The National Announce Grateful Dead Tribute Album Release Date, Tracklist | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Aaron and Bryce Dessner / Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez

The National Announce Grateful Dead Tribute Album Release Date, Tracklist

Day of the Dead out 05/20 via 4AD

Mar 17, 2016 The National Bookmark and Share

Deadheads rejoice! The National has announced the release date and tracklist for Day of the Dead, the long-in-the-works 3-disc Grateful Dead compilation that was compiled by The National band members Aaron and Bryce Dessner. The album will be out May 20th on 4AD and will benefit The Red Hot Organization. The massive collection of music includes Grateful Dead songs covered by a variety of artists including Bruce Hornsby & DeYarmond Edison (Justin Vernon and the members of Megafaun), F**ked Up, The War on Drugs, Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis, The National, Courtney Barnett, Lucinda Williams, The Flaming Lips and Bela Fleck.

According to the press release “the compilation is a wide-ranging tribute to the songwriting and experimentalism of the Dead which took four years to record, features over 60 artists from varied musical backgrounds, 59 tracks and is almost 6 hours long.” The album will be available digitally, on 5-disc CD and limited edition vinyyl box set. All profits will help fight for AIDS/ HIV and related health issues around the world through the Red Hot Organization. Day of the Dead is the follow up to 2009’s Dark Was The Night, a 32-track, multi-artist compilation also produced by Aaron and Bryce for Red Hot.

The album was produced by the Dessner brothers and Josh Kaufman and many of the tracks features an all-star backing band made up of Aaron, Bryce, fellow National bandmates and brothers Scott and Bryan Devendorf, Josh Kaufman, Conrad Doucette, Sam Cohen and Walter Martin. 4AD has published a Spotify playlist matching song-by-song the Day of the Dead tracklist, providing a look at the compilation’s era-specific Grateful Dead source material.

Bill Callahan said, “I feel like the Dead managed to show the bridge from the past to the future in a respectful way. Much more so than someone like the Stones who felt like pillagers to me. The Dead breathed life into the old songs, expanded the lungs of the old songs.” A special A Day of the Dead live performance will take place this summer at the second annual Eaux Claires Festival (August 12-13) featuring Jenny Lewis, Matthew Houck (Phosphorescent), Lucius, Will Oldham, Sam Amidon, Richard Reed Perry, Matt Berninger, Justin Vernon, Bruce Hornsby, Ruban Nielson and The National, who all appear on the record.


“Thunder” (Vol.1)

01. Touch of Grey - The War on Drugs

02. Sugaree - Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis & Friends

03. Candyman - Jim James & Friends

04. Cassidy - Moses Sumney, Jenny Lewis & Friends

05. Black Muddy River - Bruce Hornsby and DeYarmond Edison

06. Loser - Ed Droste, Binki Shapiro & Friends

07. Peggy-O - The National

08. Box of Rain - Kurt Vile and the Violators (featuring J Mascis)

09. Rubin and Cherise - Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Friends

10. To Lay Me Down - Perfume Genius, Sharon Van Etten & Friends

11. New Speedway Boogie - Courtney Barnett

12. Friend of the Devil - Mumford & Sons

13. Uncle John’s Band - Lucius

14. Me and My Uncle - The Lone Bellow & Friends

15. Mountains of the Moon - Lee Ranaldo, Lisa Hannigan & Friends

16. Black Peter - Anohni and yMusic

17. Garcia Counterpoint - Bryce Dessner

18. Terrapin Station (Suite) - Daniel Rossen, Christopher Bear and The National (featuring Josh Kaufman, Conrad Doucette, So Percussion and Brooklyn Youth Chorus)

19. Attics of My Life - Angel Olsen

20. St. Stephen (live) - Wilco with Bob Weir

“Lightning” (Vol. 2)

01. If I Had the World to Give - Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy

02. Standing on the Moon - Phosphorescent & Friends

03. Cumberland Blues - Charles Bradley and Menahan Street Band

04. Ship of Fools - The Tallest Man on Earth & Friends

05. Bird Song - Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Friends

06. Morning Dew - The National

07. Truckin’ - Marijuana Deathsquads

08. Dark Star - Cass McCombs, Joe Russo & Friends

09. Nightfall of Diamonds - Nightfall of Diamonds

10. Transitive Refraction Axis for John Oswald - Tim Hecker

11. Going Down The Road Feelin’ Bad - Lucinda Williams & Friends

12. Playing in the Band - Tunde Adebimpe, Lee Ranaldo & Friends

13. Stella Blue - Local Natives

14. Eyes of the World - Tal National

15. Help on the Way - Bela Fleck

16. Franklin’s Tower - Orchestra Baobab

17. Till the Morning Comes - Luluc with Xylouris White

18. Ripple - The Walkmen

19. Brokedown Palace - Richard Reed Parry with Caroline Shaw and Little Scream (featuring Garth Hudson)

“Sunshine” (Vol. 3)

01. Here Comes Sunshine - Real Estate

02. Shakedown Street - Unknown Mortal Orchestra

03. Brown-Eyed Women - Hiss Golden Messenger

04. Jack-A-Roe - This Is the Kit

05. High Time - Daniel Rossen and Christopher Bear

06. Dire Wolf - The Lone Bellow & Friends

07. Althea - Winston Marshall, Kodiak Blue and Shura

08. Clementine Jam - Orchestra Baobab

09. China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider - Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks

10. Easy Wind - Bill Callahan

11. Wharf Rat - Ira Kaplan & Friends

12. Estimated Prophet - The Rileys

13. Drums -> Space - Man Forever, So Percussion and Oneida

14. Cream Puff War - Fucked Up

15. Dark Star - The Flaming Lips

16. What’s Become of the Baby - s t a r g a z e

17. King Solomon’s Marbles - Vijay Iyer

18. Rosemary - Mina Tindle & Friends

19. And We Bid You Goodnight - Sam Amidon

20. I Know You Rider (live) - The National with Bob Weir


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