Review: Grateful Dead's Bob Weir Taps Indie Rock Pals for 'Blue Mountain'

Our take on guitarist's first studio album since 2000

The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir teamed with members of the National for 'Blue Mountain' Credit: Cindy Ord/Getty

The Grateful Dead guitarist's first solo album in a decade is a set of "cowboy songs" crafted with singer-songwriter Josh Ritter and indie-folk heavies like the National's Bryce and Aaron Dessner. Weir, who delivered most of the Dead's country covers, sings about "plain-spun and rough" lives, "cutpurse" evenings and unhappy trails, while a nimbus of electric guitars surrounds his acoustic bunkhouse strumming. The highlight is his self-penned and unaccompanied "Ki-Yi Bossie," in which "a 12-step meeting under harsh fluorescent light" occasions a wry round of soul-searching, no wide-open spaces required.