Jeff Mattson Guitar & vocals
Rob Barraco Keyboard and Vocals
Skip Vangelas on bass and vocals
DSO lead guitarist Jeff Mattson has been a leader in NYCs Jamband scene since its inception, starting with the Zen Tricksters and
making his name nationally with The Donna Jean Godchaux Band, a short stint with Phil Lesh & Friends, and now Dark Star Orchestra.
Never without a guitar in his hands, Mattson has teamed up with current DSO and former ZT band mate Rob Barraco to form Mattson/Barraco.
This time out they are joined by Robs son Tom Barraco to form a psychedelic, electric trio that jams with the best of them, exploring the
classic songbooks that inspired them, including Dylan, The Beatles, and Grateful Dead, not to mention an original tune here or there. If it's
a good song, they can find a way to jam on it.
Jeff Mattson (guitar, vocals) is a master of eclectic styles. Lead guitarist for Dark Star Orchestra, and the Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson.
Jeff is a founding member of the legendary jam band, The Zen Tricksters.
Jeff has been a student of the Jerry Garcia style of guitar playing since with early 1970s. In addition to playing in a band currently with Donna Jean Godchaux,
Jeff has played with Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Tom Constanten, Vince Welnick, Merl Saunders, Melvin Seals, David Nelson, Buddy Cage,
Peter Rowan, Martin Fierro, and Vassar Clements.
Jeff, a veteran of over 30 years on the road, is a guitar wizard whose playing ranges from rock & roll to blues, bluegrass, country, jazz, and folk, with a
healthy dose of psychedelia. Jeff is also a strong original songwriter and his work is prominently featured on five original albums, including several pieces
co-written with bandmate Donna Jean Godchaux and one with Rob Barraco (Dark Star Orchestra, Phil Lesh & Friends), "Leave Me Out of This," a track on Phil &
Friends Sony CD, There and Back Again.
He is known for delivering heart-wrenching vocals as well as his ever-present desire to explore new musical terrain with his fellow musicians. Jeff was asked to
audition for Phil Lesh & Friends in the fall of 1999 and in October 1999, Jeff and DSO band mate (then Zen Trickster keyboard player), Rob Barraco, played three
shows with Phil & Friends at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco .
Rob has played music on both keyboard and guitar since the age of 6 and has been a professional musician all his adult life. For over ten years in the
80s and early 90s he was keyboardist for the hit TV show The Cosby Show and its spin off It's A Different World.
Rob toured with R&B sensation Freddie Jackson in the late '80s before joining The Zen Tricksters. Rob spent eleven years touring and
recording with The Tricksters turning out two studio albums and playing live shows across the US and Canada. It was their second album, A Love Surreal,
that caught Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh's ear.
Phil summoned Rob and Trickster guitarist Jeff Mattson to play a series of shows in San Francisco and then on to tour the country double
billing with Bob Dylan. That band included drummer extraordinaire John Molo, boy wiz Derek Trucks, and the ubiquitous Warren Haynes. The following year
one of the great jam bands of all time was formed with Phil, Rob, John, Warren and the guitar giant Jimmy Herring. This band would forever be known as
The Q (short for The Phil Lesh Quintet). They went on to tour the country for three years and put out one studio album, There and Back Again.
In 2002 Barraco joined with the original members of the Grateful Dead for the Alpine Valley reunion shows and then toured with them in 2002
and 2003. In 2004 he joined Chris Robinson's New Earth Mud. In 2005, he toured with Dark Star Orchestra after the tragic death of keyboardist Scott
Larned, joining the band full-time shorly thereafter.
Rob has one solo CD co-written with Robert Hunter titled When We All Come Home.
Skip Vangelas (bass) Skip played with Rob Eaton in Border Legion and filled in on bass for the four Colorado shows in Spring 2001. Skip clearly came to play
the part and did so brilliantly. He has been re-inducted to the DSO bass position after Kevin Rosen's retirement in 2013.