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Dr Blues CD reviews- Songs of the Grateful Dead-Jesse McReynolds and Friends

2/19/10

Country, bluegrass legend Jesse McReynolds returns a favor covering Hunter and Garcia work with a deep respect and authenticity. The return is based on Jerry’s bluegrass past and most especially for Jerry’s almost fanatic appreciation of the music Jim & Jesse McReynolds made in the early 60s.

Jesse first had to acquaint himself with the GD oeuvre and select 12 songs and that’s no easy task. That part completed, David Nelson and Stu Allen lend a hand and you even get a new Hunter composition written with McReynolds so the circle has gone unbroken. Jerry loved bluegrass and bluegrass legend Jesse to the extent that he stopped on a cross country drive to watch the Grand Ol’ Opry TV show in a Dothan, AL motel room and record the McReynolds Brothers on his trusty Wollensak reel-to-reel. Now Jesse pours it back.

Recorded on Professor Louie’s Woodstock label, high lonesome and Garcia/Hunter merge as if always together. Jesse’s nasal country twang and traditional phrasing expose a different side of these Dead classics, joining the San Francisco spaciness and psychedelic inspired themes of the works, taking the hills of Marin to the hollers of central Tennessee. Jesse wails on mandolin, Nelson (NRPS) and Stu Allen (JGB)) provide the electric 6, Tommy White the pedal steel and the rest is pure solid crystalline Dead nirvana with “Ripple”, “Deal”, “Deep Elem Blues”, “Franklin’s Tower” and the new “Day By Day” ringing out majestically and the mythos transcends! Sublime. 9 snaves






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