TRICKSTER HISTORY (TRICKSTORY)
The Zen Tricksters are:
Jeff Mattson-lead guitar, vocals
Klyph Black-bass, vocals
Tom Circosta-rhythm guitar, vocals
The Zen Tricksters can do it all. They are a superbly talented Rock/Jam band
who play in both electric and acoustic formats and as of January, 2004, they
are once again touring as a four-piece electric band. The Tricksters have a
huge working repertoire that ranges from their tuneful and well-crafted original
pieces to traditional bluegrass and hillbilly jazz classics, to Grateful Dead,
Dylan, Neil Young, and inventive interpretations of any and all songs that
catch their fancy. Winners of the Relix Magazine Jam Off (one of ten winners
chosen from over 200 band entries), The Zen Tricksters are not only renowned
for the trademark jamming ability they have displayed for over two decades,
but also for their inspired songwriting. This band will rock you, psychedelicize
you, make you cry, and pick it with the best of them!
The band has three studio CDs, The Holy Fool, recorded in 1996, A Love Surreal,
1999, and the brand new Shaking Off the Weirdness, 2003. This CD features
ten original tunes, including new titles such as High Horse and Sleepwalking,
plus staples of their live shows Light of Life and The One. It also boasts
a colorful roster of special guests including former Trickster and current
member of The Dead and Phil Lesh & Friends, Rob Barraco, Buddy Cage from
the New Riders of the Purple Sage, Jason Crosby, former ZT who also plays
with Oteil & the Peacemakers and Susan Tedeschi, and Tom "Banjo" Hanway.
The Tricksters play many local New York area gigs, but inevitably winds
up back on the road again. This is their life and it is what they love.
Jeff is very proud of the fact that he has never made his living in any
other way but music. “Road life,” he says “very much embodies the yin-yang
of life. You trade the long hours of traveling and tedium day after day for
the supreme pleasure and sheer love of making your own kind of live music
night after night.” That is quite obvious at any Zen Trickster show--you
can hear their love of their art in every performance they give.
The Zen Tricksters are into their third decade as a performing band.
Their performances have ranged from the Big Apple Bluegrass Festival
to the Seattle Hemp Festival. Over the years they have made quite a
name for themselves playing such noted events as the Oregon Country Fair
and the Pig Nic, New York's Gathering of the Vibes (this year makes all
eight years of its existence), California's High Sierra Festival, the
Seattle and Eugene Hemp Festivals, and the Poconos' Gathering on the Mountain.
They were a staple act at New York's venerable Wetlands Preserve, closed in
2001, and played there more times than any other band in existence! They
have shared the stage many times with the David Nelson Band, most recently
at several festivals during the summer of 2002, and pedal steel guitar player,
Barry Sless, who also played on A Love Surreal, is a virtual Trickster. They
have played with Peter Rowan, Vassar Clements, Derek Trucks, Mike Gordon, Tom
Constanten, String Cheese Incident, and Kenny Kosek on several occasions, and
have also shared the stage with the JGB, Suzanne Vega, the Jefferson Starship,
the David Grisman Quintet, and more. Their music has been used on MTV, WABC's
Alias, and WB's Felicity. The Zen Tricksters are proud to be a Homegrown Music
Net member band.