Hear Grateful Dead covers by The National, Courtney Barnett, and more
Last week, the record label 4AD announced the release date and tracklist for the National’s long-gestating Grateful Dead tribute album. Out May 20, proceeds from the 59-track Day of the Dead will benefit HIV/AIDS relief organization Red Hot. The collection features contributions from the likes of Mumford & Sons, Wilco, Lucinda Williams, The Flaming Lips, and many more.
While the album won’t see a full release for nearly two more months, 4AD shared a handful of covers from the collection Thursday. And they’re some of the buzziest from Day of the Dead: the National’s take on “Morning Dew”; Courtney Barnett’s rendition of the Altamont-honoring “New Speedway Boogie”; the War on Drugs’ version of late-career hit “Touch of Grey”; Phosphorescent and Jenny Lewis’ jam on the Jerry Garcia classic “Sugaree”; and the collaboration between onetime Dead pianist Bruce Hornsby and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon on “Black Muddy River.”
Brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the National produced the compilation and comprised its house band along with fellow National siblings Scott and Bryan Devendorf, Josh Kaufman, Conrad Doucette, Sam Cohen, and the Walkmen’s Walter Martin.
Check out the covers below and brush up on the Dead with EW’s eight essential albums.