Deadicated sounds like a parody of the recent wave of pop tribute albums. Here, musicians with backgrounds in country, punk, reggae, alternative rock, and folk, among other styles, remake the songs of the Grateful Dead, the least hip of all music icons since Lawrence Welk. What sounds embarrassing on paper, though, turns out to be a pleasant surprise. Unlike too many tribute records, this one isn’t self-consciously campy or ironic; the artists actually seem to enjoy singing and playing these loping tunes, both when the remakes sound austere and when they’re slightly goofy. There’s ”Casey Jones” as a barroom singalong from Warren Zevon and sideman David Lindley, ”Uncle John’s Band” as a campfire anthem via the Indigo Girls, and ”Truckin”’ turned into something like a truckstop jukebox favorite by Dwight Yoakam — not to mention Jane’s Addiction’s loopy psychedelic version of ”Ripple.” Other artists, like Cowboy Junkies and Midnight Oil, sound hapless, and Elvis Costello has unfortunately chosen the dull ”Ship of Fools.” Even in the album’s drabber moments, though, the musicians treat these songs with the care and respect normally given to revered pop standards. That makes Deadicated the guiltiest of pleasures — it gives you a peek into what some of the hippest of musicians really listened to during their formative teen years. B+

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