Mike Kennedy - Lead Guitar & Vocals
Mike Kennedy grew up on Long Island in East Norwich, NY and started playing guitar at the age of 13, right around the time he saw his first Dead show at Nassau Coliseum in 1979. After 20+ years of living in NYC (and many Dead shows later), he moved with his wife and three kids to Marin County, California in 2012. For most of his career, he has worked in Financial Services.
After composing and recording his well-reviewed original music for an indie rock solo album "All The Pretty Things" in 2014, Mike set a course to fulfill a life-long dream of studying and playing the style of Jerry Garcia in order to start Bluelight Cheap Hotel and help continue sharing the timeless music of the Grateful Dead with fellow fans in Marin and the Bay Area.
Mike typically plays a custom Phiga Tiger Guitar through a Sarno SMS Classic JG pre-amp, vintage McIntosh power amp and one or more vintage JBL K-120 speakers, faithfully recreating the signature tones that Garcia created from the mid-70s through late 80s.
Erica Jeski - Vocals
Acclaimed for her “strong, delicious voice”, Mezzo-Soprano Erica Jeski was born and raised in West Hartford, CT and graduated from Hartt School of Music in 2013 with a Bachelor's in Vocal Performance. Despite studying Classical Music/Opera in College, Erica currently sings with various Rock bands both in the Bay Area and throughout the country (Terrapin Flyer, Doobie Decibel System, Stu Allen and Mars Hotel, Cubensis, Scott Guberman and Friends, and Matt Hartle and Friends).
Erica's Musical journey truly began at age 5, when she began singing in her Father's Band, called 'The John Jeski Band'; Joining her Dad on Accordion and Vocals, Mom on Bass Guitar and Vocals, sister on Flute and Vocals, cousin on Drums, and two talented players on Saxophone/Clarinet and Guitar, Erica quickly discovered the joys and terrors of performing for an audience. She played Trumpet professionally with the Band from age 11-16, and is grateful that "playin' in the band' is thoroughly integrated into her subconscious.
Vocals became the focus after High School, but the skills unique to instrumentalists continue to influence Erica's approach to singing. Collegiate studies in a Classical Conservatory program centered around Operatic Performance, and during her Junior year, Erica played Siebel in Connecticut Concert Opera's production of Gounod's "Faust".
Post-graduation, Erica has had the pleasure of playing Hansel for the second time with Metro West Opera (Boston, MA), joining New York Opera Exchange for their 2015 production of "Lucia di Lammermoor" as Aliza, and fostering a relationship with Boulder Opera for Bizet's "Carmen" (2016, covering the role of Carmen) and for Mozart's "Cosi fan Tutte" (2018, covering the role of Dorabella).
Throughout her musical studies, Erica has fostered both a personal and professional passion for the Grateful Dead, and contemporary Rock Music in general. As a long-time fan, she particularly enjoys singing Donna's parts, and has sung with various Grateful Dead Cover Bands throughout the country. She has also delved into the realms of Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Jam, Funk, and looks forward to continued exploration of all genres in a full-Band setting.