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Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008

Donna Jean and the Tricksters

(DIG Music)

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In the 1970s, singer Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay and her late husband, keyboardist Keith Godchaux, were members of the Grateful Dead, and Donna Jean brings much of that sound to her new CD.

Donna Jean and the Tricksters picks up where the ’70s-era Dead left off, while doing a better job of showing what the seminal California jam band might have sounded like had they been more interested in their female singer. Joining forces with the former Zen Tricksters, the band cobbles together 12 numbers that would have sounded right at home on Terrapin Station or Shakedown Street.

In fact, they may have improved the content of both albums. Think of the new CD as a happy collision of the Dead with Little Feat’s Southern flavor, one showing that Godchaux-MacKay may still be a musical force to be reckoned with. —Michael Muckian