Nate Beltz - Guitar & Vocals
Nate Beltz is a composer, audio engineer and multi-instrumentalist working out of Mill Valley, California. He has an eclectic musical background that includes marching drum line, writing orchestral film scores, and playing in various bands as a guitarist and vocalist.
He is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music where he studied composition and writing interactive music for video games. Professionally, he splits his time between writing music for visual media and audio post production. He is also on staff at the Marin Community Music School as the principal percussion and music production instructor.
Adrian McCullough - Bass Guitar & Vocals
Adrian McCullough has been playing and writing music since he was 5 years old. He studied piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music and has been gigging on the electric bass for nearly 30 years. He grew up in a small town in Ontario, soaking up the music of The Band and other local legends of the roots music scene. In the ensuing years, his tastes and his experience have grown to encompass a range of styles, influences, and forms of musical expression. His greatest assets are his aptitude for sonic layering, his driving yet memorable bass lines, and his commitment to solid, undying grooves.
Adrian has carved out his own musical identity by fusing experimentation and sonic exploration with his deep love of jazz, funk and jam music. Since moving to the west coast, Adrian has recorded with renowned producers in some of San Francisco’s most iconic studios, contributing to several recording projects with an enviable roster of musicians. He has played at SXSW, Mission Creek Music Festival and Hardly Strictly Blue Grass festival, toured with Diego’s Umbrella, and recently concluded his 4th Noise Pop Festival appearance. Adrian has recorded and performed with many of the players from the Marin music scene, and appeared with such notables as Ramblin' Jack Elliot, The Chieftain's, members of Hank Snow’s Country Band, Lorin Rowan, and many others. Never one to look backwards, Adrian is always casting ahead for the next opportunity to make music.
Preston Barnes - Drums
Preston Barnes began drumming around the age of 11. Coming from a musical family in Alabama, Preston grew up around the South’s rich musical culture. Whether it was the blues, southern rock, r&b, gospel, or more improvisational rock music, Preston was able to hone his skills through a wide variety of musical influences.
As a self taught player, Preston found it increasingly important to expose himself to as many different drummers and genres as possible. This approach came naturally to him as both of his brothers and his father were all lifelong musicians. Each one of them would impart as much knowledge and influence as they could to the youngest in the family. It was around the age of 12 when Preston first began listening to the Grateful Dead. Immersing himself in the massive vault of Dead live shows, Preston came to embrace the unique drumming styles of the “Rhythm Devils”, Bill Kreutzman and Mickey Hart. Listening closely to their nuanced yet loose playing style became quite the hobby in his teenager years and beyond.
Preston’s previous drumming experience has taken him through the musical scenes of Montgomery, Charleston (South Carolina), South Korea, Nashville, and now Oakland as both a session and live drummer.
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 Troy Post Custom Wolf or Tiger Guitar through a Sarno SMS Classic JG pre-amp (Fender Blackface Twin Clone designed specifically for guitarists seeking "Jerry Tone"), a vintage McIntosh MC50 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.