For both Aaron and Bryce, the Grateful Dead were a gateway to playing music together; the first music the brothers investigated deeply. The two recall their first-ever jam session at 14 years old with The National’s future drummer Bryan Devendorf playing the Dead’s ‘Eyes of the World’ for several hours in Bryan’s attic in suburban Ohio. The brothers were drawn not just to the Dead’s songwriting, but also to the detail, spontaneity, and depth in the instrumentation. A life-long love affair with the Dead, shared with the Devendorfs, was born in those teenage years and crested when The National were invited to play a HeadCount.org fundraiser with Bob Weir in March 2012. The band assembled for this event learned over 25 Grateful Dead songs, and most of those players went on to form the “house band” heard on many of Day of the Dead’s tracks.
The compilation is a wide-ranging tribute to the songwriting and experimentalism of the Dead which took four years to record, and features over 60 artists from varied musical backgrounds, 59 tracks and is almost 6 hours long. Produced by Aaron Dessner, and co-produced by Bryce Dessner and Josh Kaufman, many of the tracks feature an all-star house band made up of Aaron, Bryce, fellow National bandmates and brothers Scott and Bryan Devendorf, Josh Kaufman, and Conrad Doucette along with Sam Cohen and Walter Martin. The record shows the broad reaching impact and legacy of the Grateful Dead, both culturally and musically.
Day of the Dead will be released digitally and on 5 x CDs on May 20th. A limited edition vinyl boxed set will follow later in the year. All profits will help fight for AIDS / HIV and related health issues around the world through the Red Hot Organization. This is the 20th album of original music produced by Red Hot to further its mission and the follow up to 2009’s Dark Was The Night (4AD), a 32-track, multi-artist compilation also produced by Aaron and Bryce for Red Hot. Dark Was The Night has raised over $1.5 million to date for the organizations fighting AIDS to date.
01. The War on Drugs Touch of Grey
02. Phosphorescent, Jenny Lewis & Friends Sugaree
03. Jim James & Friends Candyman
04. The Lone Bellow & Friends Dire Wolf
05. Courtney Barnett New Speedway Boogie
06. Mumford & Sons Friend of the Devil
07. Bruce Hornsby and DeYarmond Edison Black Muddy River
08. The National Morning Dew
09. Anohni and yMusic Black Peter
10. Ed Droste, Binki Shapiro & Friends Loser
11. Perfume Genius, Sharon Van Etten & Friends To Lay Me Down
01. Kurt Vile and the Violators (featuring J Mascis) Box of Rain
02. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Friends Rubin and Cherise
03. The Lone Bellow & Friends Me and My Uncle
04. Moses Sumney, Jenny Lewis & Friends Cassidy
05. Lucius Uncle John’s Band
06. Lee Ranaldo, Lisa Hannigan & Friends Mountains of the Moon
07. Cass McCombs, Joe Russo & Friends Dark Star
08. Nightfall of Diamonds Nightfall of Diamonds
09. Tim Hecker Transitive Refraction Axis for John Oswald
10. Tunde Adebimpe, Lee Ranaldo & Friends Playing in the Band
11. Richard Reed Parry with Caroline Shaw and Little Scream
(featuring Garth Hudson) Brokedown Palace
01. The National Peggy-O
02. Bryce Dessner Garcia Counterpoint
03. Daniel Rossen, Christopher Bear and The National
(featuring Josh Kaufman, Conrad Doucette, So Percussion
and Brooklyn Youth Chorus) Terrapin Station (Suite)
04. Orchestra Baobab Clementine Jam
05. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider
06. This Is the Kit Jack-A-Roe
07. Bill Callahan Easy Wind
08. Ira Kaplan & Friends Wharf Rat
09. Lucinda Williams & Friends Going Down The Road Feelin' Bad
10. Sam Amidon And We Bid You Goodnight
01. The Walkmen Ripple
02. Marijuana Deathsquads Truckin’
03. The Flaming Lips Dark Star
04. Local Natives Stella Blue
05. Unknown Mortal Orchestra Shakedown Street
06. Orchestra Baobab Franklin’s Tower
07. Tal National Eyes of the World
08. Bela Fleck Help on the Way
09. The Rileys Estimated Prophet
10. s t a r g a z e What’s Become of the Baby
11. Vijay Iyer King Solomon’s Marbles
12. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy If I Had the World to Give
01. Phosphorescent & Friends Standing on the Moon
02. The Tallest Man on Earth & Friends Ship of Fools
03. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Friends Bird Song
04. Hiss Golden Messenger Brown-Eyed Women
05. Real Estate Here Comes Sunshine
06. Charles Bradley and Menahan Street Band Cumberland Blues
07. Man Forever, So Percussion and Oneida Drums -> Space
08. Fucked Up Cream Puff War
09. Mina Tindle & Friends Rosemary
10. Daniel Rossen and Christopher Bear High Time
11. Luluc with Xylouris White Till the Morning Comes
12. Winston Marshall, Kodiak Blue and Shura Althea
13. Angel Olsen Attics of My Life
14. Wilco with Bob Weir St. Stephen (live)
15. The National with Bob Weir I Know You Rider (live)
About Red Hot Organisation; Red Hot is a not-for-profit, 501(c) 3 organization dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS through pop culture. Its mission is to raise awareness and money around the AIDS crisis and related health issues. It was started in 1990 by Leigh Blake and John Carlin with the Cole Porter tribute album Red Hot + Blue, which raised millions of dollars, helped reduce the stigma around AIDS at the time and supported organizations and efforts such as ACT UP and T.A.G., which took a stand and made the world pay attention and develop medication that let people with AIDS survive.
Over the past 25 years, over 500 artists, producers and directors have contributed to 20 compilation albums of original music, videos, events and media to keep people thinking about the implications of the AIDS epidemic as well as donate millions to organizations around the world.
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