There and Back Again

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
It's been a good, long time since the Grateful Dead's bassist spent a serious chunk of time in the studio, but as this 74-minute tour de force proves, he's still capable of capturing a hefty portion of the so-called X-factor his old band used to radiate. Much of the magic comes from Lesh himself -- he's still one of the most lyrical bass players around, as evidenced by his incandescent turns on "Midnight Train" and "Night of a Thousand Stars." He does allow room, however, for outside support: Erstwhile Dead lyricist Robert Hunter contributed words to 6 of the disc's 11 songs, and new bandmates such as guitarist Warren Haynes a veteran of such bands as the Allman ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
It's been a good, long time since the Grateful Dead's bassist spent a serious chunk of time in the studio, but as this 74-minute tour de force proves, he's still capable of capturing a hefty portion of the so-called X-factor his old band used to radiate. Much of the magic comes from Lesh himself -- he's still one of the most lyrical bass players around, as evidenced by his incandescent turns on "Midnight Train" and "Night of a Thousand Stars." He does allow room, however, for outside support: Erstwhile Dead lyricist Robert Hunter contributed words to 6 of the disc's 11 songs, and new bandmates such as guitarist Warren Haynes a veteran of such bands as the Allman Brothers and Gov't Mule enrich Lesh's musical tapestry. Haynes's fiery leads add an agreeably rough edge to songs like "Rock 'n' Roll Blues" and "Leave Me Out of This" a tune borrowed from second-generation jam-band the Zen Tricksters, whose Rob Barraco plays keyboards here. And just to bring things full circle, Lesh even looks back long enough to revisit a past Dead glory in the form of "Liberty," a striking Garcia/Hunter composition that previously only saw the light of day on the So Many Roads box set. Lesh and Friends seem to have quickly developed an unconscious rapport, exuding the sort of vibe that will have fans following them, well, There and Back Again.

The limited-edition version includes a four-track bonus disc featuring one studio track and three live cuts, including a 25-minute "Dark Star."

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
After releasing Love Will See You Through, a live album featuring onetime guests like Jorma Kaukonen, Phil Lesh organized a permanent touring and recording band under the moniker Phil Lesh & Friends. This quintet, with an instrumentation that replicated the Grateful Dead's except for the inclusion of only one drummer, featured former Allman Brothers Band guitarists Warren Haynes and Jimmy Herring, former Zen Tricksters keyboardist Rob Barraco, and former Bruce Hornsby & the Range drummer John Molo. There and Back Again is this unit's first studio album and, not surprisingly, it sounds like a cross between the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band. Lesh has made one other crucial connection, bringing in Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter to write the words for six of the 11 songs. One of them is "Liberty," a Jerry Garcia co-composition the Grateful Dead performed toward the end. Hunter has a distinctive, wordy writing style, full of allusions, aphorisms, and wordplay that will be familiar to any Deadhead. The leadoff track, "Celebration," with music by Lesh, is very much the product of the team who wrote the Grateful Dead's "Box of Rain"; it is a statement of purpose, proclaiming a recommitment to a positive viewpoint despite "stolen elections, corruption, and hate." Haynes, who does most of the singing though Lesh and Barraco get leads, too, was a careful student of Gregg Allman's throaty style, and his stinging slide guitar work recalls Duane Allman. For the most part, the bandmembers keep their natural tendency to jam in check, placing emphasis on the well-written songs. The tracks run four to six minutes each and usually fade out with the band still playing, so this material no doubt stretches out in concert. The result is a surprisingly well-organized and accessible collection that is the best album yet made by a Grateful Dead spinoff band.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/21/2002
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998640627
  • Catalog Number: 86406

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Celebration - Phil Lesh & Friends (4:49)
  2. 2 Night Of A Thousand Stars - Phil Lesh & Friends (5:45)
  3. 3 The Real Thing - Phil Lesh & Friends (6:02)
  4. 4 Again And Again - Phil Lesh & Friends (5:23)
  5. 5 No More Do I - Phil Lesh & Friends (5:47)
  6. 6 Patchwork Quilt - Phil Lesh & Friends (4:54)
  7. 7 Liberty - Phil Lesh & Friends (5:31)
  8. 8 Midnight Train - Phil Lesh & Friends (6:11)
  9. 9 Leave Me Out Of This - Phil Lesh & Friends (6:56)
  10. 10 Welcome To The Underground - Phil Lesh & Friends (5:28)
  11. 11 Rock-n-Roll Blues - Phil Lesh & Friends (6:06)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Phil Lesh Primary Artist, Electric Bass, Vocals, Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Warren Haynes Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Slide Guitar, Vocal Harmony
Jimmy Herring Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
John Molo Percussion, Drums
Michael Kang Violin
Rob Barraco Keyboards, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Technical Credits
Mark Dearnley Engineer
Don Gehman Producer
Judy Kirschner Engineer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Chris Manning Art Direction
Jay Blakesberg Cover Photo
Christer Manning Art Direction
Jill Lesh Executive Producer
Stefani Scamardo Executive Producer
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