Welcome aboard! ...A band with two people... not unheard of, it happens occasionally. Personally as a Dead tribute band, I would call it more of a foundation, really. A good Dead-like band needs a lot of people, who all function musically well together. Wish I could join ya - I'm on the East Coast. It's only a little commute to you guys.
Jerry started off with bluegrass too - on a banjo though. He actually played acoustic with Jorma Kaukonen when he was young. Always found that interesting, and while plenty of us know about him on banjo, not everyone knows that about Jorma. You just got smarter because of the forum! It happens a lot - trust me. It's a cool place, even for lurking.
By the way, clean and sober all my life! (and in highschool... does that count?) That's the thing about the Dead - you don't need the high, the music is the trip
By the way, the strat you mentioned... is it an alligator type thing? And regardless of what it is... we want pics! What kind of amp are you using? Any effects?