Bill Kreutzmann loves playing the drums and he’s always looking for the perfect bands to show off his percussive skills.
Kreutzmann was one of Grateful Dead’s drummers, but now he’s lending his musical talents to two new groups. The drummer’s performing with Papa Mali and the band 7 Walkers, and he’s touring with fellow Dead percussionist Mickey Hart as part of the Rhythm Devils.
Who: 7 Walkers, with Bill Kreutzmann, Papa Mali and Friends
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder
Saturday, 7 Walkers makes its Boulder debut at the Fox Theatre, while the Rhythm Devils play the Ogden Theatre in Denver on July 22.
“I just came back from the Grateful Dead Archives event in NYC,” Kreutzmann said. “I talked about the displays and answered questions, but there’s probably not going to be anymore Dead reunions.
“I’m now playing with 7 Walkers. That’s been a wonderful happenstance. I was introduced to Papa Mali and now we’re playing together.”
The veteran musicians combined their musical forces to create a New Orleans-sounding record that’s both fiery and funky. As a special perk, Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter penned the 7 Walkers’ lyrics.
“We got the idea to have Robert write the songs,” Kreutzmann said. “The Dead became famous because of his words and he’s a serious poet. We just put the music to the lyrics.
“7 Walkers’ music is like psychedelic meets New Orleans. The music really builds and captures you. We do the songs and then we jam on them — that way we can play as long as we want to.”
Kreutzmann is also playing a summer run of shows with the Rhythm Devils. The band’s all-star lineup features Hart, guitar ace Keller Williams and Davy Knowles from Back Door Slam.
“I’m really fortunate to be in two great bands,” Kreutzmann said. “The Rhythm Devils plays all different material than 7 Walkers. We’re doing a lot of Hunter songs and some Grateful Dead songs.
“I’m really excited! I can’t believe I get to do all this fun stuff. Both bands come from the best places — there’s no egos here.”