on August 23, 2008
I first heard this album was "coming out" while listening to "On the Golden Road" on The Grateful Dead Channel. The electronic version had already been released and was apparently well received. Obviously, Mr. Joseph would have to get Ice Nine's permission to use the songs and the CD information confirms their support, along with that of Robert Hunter and The Garcia Estate. But is it good? You bet. It is easily a listen-through as opposed to a "one hit wonder" album. In due course, all music passes down, as many of the songs performed by The Grateful Dead were passed to them. Mr. Joseph performs these songs, which we will always associate with Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter, in his own style-not trying to copy The Dead but paying tribute to them with his skillful arrangements and choice of accompanying musicians. I think he delivers the songs in a style that most deadheads will appreciate. Well Done!
This acoustic treatment of songs from the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter catalog entertains. The 8-minute opener of "Sugaree" bounces & grooves like a light jazz treatment with Emory's powerfully expressive vocals milking every ounce of longing from the lyric, "You thought you was a cool fool who never could do no wrong; You had everything sewn up tight; How come you lay awake all night long?" "Ramble On Rose" bounces with Jon Carroll's barrelhouse piano and Emory's vocal wail, "Just New York City, just like Jericho, pace the halls and climb the walls and get out when they blow." "Loose Lucy" cuts a rug with a vocal that made me stop the car to see if I'd accidentally bought a Van Morrison CD. "Bird Song" sounds like a runaway track from Seals & Crofts. "Fennario" weaves a joyful spell with excellent musicianship, great vocals & excellent material. Enjoy!