After a five-year break, the original members of Cleveland's Waterband are making music again. It's been a turbulent decade for the group. Drummer Dave Keen died of a heart attack at the age of 30 in 2001, and frontman David McDougald (better known to fans as Dreadlock Dave) led a different version of the jam band till it went on hiatus about a year ago. "We're back together — older, wiser, better, and ready to rock out the positive vibes," says McDougald.
Waterband's taste for improvisation stems from such hippie-era acts as the Grateful Dead and Sly & the Family Stone. But McDougald says he's open to anything. "I'm like a musical sponge," he says. "If I haven't heard it, I'd like to — at least once. But what inspires me most is love, peace, happiness, hope, friends, music, art, taste of the herbs, fruit of the vine, and all the goodness life has to offer." He did mention "taste of the herbs," right? At this week's reunion show, Waterband's four members will play some of their recent solo material too. "We're all singer-songwriters in our own right," says McDougald. "We have nearly 75 songs to choose from." Prepare to be there awhile.