Drawn from Robert
Hunter's timeless lyric in The Grateful Dead's "Scarlet Begonias," Keith
and I started "The Heart of Gold Band" along with drummer
Greg Anton early on in 1980 following our years as band members
in the Grateful Dead. Although there were personnel changes in
the short-lived tenure of the HGB (including a young and very talented
guitar player, Steve Kimock, and piano player/composer, Mark Adler.),
Greg was the constant. Thanks to him, the spirit of the band has
been kept alive through funky, cassette-recorded gigs that would
have never been released on record or CD under normal circumstances.
The extra-normal presented itself when Keith was killed in a car
accident in July of 1980, only a few days after our first gig in
San Francisco . The band reorganized and played just a few shows
before disbanding in early 1981.
23 years later, in a most unexpected turn, "The Heart of
Gold Band" is back! Keith's and my son, Zion Rock Godchaux,
wrote, sang, played guitar, drums, sax, and helped produce many
of the songs on our newly-released CD, "At The Table." Zion
and I sang a few songs together (which is very surreal for me!).
Keith's brother, Brian Godchaux, also sang several songs that he
wrote, and played acoustic and electric mandolin and violin. Really
cool. (Brian has been violinist for Dan Hicks for the better part
of 15 years.)
My husband, David MacKay, (a member of the reorganized "Heart
of Gold Band" following Keith's death) played stand-up and
electric bass (including some rich fretless), Wurlitzer electric
piano, and wrote the only instrumental track. Our son, Kinsman
MacKay, played guitar and wrote a song that he sang, beautifully
closing the CD.
Russ Randolph is one of the young premier recording engineers
in the Muscle Shoals area, and for the duration of the CD project,
his contributions have been invaluable both in recording and graphics.
Russ will also be handling a percussive role when the band plays
From day one, "Godchaux MacKay" was the logical choice for our band
name. On our way to Nashville for the mastering of the CD, we unanimously decided
to ask Greg Anton to join in as drummer. Then a very soulful reality kicked
in; we are the "Heart of Gold Band," and especially if Greg is on
board. Each one of us was blown away how off-guard and intensely it hit us.
Humbly, we began to rethink how we would proceed. We are not interested in
trying to recreate what was, but to pick up where we are now. That makes for
a unique and fresh approach to a very deep affinity.
The "Heart of Gold Band" has now come full circle with
Greg in the mix. We are also delighted beyond words that keyboardist
Mark Adler has also joined the band. It is our heart's desire that
this music will find its way into yours, and that the "Heart
of Gold Band" will come alive to you as it has once again
Many thanks and much love,
Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay