The Grateful Dead – the iconic (nay, legendary) Palo Alto ensemble whose longevity, sheer number of live performances, eclectic and improvisational musical styles, as well as religious fanbase cemented them as one of the most influential and groundbreaking groups of rock and roll history – will be honored this May in an upcoming epic homage titled Day of the Dead.
As one of our own feature writers, Jordan Becker, so elegantly put in his In the Spotlight segment: “The Dead were not only a band; they typified a lifestyle that extended the hippie culture of the 1960s decades after most of the world turned it into a punchline.” Dubbed the “pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world,” their legacy lingers on, and with contributions from an overwhelming number of some of the music industry’s most respected names today, their music will be celebrated.
Day of the Dead is a massive, 59-track tribute to the Grateful Dead curated by the National‘s Aaron and Bryce Dessner. The album is set for release on May 20th, with all profits benefitting the Red Hot Organization – an international not-for-profit operation dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture.
On releasing the first five covers, the National’s Aaron Dessner, while excited to finally share the tracks, tweeted that “these 5 are just a sampling, not favorites or singles. Can’t wait for you to hear all 59 songs!!”
The tracks released (thus far):
- War On Drugs – ‘Touch of Grey‘
- Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis & Friends – ‘Sugaree‘
- Bruce Hornsby and DeYarmond Edison – ‘Black Muddy River‘
- Courtney Barnett – ‘New Speedway Boogie‘
- The National – ‘Morning Dew’
- Daniel Rossen, Christopher Bear & The National – ‘Terrapin Station (Suite)’
- Perfume Genius, Sharon van Etten & Friends – ‘To Lay Me Down’
- Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘Shakedown Street’
- Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Friends – ‘Rubin & Cherise”
- Charles Bradley & Menahan Street Band – ‘Cumberland Blues‘
- Jim James & Friends – ‘Candyman‘
Aside from the whopping 18 artists showcased, expect to hear from the likes of the Flaming Lips, Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon, Mumford and Sons, Wilco with Bob Weir – as well as dozens more. Excited? We here at Cover Me are delighted. Hear all the released songs in this playlist: