Band Spotlight – Grateful Dead

In Band Spotlight by Ben Jinks

I’ve listened to a lot of music in my time. During COVID lockdown Pt.2 I listened to over 280 albums spanning many genres, from the sultry tones of The Carpenters to the head pounding aggression of Cannibal Corpse (I don’t recommend their whole back catalogue in one sitting) but I did not expect that the golden fleece in this odyssey would be a band from Palo Alto, California.

The Grateful Dead are an experience, they are exciting, poetic, mellow, heavy, and joyous to listen to, they are the de facto Kings of the Jam band/ psychedelic world. They are known for their heavily improvised live concerts, while having 13 studio albums they were once known to be one of the biggest bootlegged bands out there, having each show recorded and shared amongst the ‘Dead Heads’, this has created an almost endless number of live albums, 10 official and over 71 retrospective albums from the collected material over the years. Each show, each album is unique, always interesting, and exciting. They are fronted by Jerry Garcia (whose name you may be familiar with as Cherry Garcia is a flavour from a famous ice-cream duo) and Bob Weir, who in my opinion should be as famous a duo as Lennon McCartney for their lyrical, melodic, and harmonic skills. I always find myself imagining myself listening to ‘The Dead’ while sitting in the sun taking in the ocean air. Who doesn’t want that feeling!? The Song ‘Ripple’ alone will put you at peace and have you generating philosophical thoughts, it’s my alarm wakeup song, but I digress.

For those jazz heads out there, you will enjoy the wild improvision that takes place amongst their live shows and albums. They did enjoy extrapolating from their root scale and enjoy tension and release check out – Help on the way / Slipknot!

For anyone interested in rock and roll in its truest form, then Grateful Dead may be the band for you. Give them a go and let us know what you think, perhaps even learn one of their songs?

Top 5 Songs to add to your playlists:

1. Ripple – American Beauty

2. Casey Jones – Workingman’s Dead

3. Touch of Grey – In the Dark

4. Hell in a Bucket – In the Dark

5. Uncle Johns Band – Workingman’s Dead