The National, Grizzly Bear Members Team Up on Sprawling Grateful Dead Cover
On May 20, the National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner will release their massive, six-hour Grateful Dead tribute album Day of the Dead, and today (April 11), the brothers have shared their collaboration for the venture.
The Dessners and their National bandmate Scott Devendorf joined forces with Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen and Christopher Bear for a cover of the Grateful Dead’s multi-part, prog-rock epic “Terrapin Station” from the 1977 album of the same name. For the ambitious undertaking, they also enlisted guitarist-keyboardist Josh Kaufman, drummer Conrad Doucette, the New York City-based So Percussion quartet, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and an orchestra directed by Bryce Dessner. Take a listen to the nearly 17-minute resulting song at the top of the page and then compare it to the original below.
Day of the Dead compiles another 58 covers in addition to “Terrapin Station.” That includes contributions from the Flaming Lips, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Mumford and Sons, Wilco, Jenny Lewis and many, many more. Several covers from the National, Courtney Barnett and the War on Drugs have already surfaced. You can pre-order the album right here; a portion of the proceeds benefit the Red Hot Organization.
A number of the contributing artists -- including Bon Iver, Phosphorescent’s Matthew Houck, Bonnie ‘Prince' Billy and others -- will come together to perform songs from the tribute compilation at Aaron Dessner’s Eaux Claires Festival in Wisconsin. That will take place from Aug. 12-13.