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The Schwag is a band dedicated to carrying on the music and the vibe of the legendary Grateful Dead. Founded in 1991 as a local St. Louis-based Dead tribute, the group began touring after the 1995 death of Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, and has played more than 2,000 shows in 18 states, with an average of 150 shows a year, and a working repertoire of 200 songs.
Besides bassist-vocalist Jimmy Tebeau, the group's members are Sean Allen Canan, guitar and vocals; Jack Kirkner, keys and vocals; and Dave Clark, on drums. Several Schwag members have extensive jazz training, and the band's live performances emphasize improvisation and spontaneity. Like the Dead, The Schwag operates without set lists. Its only rules are to avoid repeating songs from recent shows and to give high-energy performances that encourage dancing and good vibes. The Schwag is an established group that has attracted some prominent members of the jam-band community to sit in on their sets, including Merl Saunders, the late Johnny Johnson, Butch Trucks of the Allman Brothers, Mike Gordon of Phish, Fred Tackett of Little Feat, Vince Herman and Drew Emmit of Leftover Salmon; Bill Nershi, Michael Kang, Michael Travis, and Jason Hann of String Cheese Incident; Melvin Seals of JGB, Scott Law, Pete Sears, Chuck Berry, the late Vince Welnick, and many other great players.