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The Grateful Dead Tribute On Mountain Stage

Brian Blauser/Composite by Alexis Palmer
Mountain Stage

May 14 is my "Deadiversary." It's the first time I saw the legendary group Grateful Dead. It was on that date in 1970 at what was then-called Meramec Community College, outside of St Louis. It wasn't until years later that I went back and found that show in the extensive Grateful Dead archive and checked out the set list. Funny enough, the band played two of the three songs in this set we put together from the Mountain Stage archives, "Attics of My Life" and "New Speedway Boogie." In fact, on the site I'm looking at, it says "First 'Attics,'" so it seems I was there the very first time that song was performed live. I'm sure any Dead enthusiast will dig these arrangements of popular Garcia/Hunter co-writes, but even if you don't know "Dark Star" from Star Wars, I think you'll enjoy them just as much.

In 2006, we did a show at West Virginia's famous Greenbrier Hotel & Resort, which was the first time we worked with the incredible vocalist Catherine Russell. You'll hear Cat and her band do a cool, stripped-down, jazzy version of "New Speedway Boogie."

Next comes Joan Osborne, who has performed with Grateful Dead-inspired spin-offs The Dead and Phil Lesh & Friends many times. She does a simple and powerful version of "Brokedown Palace" from Mountain Stage in 2015.

Finally, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, who are both veteran collaborators with Furthur and Phil Lesh & Friends, put their touch on "Attics of My Life," with a third harmony from Jeff Hill.

Get on the train, Casey.

Set List:

  • Catherine Russell, "New Speedway Boogie" (2006)
  • Joan Osborne, "Brokedown Palace" (2015)
  • Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, "Attics Of My Life" (2015)
  • Jeff Shirley contributed to the research of this article.

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Larry Groce
    Larry Groce has been host and artistic director of West Virginia Public Radio's Mountain Stage since its beginning in 1983. His taste and personality have helped set the tone of this long running radio and television series.