When the Grateful Dead played their Fare Thee Well shows earlier this year, music by psychedelic jam-rockers Circles Around the Sun kept the crowd entertained during the intermissions. The group, led by Chris Robinson Brotherhood guitarist and occasional Phil Lesh and Friends guest Neal Casal, came together at the request of filmmaker Justin Kreutzmann (Dead member Bill’s son) to record a soundtrack to the visuals he prepared for the concerts. On November 27th, highlights from those recordings, made during a two-day jam session, will come out on the two-disc collection Interludes for the Dead.
One of the standouts on the album is “Gilbert’s Groove,” which Casal tells Rolling Stone is Circles Around the Sun’s “loving nod to ‘Shakedown Street.'” Over the course of 12 minutes, the ensemble weaves together echoey, funky, wah-inflected guitar with loosely swinging drums; they even interpolate some of the melody of the song to which they’re paying tribute.
“It was recorded in one lucky take on the first of our two-day kamikaze recording sessions to create five hours of music for the Dead’s Fare Thee Well concerts,” Casal says. “The working title for this song was ‘Fakedown Street,’ but we eventually opted for the classier ‘Gilbert’s Groove’ — a tip of the cap to Gilbert Shelton, the legendary artist who created the artwork for the Shakedown Street album cover.”
Interludes for the Dead will be available digitally and on CD and vinyl. The LP edition will be pressed on 180-gram vinyl and limited to 5,000 copies.
Separately, the group’s Chicago Fare Thee Well soundtrack will also be available as a three-CD set within the Grateful Dead’s mega 12-CD/seven-Blu-ray Fare The Well box set, which will be available on the Dead’s website starting November 20th.