Apr 232018
 
laura veirs mountains of the moon

“Mountains of the Moon” is an obscure song, even by the standards of the Grateful Dead who had a habit of turning deep album cuts into concert staples. The group originally recorded it for their third studio album Aoxomoxoa (the name nobody can pronounce). Written by Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter and Phil Lesh, the lyrics resemble a lost medieval ballad: “Cold mountain water/The jade merchant’s daughter/Mountains of the moon/ Bow and bend to me.” One can imagine Tyrion Lannister dancing to it on Game of Thrones. Continue reading »

Sep 282010
 

The word “pioneer” is tossed around far too often. So-and-so pioneered the post-industrial-folk genre. Some other guy pioneered the playing-guitar-like-violin technique. Heh? If anyone has earned the title though, it’s Jesse McReynolds. This 81-year old mandolin player has been performing bluegrass for decades. He’s won just about every award there is to win and is currently performing his 45th year in the Grand Ole Opry.

McReynolds still tours and still releases albums. His latest is titled simply Songs of the Grateful Dead: A Tribute to Jerry Garcia & Robert Hunter. It contains twelve Dead songs both famous and obscure, transformed into mandolin-picked bluegrass. David Nelson and Stu Allen, both veterans of Jerry Garcia’s non-Dead bands join in, but McReynolds has an even bigger card up his sleeve: Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, who wrote final track “Day By Day” with McReynolds. Continue reading »