Jul 022010
 

Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.

I’ll be reporting on the new Nateva festival this weekend (follow @rayfp for updates). Furthur, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh’s latest group, headlines the jam fest, so a Grateful Dead cover seemed appropriate. This here’s one of the best.

Levon Helm, the voice behind the Band‘s “The Weight,” “Up on Cripple Creek,” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” has staged a remarkable comeback recently. After a decade battling throat cancer, he has released two terrific albums in the last couple years. His latest, Electric Dirt, kicks off with a swinging “Tennessee Jed.”

Perhaps appropriately for a Grateful Dead cover, it’s even better live, complete with horn section and ex-Bob Dylan axeman Larry Campbell. This performance on David Letterman kicks like a mule, despite a voice that is having a rough night (give him a break, the man’s got throat cancer!). Even Dave, who generally seems bemused by his musical guests, knows this is special. “If you’re not here tonight,” he says by way of introduction, “there’s something wrong with you.” Indeed.

Levon Helm – Tennessee Jed (Grateful Dead cover)


Check out more Levon Helm at his website.

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