Women in Music 2016

Hear Courtney Barnett, the National, Jenny Lewis & More Cover the Grateful Dead

Think you can handle six hours of Grateful Dead covers?  Well, how about five tracks to start?

The National and 4AD Records are rolling out promotion for their forthcoming 59-track Grateful Dead covers compilation, and today (March 24) they’ve shared full songs from a handful of their collaborators. 

The set is titled Day of the Dead and it features numerous alternative-minded artists taking on tracks from the legendary jam band. And it’s for a good cause; the compilation is a benefit for Red Hot, the not-for-profit HIV/AIDS organization previously helped by the 2009 all-star indie compilation Dark Was the Night. It’s out May 20 via 4AD, available digitally, as a 5 CD collection and as a vinyl box set.

The National Dishes on Grateful Dead Covers Comp, Their Own New LP

The project was led by the National, with members Aaron and Bryce Dessner producing alongside Josh Kaufman. Today, the National shared its cover of “Morning Dew,” though it is far from their only appearance on the comp. Numerous tracks feature the Day of the Dead house band, which includes both Dessner brothers, as well as drummer Bryan Devendorf. 

The comp will come to life at this year’s Eaux Claires fest, where Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon will lead a Day of the Dead set featuring numerous other artists on hand at the Wisconsin show (set for Aug. 12-13). For more on Eaux Claires, check Billboard’s interview with Justin Vernon.

Below are all the Day of the Dead tracks 4AD shared today: The National covering ”Morning Dew,” Courtney Barnett covering ”New Speedway Boogie,” the War on Drugs covering ”Touch of Grey,” Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis and Friends covering ”Sugaree,” and Bruce Hornsby with DeYarmond Edison covering “Black Muddy River.”