Swingin' to the Grateful Dead

Swingin' to the Grateful Dead

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A bizarre outgrowth of the martini craze and the fedora craze -- themselves unfortunate tangents of the cocktail nation craze -- the swing music fad that crested in the mid- to late '90s was responsible for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's 15 minutes, as well as an upswing in bookings for the BrianSee more details below

Overview

A bizarre outgrowth of the martini craze and the fedora craze -- themselves unfortunate tangents of the cocktail nation craze -- the swing music fad that crested in the mid- to late '90s was responsible for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's 15 minutes, as well as an upswing in bookings for the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Vitamin Records' Swingin' to the Grateful Dead was apparently released to capitalize on this short-lived kick. Sporting zoot-suited, finger-popping skeletons on the cover and words like "jumpin'," "jitter," and swing on the back, the collection includes 12 instrumental versions of Grateful Dead songs, performed in numerous jazz-based styles. But for a subject with so much potential material, producer Steve Marsh and arranger Jim McMillan's choices are curiously lacking in melody, making some of the inclusions here unmemorable. The big band productions of "Touch of Grey" and "Friend of the Devil" suggest Lawrence Welk, while "Eyes of the World" and "Cumberland Blues" are reminiscent of cruise ship dinner music -- nice for the background, but ultimately boring. Things brighten a bit with the rollicking Dixieland jazz arrangements of "Casey Jones" and "US Blues," and "Scarlet Begonias" projects a sunny Latin vibe that's hard to resist. But the collection was essentially only relevant for a specific moment of pop culture folly, and once that moment passed, Swingin' to the Grateful Dead became pure novelty. This release is also available as part of a three-volume set from CMH that includes two discs of the Pickin' on the Grateful Dead series, compiling bluegrass takes on Grateful Dead classics.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/27/1999
Label:
Vitamin Records
UPC:
0027297850125
catalogNumber:
8501

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Grateful Dead   Track Performer
Randy Drake   Drums,Track Performer
Steve Marsh   Clarinet,Fiddle,Flute,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Track Performer
Ernie Nunez   Electric Bass,Track Performer,Acoustic Bass
David Stout   Trombone,Track Performer
Roy Wiegand   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Track Performer
Robbie Hioki   Tuba,Track Performer
Ric Mandell   Organ,Piano,Track Performer
Liza Carbé   Bass
Eric Nunez   Bass
Joey de Leon   Conga

Technical Credits

Jerry Garcia   Composer
Bob Weir   Composer
Robert Hunter   Composer
John Golden   Mastering
Phil Lesh   Composer
Steve Marsh   Arranger,Producer
Jim McMillen   Arranger
David Haerle   Executive Producer
John Lindland   Executive Producer
Liza Carbé   Engineer
Richard Biffle   Cover Art
J.P. Durand   Engineer

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