Painted Mandolin is a plugged-in acoustic quartet of original compositions, reupholstered covers, and reimagined medleys. The concept of PM (whose name references the Garcia/Hunter composition "Ruben and Cherise"), was born out of mutual love and direct affiliation to the musical leanings of Jerry Garcia. Featuring Joe Craven, who was a percussionist and fiddler for David Grisman and Jerry Garcia in the Garcia/Grisman project... plus Matt Hartle and Larry Graff as its founding members.
Instrumentals, high energy grooves, and vocals shared by all, the quartet features a backwoods toolbox of acoustic guitar, "banjotar" (a 6-string guitar tuned banjo), mandolin, fiddle, hand & mouth percussion, and upright bass that create a sound of memories, traditions, and innovations all in a fresh jam that Jerry would like and our like-minded fans do enjoy. We think you will too.
Creativity educator, record producer, former museum curator, actor/storyteller, event emcee, weekend poet, and fashion insultant, Joe has played and recorded with many notable musicians, including jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, multi-whirled stringster David Lindley, harmonica wizard Howard Levy as well as 17 years with mandolinist David Grisman and seven years with banjo fusionist Alison Brown. As an award-winning recipient of awards such as the 2009 Folk Alliance Far-West Performer of the Year, and the Swannanoa Gathering's Master Music Maker Award, Joe is at home and loves every minute of his artful living, from busking at Cannery Row to playing at Carnegie Hall.
Guitar, Mandolin, and Vocals. Larry is the founding member of the world famous Banana Slug String Band. For 36 years, the Slugs have toured North America, bringing Eco-Science to kids and families. His maturity as a songwriter and musician, contributes to Painted Mandolin's creative edge. A Deadhead for 44 years, Larry always brings his experience, knowledge, passion, energy, and love to the stage.
Originally from Kutztown Pennsylvania, Matt earned a degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas. Making his home in Santa Cruz, CA, he is the lead guitarist of Painted Mandolin, the China Cats, and Spirit of ‘76. Matt teaches music privately and enjoys a weekly residency that he created and curates called Grateful Sundays at Felton Music Hall in Felton, CA. His signature style, vast knowledge of the Grateful Dead canon - and beyond, brings a fearless & soulful address to the sound of PM.
Dan Robbins lives for the bass. A full-time professional bassist, educator, and recording artist since 1997, he brings a lifetime of knowledge and skill to both the upright and electric bass of almost every variety. He teaches bass at both SJSU and Santa Clara University. A passionate and skilled performer, he maintains a busy schedule as the bassist for the Gary Meek band. "I've played with many bassists in my 40 + year music career and, without question, Dan Robbins is one of THE most technically advanced and musical bassists I've ever known." - Joe Craven