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History of the Almanac

The story of The Raven’s Reels Almanac was set in motion long, long ago. A lot of how it started, we don’t even know yet. What we do know, is the day we became aware there was a story being told and that we were the main characters in it. That day was January 5, 2016 at 1:42pm, with one word forever ingrained as the genesis of consciousness: Wichita.

One of the founders, Brian, runs an eBay store selling rare Grateful Dead cd’s, memorabilia and more. It was that day that intrepid explorer Chuck was browsing for Dave’s Picks 11 and kept coming back to one particular listing. It wasn’t the least expensive listing, nor the most expensive, but it caught his eye. So he bought it. Then something made him reach out via email. Chuck was in the midst of a battle that would knock the hell out of a lesser man. He just wanted to say hey, and say the music was going to get him through the fight. Brian caught the spark and emailed back that the disc was on the way, and a huge box of other stuff to accompany the purchase. 

Well, let’s make a long story short here, ok? These guys became fast friends. Brothers in fact? Cosmic connections indeed! Closer than close, and with a connection that shocks the hell out of even themselves on a daily basis, but at the heart, these guys bonded over the music, starting with Wichita. If you want to hear this story in Chuck’s words, check out his appearance on the Strangers Stopping Strangers podcast.

A few months pass. Brian has some friends deep inside the world of the Grateful Dead… and he learns that the CRB is heading to Jackson, MS on 6/5/16 and going to be near Chuck… if only Chuck can make it to the show. So Brian tries to work up a surprise for Chuck, a few phone calls bounce around and some of Brian’s contacts call some CRB contacts, who call the CRB and get in touch and after all the talk they say they’re cool with meeting Chuck. Chuck meets up with the band before the show, and the friendship spreads and grows deeper. Chuck connects with Raven from the CRB and Raven’s Reels, Alan Forbes and more over the coming months and the ties that bind become stronger all around.

Brian and Chuck keep up their incessant back and forth conversations, and continued their conspiring and devious planning, as the Grateful Dead’s DeadBase 50 was released…with talks of creating a CRB related DeadBase of sorts: Something to address every CRB show and offshoot in a searchable database. The genesis of the site begins on Facebook with the Raven’s Reels Almanac posting reviews of CRB shows, and linking into Twitter. The journey into the evermore took a while to get started in full force, but the energy of the universe drives Brian and Chuck, and eventually Brian loops in co-worker Billy with his incredible database programmer skills and knack for quietly and understatedly creating magic. With several strokes of the keys later, the Almanac is born unto the limitless universe and here today for you to enjoy and spread the love of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.

It all started long long ago, but not so far away. But it all took off from Wichita and it’s never goin’ back!

Brian, Chuck, and Neal Casal


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