On June 2nd, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood will release the limited-edition Betty’s Blends, Volume Two: Best From the West, which collects seven live recordings the outfit made during its Spring 2014 West Coast tour. Below, hear one of the highlights: a cover of the Grateful Dead‘s heartfelt “They Love Each Other.” The group has been performing the Dead cut since it formed in 2011, and the band’s familiarity shows on this pristine, scintillating rendition of the track.
Members of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood also often sit in with Dead bassist Phil Lesh at his Phil and Friends performances. “The impetus for many of the Dead covers we choose to play often comes from having enjoyed performing them with Phil,” Robinson says. “‘They Love Each Other’ is one we first did at his 70th birthday show. We also gravitate to the Dead songs that the Chris Robinson Brotherhood’s sound envelops the best and that we find our groove in. It’s a beautiful song with a beautiful lyric and sentiment; the power of love runs deep in all of us who are open to it. It’s one of Jerry [Garcia]’s sweeter moments.”
Like Betty’s S.F. Blends, Volume One, the record’s 2013 predecessor, Volume Two will be released via Robinson’s Silver Arrow Records – only 2,000 vinyl LPs, 2,000 CDs and 2,000 downloads will be made available. The albums are called “Betty’s Blends” because Grateful Dead archivist Betty Cantor-Jackson, whose “Betty’s Boards” recordings are beloved by Deadheads, recorded and mixed the tracks.
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“You know, she’s heard more than a few versions of [‘They Love Each Other’] over the years, and if she deems it worthy we have to trust in what she’s hearing and feeling,” Robinson says. “Some people are probably looking for perfection, but she’s looking for vibe and inspiration. She was bottling that stuff at the source, and we leave it to her more capable hands and ears.”