Jake’s Leg has been in existence in the St. Louis area for 35 years now. Although different players have come and gone in the band, its musical spirit and intent has stayed intact.
It was started as a duo by guitarist and vocalist, Randy Furrer and Tim Fahy in the mid-1970’s. Lead guitarist, Dave Casper, joined soon after. Joe Trunko (bass and vocals) joined in 1990, and Bill Noltkamper (keyboards and vocals) joined in 1991. The newest member of the band is Ryan Wilhite on drums/percussion (joined in 2005).
Over the years, Jake’s Leg has played to thousands of people, cutting across age and lifestyle demographics. College kids have heard of them through word of mouth and live tapes that show up on Grateful Dead tape lists around the country. In addition, the bands name periodically pops up on the internet.
To say they copy the Dead would be a mistake. They tend to interpret the songs and try to put their own stamp on the music, spiritually and musically. For instance, Dave Casper’s lead solos pay homage to Jerry Garcia, but also Pat Metheny, Carlos Santana and Miles Davis. This hybrid of styles ends up working into the music, yet bears Casper’s style
Similar to the Dead’s approach, Jake’s Leg feeds off the energy of its audience, which is an integral part of the whole experience. This ongoing dialogue between the players in the band and their audience has been working for over 30 years, and shows no sign of slowing down as more and more people, both deadheads and non-deadheads, hear of the band. If people find this give and take between the band and its audience a bit bewildering, a quote from a Dead bumper sticker says it all... “If you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand”
Randy Furrer – Guitar/Vocals
Dave Casper – Lead Guitar
Joe Trunko – Bass/Vocals
Bill Noltkamper – Keys/Vocals
Ryan Wilhite – Drums/Percussion