Members of the National and Grizzly Bear unite for an ornate cover of the Grateful Dead's symphonic-prog suite, "Terrapin Station." The 17-minute all-star epic highlights Day of the Dead, a 59-track Grateful Dead tribute LP also featuring the Flaming Lips, Wilco with Bob Weir, Jenny Lewis, Jim James, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Mumford & Sons, among others.
The one-off supergroup cuts zero corners with "Terrapin Station." The National guitarist Aaron Dessner – who co-produced Day of the Dead with brother Bryce – and bassist Scott Devendorf collaborated with Grizzly Bear singer-guitarist Daniel Rossen and drummer Christopher Bear; guitarist-keyboardist Josh Kaufman, drummer Conrad Doucette, Sō Percussion, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and an orchestra directed by Bryce Dessner.
The massive ensemble delivers a complex take on the Grateful Dead classic, shifting between stormy orchestrations, percussive assaults and psychedelic, harmonized guitars. The original "Terrapin Station" served as the centerpiece of the band's 1977 LP of the same name, which found Jerry Garcia and company moving toward a vintage progressive rock style.
The six-hour Day of the Dead will be released digitally, in a 5-CD bundle and as a limited edition vinyl boxed set on May 20th. All proceeds from the expansive project will benefit the Red Hot Organization.
A Day of the Dead live performance will take staged at the second annual Eaux Claires Festival, planned for August 12th and 13th. Scheduled contributors include Vernon, the National, Lewis, Phosphorescent's Matthew Houck, Lucius, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Perry, Matt Berninger, Justin Vernon, Bruce Hornsby and Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Ruban Nielson.