider, Amazon review