View Full Version : Jesse McReynolds' Grateful Dead Tribute CD

Aug-26-2010, 9:30am
Awesome! Been waiting on this one ever since I saw him play Black Muddy River at the Station Inn a couple years ago. Great looking track list, and a new song co-written with Robert Hunter.


Aug-26-2010, 11:50am
I picked this up when Jesse played at the Philadelphia Folk Festival last weekend. I haven't had a chance to listen to it as my wife hasn't taken it out of her car.

Here's a photo I got of Jesse practicing before the evening's concert.


Aug-26-2010, 2:47pm
Jamie, howsabout stealing it back from your wife and posting a review? I just ordered a copy, but not sure if it will be shipped right away or after the official release date. I emailed to find out.

Aug-26-2010, 5:44pm
Mmm, gotta get me some of that...

Aug-26-2010, 5:50pm
Well, I'm driving to Lynchburg, VA this weekend (no computer) with a CD player in my car. I'll give it a thorough listen. Also, considering Jesse's 81, he's got great chops (and cross picks) and is a really appoachable nice guy. It was an honor to meet him.


Mandolin Mick
Aug-26-2010, 5:54pm
Jesse told me at Bean Blossom that this was coming out soon. He sort of half apologized, not because he'd done something wrong, but because he thought a Bluegrasser might be disappointed!:))

Aug-26-2010, 5:58pm
Ha was joking on stage about mentioning the project on stage at the Grand Ole Opry the night before. He got a much warmer reception (and line for autographs on MANY CDs at the Folk Fest with it's larger Dead Head contingent.


Mandolin Mick
Aug-27-2010, 2:13am
Jesse's always pushed the envelope, not only in pioneering new mandolin techniques like crosspicking and split-string, but the people he's worked with like the Doors and the Dead are quite unusual for a Bluegrasser!

He isn't very happy with the Opry. Said so at a workshop at Bean Blossom that was supposed to be Grand Ole Opry stories. Kind of turned into a list of grievances, but in a nice way. I agree with what he said, and he was just being honest.

Aug-27-2010, 9:31am
I ordered a copy and it's being shipped before the official release date, in case anyone else is interested.

I'm impressed with the song choices, he really went beyond the well-known tunes. Ripple is the only tune here from the band's two most bluegrass-oriented albums, American Beauty and Workingman's Dead. I'd love to hear him do Cumberland Blues.

Aug-27-2010, 9:35am
Listen, if he's gonna do all my favorite Garcia solo songs - "Bird Song," "The Wheel," and "Deal" (I forgive him for not doing "Sugaree" - can't do them all), how can you go wrong? I bet he really rips it up on "Alabama Getaway". I'd really like to hear his take on "Stella Blue," too. Now, if he would just segue from "Fire On The Mountain" into "Franklin’s Tower," he would just blow my mind. :mandosmiley:

Aug-30-2010, 8:09am
I gave it a good listen on my long drive and I'll say I really enjoyed it. I'll preface this with I'm not a huge Dead fan so I don't know most of their songs not on American Beauty and this is my first Jesse McReynolds CD.

Jesse has a great voice for this style of music; great vocal tone color. The instrumentation is pretty top notch too. It doesn't at all sound like other music done bluegrass style. The songs sound natural the way they are arranged here. The was a surprise electric guitar appearance! No regrets about buying it from me.


Aug-30-2010, 8:58am
No Lovelight?? :))

I could just hear Jesse..."Take yo hands outta yo pockets..."

Mark Hudson
Oct-09-2010, 5:56pm
Got my copy yesterday... I would not classify myself as a "DeadHead" in the classic terms, but I always loved the Garcia/Hunter collaborations... if you like the Dead you will not be disappointed in this album. Someone above mentioned that it sounded "natural". Jerry came out of a strong bluegrass background (don't know about Robert Hunter)... but you would swear these songs were written for bluegrass, not "redone". I think Jesse's voice could be stronger (there are a few cracks in his voice that you can catch), on the other hand that may actually grow on me as it makes the album sound more front-porch (rather than so much music that ends up over produced). Meanwhile, about Jesse's voice... isn't it really about the mandolin??? :-) Being a lowly newbie at the mandolin I can't review the musicianship... other than to say there are some mandolin leads in there that just break my heart (do you need a better review than that?!)
Buy it, put it on, prop your feet up on the back (or front) porch rail, pop a cold one, and enjoy!

(I own most of the Garcia/Grisman albums... somewhere in the back of my mind is the wish that Jerry and Jesse got to jam together, and that we got to hear the sessions!)



Oct-11-2010, 3:27pm
Hey There,

For those who have heard the CD, any drums on there?

(I'm a traditional bluegrasser who likes other stuff...but drums in my bluegrass just drives me to distraction!)


Jim MacDaniel
Oct-11-2010, 6:09pm
I am not much into BG, but I am mightilly intrigued by this recording. Do any sellers of this CD have samples posted? (I looked but could not find any, but I only did a quick google.)

Oct-11-2010, 7:42pm
There are some drums, electric bass, electric guitar (The Wheel, Franklin's Tower, ). This is more like a country than Bluegrass CD. This isn't a fast bluegrass break kind of recording. This isn't the Dead being arranged as bluegrass (a'la Pickin on the Dead style). Jesse's 81 years old and still making good music.

Jim, I couldn't find sound clips either with a quick look...


Oct-14-2010, 2:50pm
Jesse is having a CD release party for this album on Nov. 17 at the Station Inn here in Nashville, if anyone is interested!

Oct-14-2010, 7:35pm
Norma Waterson did a really nice cover of "Black Muddy Water" on her 1996 solo album, Norma Waterson (http://www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/~zierke/watersons/records/normawaterson.html). Richard Thompson is playing electric guitar on this track and takes a lyrical, sweet-toned solo.


Oct-14-2010, 8:50pm
At Hardly Strictly this year Jerry Douglas Trio did a cool instrumental version of "The Other one"
and Steve Earle closed with "I Know You Rider" much to the delight of the audience.

Oct-15-2010, 3:13am
"I am not much into BG, but I am mightilly intrigued by this recording. Do any sellers of this CD have samples posted? (I looked but could not find any, but I only did a quick google.) "

They have short samples on I-tunes. I can't say Jesse McReynolds is my cup of tea. I-tunes also has lots of my favourites, such as Delgrosso, Stiernberg, Will Patten, Grisman...

Paul Kotapish
Oct-16-2010, 9:36pm
I like Jesse's take of this very nice selection of Dead favorites--very relaxed and sweet. So many of the Dead's best songs--particularly the Hunter/Garcia numbers--transcend genre and work well in any number of settings. Bluegrass is an obvious way to go, but I've heard great interpretations of their stuff from jazz, classical, folk, and pop musicians.

If anyone is inclined to hear a somewhat different "Celtic" take on the Dead's songbook, with mandolin, octave mandolin, Irish pipes, Irish harp, guitar, jazz (acoustic) bass, and latin percussion, check out the annual Wake the Dead "Day of the Dead" show at the Freight in Berkeley at the end of the month. Details on the Cafe calendar for October 30 (http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/calendar.php?do=getinfo&day=2010-10-30&c=1).

Oct-20-2010, 12:09pm
I just got this CD today and immediately emailed my wife to see if she wanted to go to the CD release party. I'm halfway through it and its an incredible album. I was initially concerned it was going to be over driven but its very relaxed and laid back.

Oct-26-2010, 2:20am
Heres a link to Black Muddy River. I first heard this on "Songs of the Mountain" TV show, and it was great. I imagine the rest of the tunes are great as well.

Just scroll halfway down, and hit the play button. Enjoy



Nov-04-2010, 7:47pm
The whole thing is top-notch. Jesse is in remarkably strong voice, and the tunes seem to fit him like a glove... but what struck me most was his mandolin picking. Rather than retrofitting the music as bluegrass, he plays more melodically than usual - with absolutely tremendous taste and tone. I'm not sure how, but he nailed the "spirit" of these songs much better than most others who've covered the Dead.

And yes, that's his Stiver(!)

Highly recommended.

Peter LaMorte
Nov-04-2010, 10:33pm
Yes, this is a wonderful CD, it's as if the songs were written for him.
another Highly recommendation