Kreutzmann and Hart first met when Hart joined the Grateful Dead as its second drummer in 1967.
In the late ‘70s Jerry Garcia gave the two drummers a nickname that has stuck with the musicians ever since.
“I remember Jerry looking at Bill and I one time. He shook his head and just said, ‘You guys are Rhythm Devils,’” Hart explains.
“When we get together and we’re in the groove it’s a tractor beam,” Hart added. “Anyone around that will be drawn in. But we always thought of the Grateful Dead, and anything that we did together, as a work in progress. This too is a work in progress and that’s the best thing you could say. We’re looking to the future with this kind of music. In the Grateful Dead we created a body of work that we’ll not leave behind. But we also have an identity as the Rhythm Devils, and that’s who we’ll be.”
The two drummers will be joined on the second leg of their tour by Nigerian talking drum master Sikiru Adepoju, Back Door Slam’s Davy Knowles (guitar, vocals), Andy Hess (bass) and Mother Hips’ Tim Bluhm (guitar, vocals).
“It’s a great combination,” says Hart. “You have the deep trance music from Nigeria and West Africa that Sikiru brings to us and there’s Davy who at any moment just might rip the sky apart with his guitar and Andy Hess is a real gem of a bass player. We’re also excited to have Tim Bluhm, who will bring his ferocious California guitar style and beautiful vocals to the mix.”
The second leg of the tour kicks off Aug. 21 with a slot at Hoxeyville Music Festival in Wellston, Mich., and wraps up Sept. 11 at Higher Ground – Ballroom in South Burlington, Vt.
Additional dates include Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis (Aug. 23), Pabst Theater in Milwaukee (Aug. 24), Carnegie Library Music Hall in Homestead, Pa. (Aug. 26), B.B. King Blues Club in New York (Sept.1), Showcase Live in Foxboro, Mass. (Sept. 3) and Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Ohio (Sept. 6).
The first leg of the tour begins July 16 at Arcata Theatre in California with dates through a July 31 performance at Gathering of the Vibes at Seaside Park in Bridgeport, Conn.
In January Rhythm Devils hits the high seas for Jam Cruise on the the MSC Cruise Line’s Poesia. The cruise takes place Jan. 4-9, departing from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and then sailing to Roatan, Honduras and Costa Maya, Mexico.
Click here for the Rhythm Devils official website.