Listen to 4AD's "Day of the Dead" Grateful Dead Covers by Indie Rockers [YouTube Official Audio Playlist]

Francesco Marano

by Francesco Marano

Published March 24, 2016

On May 20, a Grateful Dead tribute compilation titled Day of the Dead will be released via 4AD Records. The 59-track set was curated by The National's Aaron & Bryce Dessner, and will include some of the hottest indie rock acts covering the timeless music of the Dead.

Above, you can listen to a playlist of full songs that serves as a preview of what will be included on the release. The first batch of five songs shared was an electro "Touch of Grey" by The War on Drugs, an upbeat "Sugaree" by Phosphorescent with Jenny Lewis & Friends, a mellow "Black Muddy River" by Grateful Dead keyboardist Bruce Hornsby with Justin Vernon and DeYarmond Edison of Bon Iver, a smokey version of "New Speedway Boogie" by Courtney Barnett, and a haunting "Morning Dew" by The National. This was followed by a "Terrapin Station" featuring members of The National and Grizzly Bear.

On April 27, an additional five songs were shared: a very mellow "Lay Me Down" by Pefume Genius with Sharon Van Etten & Friends, a funky "Shakedown Street" by Unknown Mortal Orchestra, a lovely version of Jerry Garcia Band's "Rubin And Cherise" by Bonnie 'Prince' Billy & Friends, a slow and gritty "Cumberland Blues" by Daptone recording artist Charles Bradley & Menahan Street Band, and an extra psychedelic version of "Candyman" by My Morning Jacket's Jim James & Friends. There were a lot of "friends" involved in the recording process, and you can get the full list of musicians credits in the YouTube description for each video. (Click on the song title or YouTube icon in the player to go to the page with more info about each song.)

Musician Will Oldham shared some thoughts with 4AD about the influence of the Grateful Dead's music on this project:

I have worked with a few people whose minds are brilliant and complicated, musically. There's something about the Dead that allows these big-brained pickers to just chill the fuck out and feel good about it. There's basic types of song forms and melodies that I have an affinity for, and the Grateful Dead have helped other people find their ways into these musics. So it isn't as hard to establish connections with folks out there that might not otherwise share some of what I am digging into.

Money collected from this release will go towards the Red Hot Organization, a non-profit that helps to fight AIDS/ HIV and other health related issues worldwide. Pre-orders will begin March 24, and will be available digitally, in a 3-CD set, and as a limited edition vinyl boxed set. Pick it up on Amazon.

Day of the Dead Tracklist

"Thunder" (Vol.1)
01. "Touch of Grey" - The War on Drugs
02. "Sugaree" - Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis & Friends
03. "Candyman" - Jim James & Friends
04. "Cassidy" - Moses Sumney, Jenny Lewis & Friends
05. "Black Muddy River" - Bruce Hornsby and DeYarmond Edison
06. "Loser" - Ed Droste, Binki Shapiro & Friends
07. "Peggy-O" - The National
08. "Box of Rain" - Kurt Vile and the Violators (featuring J Mascis)
09. "Rubin and Cherise" - Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Friends
10. "To Lay Me Down" - Perfume Genius, Sharon Van Etten & Friends
11. "New Speedway Boogie" - Courtney Barnett
12. "Friend of the Devil" - Mumford & Sons
13. "Uncle John’s Band" - Lucius
14. "Me and My Uncle" - The Lone Bellow & Friends
15. "Mountains of the Moon" - Lee Ranaldo, Lisa Hannigan & Friends
16. "Black Peter" - Anohni and yMusic
17. "Garcia Counterpoint" - Bryce Dessner
18. "Terrapin Station (Suite)" - Daniel Rossen, Christopher Bear and The National (featuring Josh Kaufman, Conrad Doucette, So Percussion and Brooklyn Youth Chorus)
19. "Attics of My Life" - Angel Olsen
20. "St. Stephen" (live) - Wilco with Bob Weir

"Lightning" (Vol. 2)
01. "If I Had the World to Give" - Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
02. "Standing on the Moon" - Phosphorescent & Friends
03. "Cumberland Blues" - Charles Bradley and Menahan Street Band
04. "Ship of Fools" - The Tallest Man On Earth & Friends
05. "Bird Song" - Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Friends
06. "Morning Dew" - The National
07. "Truckin’" - Marijuana Deathsquads
08. "Dark Star" - Cass McCombs, Joe Russo & Friends
09. "Nightfall of Diamonds" - Nightfall of Diamonds
10. "Transitive Refraction Axis for John Oswald" - Tim Hecker
11. "Going Down The Road Feelin' Bad" - Lucinda Williams & Friends
12. "Playing in the Band" - Tunde Adebimpe, Lee Ranaldo & Friends
13. "Stella Blue" - Local Natives
14. "Eyes of the World" - Tal National
15. "Help on the Way" - Bela Fleck
16. "Franklin’s Tower" - Orchestra Baobab
17. "Till the Morning Comes" - Luluc with Xylouris White
18. "Ripple" - The Walkmen
19. "Brokedown Palace" - Richard Reed Parry with Caroline Shaw and Little Scream (featuring Garth Hudson)

"Sunshine" (Vol. 3)
01. "Here Comes Sunshine" - Real Estate
02. "Shakedown Street" - Unknown Mortal Orchestra
03. "Brown-Eyed Women" - Hiss Golden Messenger
04. "Jack-A-Roe" - This Is the Kit
05. "High Time" - Daniel Rossen and Christopher Bear
06. "Dire Wolf" - The Lone Bellow & Friends
07. "Althea" - Winston Marshall, Kodiak Blue and Shura
08. "Clementine Jam" - Orchestra Baobab
09. "China Cat Sunflower" -> "I Know You Rider" - Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
10. "Easy Wind" - Bill Callahan
11. "Wharf Rat" - Ira Kaplan & Friends
12. "Estimated Prophet" - The Rileys
13. "Drums -> Space" - Man Forever, So Percussion and Oneida
14. "Cream Puff War" - Fucked Up
15. "Dark Star" - The Flaming Lips
16. "What’s Become of the Baby" - s t a r g a z e
17. "King Solomon’s Marbles"- Vijay Iyer
18. "Rosemary" - Mina Tindle & Friends
19. "And We Bid You Goodnight" - Sam Amidon
20. "I Know You Rider" (live) - The National with Bob Weir

For more information about the release, check out The latest music and news information about the Grateful Dead can be found by visiting their Zumic artist page.

Various artists Day of the Dead album cover art

Source: 4AD YouTube

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy Bruce Hornsby Courtney Barnett Grateful Dead Jenny Lewis Justin Vernon Phosphorescent Sharon Van Etten The National The War on Drugs Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Blues Rock Classic Rock Country Rock Jamband Psychedelic Rock
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