Interview with Larry Joseloff of The Jerry Tripsters

On Thursday, March 22, DC Music Review had the opportunity to sit down with Jerry Tripsters bass player Larry Joseloff after their debut show at Gypsy Sally’s to ask him about this new project that has begun to generate buzz among the DMV Deadhead set. In their nearly three hours of music, The Jerry Tripsters played for an engaged and appreciative crowd for a Thursday night. We asked Larry what made the Jerry Tripsters different, how the band came to be, and what their plans are for the future: 

Larry Joseloff (Bass)

Nina Goodman: Thanks for taking the time for a few questions, Larry. I caught your last show at Villain and Saint a few weeks ago and had a blast, but I had not heard of your band prior to that show.  When did you guys start up? 

Larry Joseloff: First of all thanks for the opportunity to talk and for DC Music Review for supporting the local music scene. So tonight was our 4th show overall, but only the 3rd show where I had actually met all the band members prior to performing.


NG:  I feel like there is a story in here somewhere.

LJ:  So Rex Wilkes (of Better of Dead) and I have been friends for awhile and I always wanted to find an opportunity to play music with him on a regular basis. We did this acoustic duo project called Dead Red, which was fun and maybe we will pick it up again sometime – but I knew there was more potential. Last August, Rex called me and said there is a Jerry Garcia festival at a brewery and a spot opened up in the bill and if I wanted to come down and play some songs. So I thought sure…why not….beer, music, sunny day – I am IN! 

NG:  Did you rehearse with the band at all before that?

Rex Wilkes of the Jerry Tricksters

Rex Wilkes (Vocals & Guitar)

LJ:  No, we just emailed some song ideas and knew we could pull it off. He told me Scott Toop (of Splintered Sunlight and Stewbone) is the drummer. I have known him for awhile, but we never played music together. And Kirk Kness (of Stewbone) is on keyboards – I had never met him before until we were loading in and we just got there and started up. And Amy Wilson (of On The Bus and Getting Weir'd) adds amazing vocals to about half the songs. I remember from the first note it just FELT good. Everything was relaxed and natural – the grooves were just automatically in sync and everyone’s instruments and voices just worked together right away. We just looked at each other and laughed after the first song….and said WHOA – this is really fun! It was supposed to be a one-time thing, but we thought…hey let’s keep this train going and see where it takes us.


NG:  There was a song I didn’t recognize early in the set, what was it? 

LJ:  That first song was called “Finders Keepers” that Jerry Garcia played with Merl Saunders.  I had never heard that one before Rex suggested it but I love playing it!   

Kirk Kness (Keyboards, Vocals)

NG: I also didn’t know that Jerry ever did Stevie Wonder’s "Boogie on Reggae Woman," one of my all time favorite songs. That was one of the highlights of the show. 

Something different from other Jerry bands I have played with is we are pulling some tunes out of the Legion of Mary catalog and some other projects he did with Merl Saunders.  So not just the Grateful Dead or Jerry Garcia Band. That is when Jerry covered “Boogie On.”


NG:  Well, you seemed to be enjoying yourself up there.

LJ:  My philosophy in this band is groove is the most important thing.  As long as Scott and I are locked in, everything else will work itself out.  Rex and Kirk can take care of the hard parts while I just roll my eyes in the back of head and just groove all night.

NG:  What is the biggest challenge of this group playing together? 

LJ:  It’s pretty funny. We have all played much of this music before in other groups, but as you know –Jerry did not play these songs the same way all the time. So we will see a song that we THINK we know, "Mighty High" for example, and it turns out we all learned it in four slightly different arrangements. I am glad we practiced that one. Trainwreck avoided.

NG: Any upcoming plans for the group? 

Scott Toop (Drums, Vocals)

LJ:  We have a couple shows booked in Baltimore. We are at the The 8X10 on April 11 and the Ottobar on May 19.  We are all busy in our other projects so we know this will be something we do when we can find a free moment, however I am having a blast and open for any opportunity that can work with our schedules that comes our way. 

NG: Thanks, Larry. Fun show and DC Music Review looks forward to the next one! 

To learn more about The Jerry Tripsters please go to their Facebook page

Enjoy photos by our photographer Mark Raker of Mark Raker Photography from their March 22 performance at Gypsy Sally's.

About the author
Nina Goodman

Nina Goodman

Nina Goodman is a music lover, dancer, artist, keyboardist, and an avid ukulele player. You may even see her up on stage performing with local DC bands. Above all, Nina is a fierce supporter of the Washington DC local music scene. Nina's talents are mostly behind the scenes where she maintains and curates our event calendar and conducts interviews with local artists. If there is music playing in the DMV, you can expect to see her attending or at least making sure that our audience knows about it.