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Help: Grateful Dead as folk music

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pdq 26 Aug 08 - 01:47 PM
PoppaGator 26 Aug 08 - 01:44 PM
C. Ham 26 Aug 08 - 01:41 PM
PoppaGator 26 Aug 08 - 01:22 PM
Wesley S 26 Aug 08 - 10:22 AM
Mark Ross 26 Aug 08 - 10:03 AM
pdq 26 Aug 08 - 05:20 AM
pasher 26 Aug 08 - 05:03 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 26 Aug 08 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,woodsie 26 Aug 08 - 04:02 AM
C. Ham 25 Aug 08 - 08:53 PM
PoppaGator 25 Aug 08 - 08:47 PM
C. Ham 25 Aug 08 - 08:22 PM
john f weldon 25 Aug 08 - 08:14 PM
GUEST,Easy Rider 25 Aug 08 - 07:59 PM
van lingle 04 Dec 04 - 11:18 AM
chris nightbird childs 04 Dec 04 - 03:04 AM
open mike 03 Dec 04 - 10:07 PM
Once Famous 03 Dec 04 - 09:53 PM
PoppaGator 03 Dec 04 - 09:17 PM
eltham man 03 Dec 04 - 12:41 PM
Lonesome EJ 27 Mar 01 - 10:25 PM
Rich(bodhránai gan ciall) 27 Feb 01 - 06:54 PM
The Dane 27 Feb 01 - 10:55 AM
Jim the Bart 27 Feb 01 - 09:54 AM
John Hardly 27 Feb 01 - 07:29 AM
KingBrilliant 27 Feb 01 - 06:17 AM
Rev 27 Feb 01 - 01:06 AM
Bill D 28 Nov 00 - 09:37 PM
GUEST,Rev 28 Nov 00 - 06:36 PM
Whistle Stop 28 Nov 00 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Winters Wages (At Work) 28 Nov 00 - 12:17 PM
lamarca 27 Nov 00 - 06:16 PM
Willie-O 27 Nov 00 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Russ 27 Nov 00 - 02:18 PM
Mike Regenstreif 27 Nov 00 - 01:31 PM
Dani 27 Nov 00 - 12:38 PM
Barbara 25 Nov 00 - 05:54 PM
Rev 25 Nov 00 - 04:06 PM
Anglo 25 Nov 00 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,winniemih 25 Nov 00 - 11:31 AM
pottygok 25 Nov 00 - 10:58 AM
Mountain Dog 25 Nov 00 - 09:27 AM
campfire 25 Nov 00 - 02:14 AM
SandyBob 24 Nov 00 - 11:46 PM
Barbara 24 Nov 00 - 09:32 PM
okthen 24 Nov 00 - 08:25 PM
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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: pdq
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 01:47 PM

When I first heard their "Brown Eyed Women" I assumed it was traditional, or at least an older Country song, maybe 1930s.

Their compositions don't always mesh perfectly with the "trad" ones, but they don't clash, either. "Jack-a-roe" comes from a Child ballad, considered "trad" but "Babe, It Ain't No Lie"is an original by Libby Cotton, "Standing On The Corner" by Jimmie Rodgers, "Louis Collins" by John Hurt. "It Hurts me Too" should be credited to Tampa Red (1930s or '40s), but I think they credit Elmore James for his re-write.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 01:44 PM

There have been several mentions of the GD favorite "I Know You Rider," a song with traditional origins that was taken up, rearranged, significantly improved (to my mind), and popularized as part of the 60s "Folk Scare" revival.

Anyone the least bit interested in this song should check out one of my very favorite Mudcat threads ever:

thread.cfm?threadid=40592#582121

(Ooops! This link brings up the middle of the thread, not the top. My mistake; please just scroll up ato sttart and then start reading down.)

If you're not prepared to read the whole thing ~ which I highly recommend ~ at least skip down to Bob Coltman's first appearance in the discussuion, and take it from there. The story unfolds as an absolutely wonderful saga of American folkmusic history.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: C. Ham
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 01:41 PM

I've heard Rosalie Sorrels tell a story about being in a folk festival workshop with Michael Cooney who was ranting on and on about how rock artists didn't have any good songs.

When it came her turn to sing a song, Rosalie sang "Ripple."

When Michael compelmented her on writing such a great song, she told him it was by the Grateful Dead.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 01:22 PM

Sorry about my mistake in chronology (re Europe '72 vs those two iconic studio albums). My bad!

Of course, mine was not the only such time-line confusion in this discussion ;^)

It's not surprising that one might mistake a Hunter/Garcia composition as a true traditional number ("Black Muddy River"). In any discussion of songwriters who truly write "in the tradition," those two ~ espcially lyricist Robert Hunter ~ absolutely must be recognized among the very greatest, as true masters.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Wesley S
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 10:22 AM

Deep Elem { as in the "deep" part of Elm Street } is still a part of the music scene in Dallas. Although you'll see a lot of piercings and tatoos there now. Robert Johnson did some of his original recordings there many years ago.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Mark Ross
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 10:03 AM

How many Deadheads does it take to change a light bulb?

None. They let it burn out and then follow it around for 25 years!

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: pdq
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 05:20 AM

If I may make a few corrections...

Both American Beauty and Workingman's Dead were released in 1970. The Dead did a warmup acoustic set before the regular live set at some shows that year. They returned to the acoustic warmup set a decade later in some 1980 concerts, from which "Babe, It Ain't No Lie" was taken, although that song was not included on the CD for time constraints. There was a 2 LP "Dead Set" and another 2 LP "Dead Reconing" both released after the 1980 live dates in 1981, the former is all electric, the latter is almost all acoustic (and great, BTW).

Euripe '72 was released in plenty of time for Christmas sales in 1972.

Norma Waterson does credit "Black Muddy River" to Garcia/Hunter, and since it first appears on "In The Dark" in 1987, the 1954 date above is not exactly possible. "In The Dark" is fine studio LP, something the Dead did very vew of.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: pasher
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 05:03 AM

The Demon Barber Roadshow at Shrewsbury - for their last number they asked if there were any GD fans in the audience. There was a moderate response (myself included) and they did 'Friend of the Devil' which sequed (sp?) into a couple of reels at which point their cloggers came on. I bet the DeadHeads would find that pretty surreal ;-)
I've got it all videoed and will post it somewhere tonight.
Pa


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 04:08 AM

Black Muddy River - The definitive 1954 folk version, by Norma Waterson

Cries of "Judas!" are heard amongst the audience as images of The Grateful Dead fill the marquee...

YAY!!

Sock it to 'em Norma!   :0)

I have this on my Myspace page, because....I love it!


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 04:02 AM

Yes I bought Workingman's Dead in London in 1970 and American Beaty shortly afterwards. Europe 72 from the very title implies that it was released later unless you go shopping in the TARDIS!!!


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: C. Ham
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 08:53 PM

I just checked both Amazon.com and the official Grateful Dead site at dead.net and they both list both American Beauty and Workigman's Dead as having come out in 1970. Europe '72 came later.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 08:47 PM

Workingman's Dead and then American Beauty both came out after the live album Europe '72, so it's safe to say they date back no further back than '73/74/75.

Deep Elem is, or at least was, in Dallas.

Besides the Bear's Choice album, Libba Cotten's "All Around This World," "Deep Hollow," and a few other such folksongs also appear on the regularly-released double-album called (I think) Dead Set, which included one all-acoustic LP and one all-electric, both recorded live during a tour when they opened every date with an acoustic set.

Well, the two guitars, at least, were truly acoustic, the electric bass was turned down fairly quiet and distortion-free, and the drums were played with brushes. I'm not sure if they trucked an acoustic piano around with them ~ the keyboard might have been moderately electric, too, like the bass.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: C. Ham
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 08:22 PM

John,

Can't say that I recall such a concert. Then again, I was only 15 in '67. I got into the Dead via their Workingman's Dead and American Beauty albums which I think were a couple or three years later.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: john f weldon
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 08:14 PM

In 67 there was a free concert on the Plaza of Place Ville Marie by this odd new group. Amazing early folk-rock. (Ham, am I just hallucinating this too?)


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: GUEST,Easy Rider
Date: 25 Aug 08 - 07:59 PM

I think it's safe to say, that the Grateful Dead introduced a lot of Rock fans to the music's Country, Folk and Blues roots. There is even a CD called "The Roots of the Grateful Dead", which contains some of the original source material.

"Deep Elem Blues" comes immediately to mind. It was first recorded in the 1930s, as a Country tune, but it was also a Blues. Elem St. was the Red Light District in Dallas, Texas, or was it Houston?

I, being originally into Folk music, until I heard the Dead, in 1968, actually went and looked up quite a few of the original recordings.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: van lingle
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 11:18 AM

I used to play and sing Easy Wind in a blues band I was in. The guys were hardcore blues freaks so I never mentioned it was a GD song.
The Dead put out a live album long ago when they started playing acoustic sets called "Bears' Choice" which included "I've Been All Around this World" and "Dark Hollow". vl


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 04 Dec 04 - 03:04 AM

A lot of their early 70's records (Workingmans Dead, American Beauty, etc.) could be considered Folk/Rock. I don't know a lot about the band, but I know that Jerry in particular started as a folk and bluegrass musician, so THAT influence was bound to pop up somewhere along the way...


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: open mike
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 10:07 PM

jerry stared out as traditional music maker on banjo..
i once asked a musician friend if he lked the grateful dead
and he replied "I don;'t care for country music"
Ithink many of their tunes and medlodies have roots
in old time music..


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Once Famous
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 09:53 PM

I have often performed "Rider" (I know you rider gonna miss me when I'm gone) which was a Dead concert staple


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: PoppaGator
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 09:17 PM

Nice to read through this old thread. As someone who spent many more years of his life as a Deadhead than as a folkie, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one here to enjoy the Dead.

Of course, Jerry, Bobby and Pigpen were hard-core folk enthusiasts long before they encountered LSD and took up rock, and the band as a whole, of course, evolved from a jug band.

A few factual notes on "side projects" that weren't clear in the above messages:

The New Riders of the Purple Sage were a country-rock band that featured Jerry Garcia on pedal steel guitar. The rest of the band were contemporaries/peers of the members of the GD (i.e., "California hippies," more or less). The New Riders functioned as the Dead's opening act for a couple of years in the early 70s. This meant, of course, that concertgoers got a *lot* of Jerry for the price of admission -- an hour or so sitting at the pedal steel, and then a few more hours standing up and playing the regular electric guitar with the Dead.

Old and In The Way was a bluegrass project featuring Jerry on banjo (his first instrument, if I'm not mistaken), David Grisman on mandolin (who later recorded some great acoustic duets with Jerry during his last years), and Vasser Clements on fiddle (an older-generation non-hippie-type country player). I'm not sure about the others, but I think the bass player might have been John Kahn (who played with Jerry in a couple of other projects), and the guitar might have been Peter Rowan, who may or may not have also been a New Rider. Sorry about the memory lapse.

Old and In The Way existed for only a few months, and released their one album a couple of years after they had broken up.

Jerry made a couple of albums with a Bay Area organist named Merl Saunders. Great rock/soul music. I think John Kahn was the bass player on that project too.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: eltham man
Date: 03 Dec 04 - 12:41 PM

The first time that I got the courage to sing at our local folk club it was "Brown Eyed Women" that I chose. Since then I've sang Casey Jones, Ripple, Friend Of The Devil, Deal, Sugaree and many more. Lot's of the old folkies think they are traditional folk songs and could not have been penned by those long haired heavy metal drug crazed hippies The Grateful Dead!!!


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 27 Mar 01 - 10:25 PM

Came across this on a Dead homepage...

The Folk Tradition Songs based directly or indirectly on folk songs.

Lady With A Fan This portion of Terrapin Station is based on a traditional folk song called Lady Of Carslile. The Hunter re-write, while a new version, follows the original story quite closely. The lady, in order to decide between a soldier and a sailor, throws her fan into the lion's den. The one who retrieves her fan wins her as his prize. In traditional versions the ending sometimes varies, even to the point where the victor scorns the woman. Hunter leaves it to us to decide what we think of the outcome.

Staggerlee This Hunter song (actually entitled Delia DeLyon and Staggerlee) is a continuation of a traditional song called Stack O'Lee or Stagolee (there are many different spellings of the name). The traditional songs describe Staggerlee as a very bad man who shoots Billy Lyons (or Billy DeLyons) because he loses his Stetson hat to Billy in a crap game. The Hunter song shows Delia DeLyon (presumably Billy's wife) getting her revenge on Staggerlee.

Casey Jones The Hunter song uses the character of Casey Jones but little else from the traditional versions. Hunter uses Casey Jones and his impending fate to send a warning signal about drug use and other excesses, although this has not stopped the song from being banned from radio as a "drug" song. The Dead have played both the traditional version and the Hunter penned original.

Dupree's Diamond Blues This song is based on a folk song called Betty and Dupree that was based on an actual jewelry store robbery in Atlanta in the 1920s. A security guard (or a policeman) is killed in the robbery attempt and Dupree is given the death sentence. Again the Dead have played both the traditional version and the Hunter original.

Some Other Folk References

Deal Inspired by an old time country song entitled Don't Let Your Deal Go Down recorded in the 1920s by the likes of Fiddlin' John Carson and Charlie Poole and The North Carolina Ramblers. Later recorded by Flatt & Scruggs, New Lost City Ramblers and Doc Watson.

Candyman Another in a long line of boastful songs with this title. Recorded by Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis and a host of others.

Sugaree I have a theory, as yet unproven, that the Hunter version was inspired by Shake Sugaree and Freight Train, both of which were written by Elizabeth Cotten. Shake Sugaree providing the primary noun and verb for the chorus and Freight Train the "Don't Tell..." concept. Then again I could be all wet.

Fire On The Mountain Popular old time fiddle instrumental, might have been the inspiration for the title.

Cumberland Blues This one might be a stretch, but I've always felt that the attempt here was to write a song that sounded like an old time country song that you might hear on an old scratchy 78 from the 1920s. Legend has it that a measure of success was achieved when, upon hearing the Dead perform this song, someone wondered what the old fellow who wrote it would think about these long haired hippies singing it. You decide.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Rich(bodhránai gan ciall)
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 06:54 PM

In a way, the Dead have been a gateway to folk music for a lot of people(myself included). Their combination of different folk styles (albeit amplified and with a LOT of liberties taken). A lot of their material can be simplified (or made more complex) and fit into a traditional format. I don't think any of them were the quintessentiall masters of their instruments, but they were all competent and they played together in such a way that the end result was really something to hear. Imagine my surprise later, when I heard those old tapes with gravel-throated country bluesmen singing "Don't ease me in" or even a recording of Desi Arnez (Ricky Ricardo on I Love Lucy) playing "Women are Smarter".

I've always thought Slipknot would work nicely leading into or out of a set of reels. Or Fire on the Mountain played out of a slide?
We could have a similar argument about whether the Allman Bros. Band can legitimately be called Blues. I'd say so, but there would be someone on a back porch in Mississippi or in a smoky bar in Chicago or at a house party in the Piedmont who would argue vehemently to the contrary.

In a similar manner during a conversation about Irish music, I made a statement that , barring Matt Molloy, the Chieftains really aren't anything special compared to what's out there. My friend replied "Agreed, but would you have ever heard of Arcady, Sliabh Notes, Altan, or any of the music you're listening to now, if you hadn't heard the Chieftains first?"

I'm gonna end now because I feel this turning into another "What is Folk Music" thread, but I'd have to vote yes, the Dead's music can be called folk.

Rich


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: The Dane
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 10:55 AM

I regularly play "I know you, rider" in song circles. It is very popular, as people tend to pick up the lyrics very fast.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 09:54 AM

I hope you don't mind a late contribution.

Over the past couple of years I have played on and off with some youngsters (early twenties) who are heavily into the Dead. Sometime we were booked under the name "The All Night Radio Show". The group centers around a very talented lady who plays bass guitar, Regina Gilbert. I would drop in to sing lead and harmony and play rhythm guitar. The rest of the ensemble was always "fluid" - guitarists, fiddle/mandolin, keys, drums - whoever could be rounded up. The club that hosted these Friday night sessions is the Town Hall Pub, on North Halsted.

When we started looking for material that we knew in common, I picked some old country, folk, and rock'n'roll standards in their book, many of which I'd done at plenty o'jams over the years. When we started playing them, though, I became accutely aware that they didn't play them like everyone else. There were phrasing differences and rhythmic devices that altered the song considerably. When I pointed a few of these out, I was assured that they were playing things exactly right.

With songs like like "Catfish John" or "Mama Tried" (both country standards, the first by Johnny Russell and the second by Merle Haggard), I knew they were mistaken, but I only figured out why when we kicked back to listen to some stuff over some wine one evening. Turns out, they had learned all the trad stuff from Dead recordings. They were adamant about doing the songs "authentically", but didn't realize that their source material had taken a lot of liberty with the material.

I like the Dead (even though their singins is weak). Their ensemble playing - the ability to hide their individual weaknesses within the context of the group and come up with some really appealing music is a lesson to us all. I always thought it was interesting that they are the patron saints of the jam bands; their jams are extremely dull (unless you're rippled) and the best part of their work is their songs.

As carriers of the folk tradition I have a problem with their audience, more than with them. If their admirers aren't willing to go past the Dead to their source material, they will miss a lot in the old songs. In a way, this does a great disservice to the original music. IMHO


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: John Hardly
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 07:29 AM

I've never figured out how to properly do a link here but this forum has as a moderator, one of the fellows who did the "Wake The Dead" cd here-

http://www.acousticguitar.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000159.html

Also a great discussion on influence on playing here-

http://www.acousticguitar.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000278.html


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 06:17 AM

I've sung Last Rose of Summer a couple of times after hearing it on the Norma Waterson CD. Keep meaning to seek out more Grateful Dead stuff on the strength of that song, but then I keep meaning to do a lot of things....

Kris


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Rev
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 01:06 AM

I just wanted to refresh this thread to see if anyone had anything else to contribute on the topic.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Bill D
Date: 28 Nov 00 - 09:37 PM

obviously, The 'Dead' tend more toward folk than many bands...and they obviously KNOW something of folk. To me, their stuff will ease into BEING folk when lots of people learn their stuff without knowing its origin...I can't say I have heard any of their songs at our song circles....but *grin*...what would I know?


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: GUEST,Rev
Date: 28 Nov 00 - 06:36 PM

Hi,

It looks like this thread might fall off the list soon, so I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for your input. I will use some of your comments in a paper that I'll be presenting in March at the Southwest Popular Culture Association conference, in Albuquerque, NM. My paper is tentatively titled "Listen to the River: The Grateful Dead in the Continuum of American Folk Music." Does that sound too pretentious? Anyway, thanks again for all the input. Rev P.S. I'm writing froma computer at school which is why I'm listed as a "Guest," so don't panic chanteyranger!


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 28 Nov 00 - 01:01 PM

The Grateful Dead is America's premier folk/rock band? I'll agree that they have come up with some nice songs, but it's too bad these guys can't play worth a damn.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: GUEST,Winters Wages (At Work)
Date: 28 Nov 00 - 12:17 PM

Rev: The group I sometimes play music with does Fire On The Mountain (you know that group! Gulp!) Also do Friend Of The Devil and Ripple as well as the variations Mountain Dog (Hi) mentioned. Take care and regards from Hyde Street. Winters Wages


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: lamarca
Date: 27 Nov 00 - 06:16 PM

In a conversation awhile back (maybe it was here on Mudcat?), I asked some friends the question

"English folk music has Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span (among others) doing folk-rock arrangements of traditional and trad. sounding songs. Who in America is/was doing the same for Anglo-American folk music?" (as opposed to blues, zydeco and a zillion other traditional American music forms that have been rockified quite frequently - I wanted folk-rock American ballads)

Someone made the very respectable argument that The Grateful Dead were America's premier folk-rock band; I had to agree!


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Willie-O
Date: 27 Nov 00 - 05:24 PM

Where did I just hear about this...there's a legit release, finally, called "The Pizza Tapes", of a home recording that Garcia, Grisman and Rice did for fun. It's called that because it got out as a bootleg when a guy delivering a pizza spotted the tape and swiped it off Garcia's kitchen counter!

I want one all dressed!

W-O


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 27 Nov 00 - 02:18 PM

Regularly do "Wind and Rain." But I learned it from a Jody Stecher LP and didn't know it had any connection with the Dead until Jody told me that he was receiving royalties because Jerry had used his arrangement.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Mike Regenstreif
Date: 27 Nov 00 - 01:31 PM

25+ years ago at a folk festival workshop, it was probably Mariposa, Michael Cooney did a rant about how bad rock music was and about how rock musicians couldn't write songs that compare with old songs.

Rosalie Sorrels was seated next to Michael and did a song right after the rant. He turned to her and said something to the effect of, "What a beautiful song, I've never heard it before. Where did you find it?"

Rosalie responded, "It's called 'Ripple' and it's by the Grateful Dead."

BTW, "Uncle John's Band" is a tribute to the New Lost City Ramblers. Uncle John is John Cohen.

Mike Regenstreif


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Dani
Date: 27 Nov 00 - 12:38 PM

Ironically, since I live near her hometown, I had never heard of Elizabeth Cotten until I heard Jerry Garcia sing "Oh Baby It Ain't No Lie". I was introduced to TONS of great trad songs I would not otherwise have come across by listening to Jerry's acoustic off-Dead stuff and especially his Not For Kids Only with David Grisman. It's a must for anyone with kids.

And I'm sure I'm not the only Dead fan to have thought, growing up, that their music was channelled through them from a deeper place in the universe.

Dani


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Barbara
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 05:54 PM

I don't see New Riders of The Purple Sage on that list, Rev. Are you familiar with them? Country sound, includes Garcia and Hunter and some other non-Dead folks. If you seriously need to know, I can go in the house and pull out the album.
Oh,yea, and I've heard "Truckin'" done in folk circles.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Rev
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 04:06 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone! I'm pretty familiar with the Dead's non-Dead folky stuff: the albums Garcia made with David Grisman are all excellent. I got to see them play a couple of times at the Warfield theater in SF, they should release a live recording of one of those show, it was great! And the Dead have officially released a CD of their jug band incarnation "Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions" which is also lots of fun. They cover wierd old tunes like "Boodle Am Shake," "Beedle Um Bum," "Cocaine Habit Blues" (sadly appropriate), and "In the Jailhouse Now." I highly recommend it.

The songs that are turning up from this survey are generally the ones that I was suspecting would turn up, with the possible exception of Catfish John. I think that several of you make very good points that A) often Dead songs have decptively tricky chord progressions. The songs sound easy, but once you get in there it can be hard to find the right chord. and B) the rhythmic complexity of the Dead's music is hard to replicate with a single acoustic guitar.

What about the Dead's songs "Fire on the Mountain," or "Franklin's Tower" (that's the one with the chorus "Roll away the dew..."). Has anyone heard either of those tunes at folk circles?


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Anglo
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 01:09 PM

Fred Sokolow has recently done a video called something like "The Music of The Grateful Dead arranged for Fingerstyle Guitar," released by Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop. There's a review in the current issue of Dirty Linen. It will also be released in a CD version, with a regular-sized tab book rather than the tiny print video-size.

He covers Ripple, Alabama Getaway, Friend of the Devil, Truckin', Dire Wolf, Touch of Grey, Uncle John's Band, Deal, & Sugar Magnolia.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: GUEST,winniemih
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 11:31 AM

I forgot about hearing "Catfish John" done at a bluegrass jam.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: pottygok
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 10:58 AM

I don't know if this would help you at all, but have you considered Dead side projects, or pre-Dead Dead?

Jerry did albums with David Grisman and sometimes Tony Rice, then the stuff by Old and In The Way.

Mickey Hart did a bunch of percussion side projects, like Planet Drum and Mystery Box.

Bob Weir's got Ratdog, which is sort of folky. (Maybe more blues or jazz, but that's just semantics, right?)

Also, Robert Hunter has some stuff out there with The Rum Runners that you might want to check out.

As for pre-Dead stuff, I'm sure you can find bootlegs of the Warlocks, or even Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions on any decent Dead boot trade site. Both of these are even more folky than the dead, though the warlocks do jump out into some bizarre psychedelia now and then.

As for songs covered in folk circles, I'd have to go with Uncle John's Band and Sugar Magnolia. St. Stephan's also pretty popular, and probably Ramble On Rose, as well, if you can find someone who knows the chords.

Anyway, I hope this helps, and I hope I not repeating any information that you already have. As for the Dead becoming "traditional," I think a bunch of people would consider them under that heading already.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 09:27 AM

Dear Barbara,

The song you mentioned with the line "drivin' that train" is Casey Jones from Workingman's Dead, c. 1970. Dire Wolf is from the same album.

Jerry Garcia and lyricist Robert Hunter were, in particular, fans of "that high, lonesome sound" that runs through the folk music of the deep south and the influence of that music - and its precedents - show up frequently in tunes the two wrote, singly and as a team.


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: campfire
Date: 25 Nov 00 - 02:14 AM

There's a guy that performs at our open mic/song circle that does a lot of Dead and/or Garcia, solo on acoustic guitar. Sometimes with a harmonica player, usually not.

I stick to the simple stuff - Ripple, Box of Rain, Friend of the Devil. Would do Attics of My Life if I were a little more talented - its my favorite Dead song.

campfire


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: SandyBob
Date: 24 Nov 00 - 11:46 PM

fyi...I just heard a few tracks by an album of Grateful Dead music done by the Persuasions. It was pretty hot a capella doo-wop renditions of Ripple, etc. That is certainly the folk-process...


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Barbara
Date: 24 Nov 00 - 09:32 PM

I still do Ripple in songcircles, and I have heard performed in folk gatherings:
Friend of the Devil
Sugar Magnolia
Uncle John's Band
Riding that Train (is this the one called 'Dire Wolf'?)

Do you count things like "Somebody Robbed the Glendale Train" by New Riders of the Purple Sage? I've heard that one around quite a bit.

Rev, a friend with much better time sense than me tells me that most of us slaughter the Dead's wonderful complex rhythms. Perhaps that's the problem why more aren't popular.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: okthen
Date: 24 Nov 00 - 08:25 PM

I was into traditional english folk music before i heard the dead but i tell you , they are some band, and then some.

was lucky enough to see them twice in UK

the spin off albums, "Old and in the way","Shady grove" and too many to mention (or remember)

There is a UK band called "the cosmic charlies" which do an excellent set I'm told.

I respect their music, and their attitude.

My wife wants "Ripple" at her funeral, I'll settle for "alabama getaway"(beats lyke wake dirge, mind you so does "congratulations")

cheers

bill


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: Willie-O
Date: 24 Nov 00 - 06:55 PM

Friend of the Devil. But my real personal favourite, a comfort song that I want people to hear at my funeral, is "Box of Rain". Nobody seems to play it anymore.

There are a lot of folkloric roots in Robert Hunter's lyrics, as evident in songs like "Dire Wolf", "Cumberland Blues" and "Black Peter". (Guess what my favourite Dead album is.) They're a little too literary to be easily swallowed as folksongs, and the boys put relatively sophisticated musical structures around most of them. I think some of these songs are sleepers, though, which will be discovered by musicians of the future.

Willie-O


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: GUEST,winniemih
Date: 24 Nov 00 - 06:37 PM

I've contributed "Ripple" at a few folk/rock type songcircles and have found that people knew and enjoyed this tune. This has always been my favorite Dead song- indeed, one of the few I know(never was a deadhead although I saw them years ago in concert when they played a gig that had Jimmy Cliff and Robert Cray).


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Subject: RE: Help: Grateful Dead as folk music
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Nov 00 - 05:48 PM

Have you heard of "The Ungrateful Dead?" Pretty big group and they probably have some fantastic jam sessions.

Sorry Rev.......Tell Peter (chanteyranger) you already had a bad run-in with Spaw! Now go on with your discussion and have a good time.......and Welcome to the 'Cat!

Spaw


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