The Heart of Gold Band

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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 live.

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 to us.

Many thanks and much love,
Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay