Bob Weir heads amicably towards oblivion on “Gonesville.” “I’m going gone to Goneseville,” he sings on the new track. “I’m going all the way.” The tune, written by Weir in collaboration with Josh Ritter, will appear on Blue Mountain, which arrives September 30th.
Weir and his band shamble cheerfully here: The bass line hints at the verve of honky tonk, the harmonica scoots forward and the lead guitar spits lively licks. A raft of backing vocalists join in during the chorus, adding to the cool, festive air, and “Gonesville” comes to a close with a jaunty group chant.
Blue Mountain marks Weir’s first full album of original material in three decades. A number of his admirers contributed to the album, including the National’s Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner and Scott Devendorf. Josh Kaufman, who has worked with the National and the Hold Steady’s Craig Finn, helped out with production.
Weir recorded Blue Mountain in 2015. He also performed three shows that year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, and subsequently toured with his group Dead & Company, which includes Grateful Dead members Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart alongside John Mayer. Earlier this year, Weir told told Rolling Stone, “I’m going to come up with new music endlessly.”
On September 21st, Weir will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Americana Honors & Awards. After Blue Mountain hits shelves, Weir heads out on a brief “Campfire Tour” in support of the record, starting October 7th in San Rafael, California.